Flavio Marazzi – Bern SUI 07-02-1978
Four Olympic campaigns in the Star class, twice runner-up to ISCYRA World Championship, European and South American Champion, his favorite result is the World title in the 5.5 class with his father and brother in 2002: the first World Champion Family!
At the end of 2012, Flavio, sees the GC32 rendering and has a go with it as soon as it is out of the boatyard. The catamaran is still at raw stage and right after the America’s Cup in San Francisco in 2013 new technologies are implemented in the foils and the boat literally becomes a magic carpet. At the helm of Armin Strom for three season, last year finished in third with a group of youngsters selected out of a 2 months trial in New Zealand.
“I started sailing on a Star when I was 7/8 years old with my father on the lake closest to our house, Thunersee, before going through the traditional junior boats. What I’ve always loved about the Star is racing against the best sailors in the world, real legends of our sport. After my last Olympic in London in 2012, I felt I needed something new, a change and the GC32 caught my attention since the day I saw the rendering, it’s fast, easy to understand and maneuver, it sails in a wide range of weather conditions. You can establish a good feeling with the boat with just few days of practice and it is completely one design. I am more than happy this year to start the season with a renewed Armin Strom Sailing Team, made of Olympic sailors at their first encounter with a foiling boat.”
Frithjof Kleen – Berlin GER 25-06-1983
German Olympic Star crew in London 2012 and a proper superstar in the class, has been coaching along with sailing in the past few years and really enjoys it. He won many titles in his sailing career, both in the Olympic classes and in the big boats with big programs, like TP52 and Swan45 – his first world title – but the most important from a professional angle is definitely the second place in the ISAF World Championship in 2011 in Perth, as it represented the ticket to the London Olympics and all the top names were there racing. But the result of the heart is the Star World title in Malcesine in 2013, because it is always a unique regatta. Dragon European title, Star European and the 5.5 Worlds also hold a special place in Frithjof’s heart.
“We set a goal, the podium, we are just beginners but we have a solid, common background that will give us strength throughout the season. We will see how the first events will go, but if “a good beginning makes a good ending” like they say, the first training day with the whole team in Riva del Garda with 30knts of boats speed, Flavio and I are confident and we would soon start racing.”
Erik Heil – 10-08-1989 Berlin GER, now living between Kiel and Berlin
He started sailing in his city at 9 years old, he wasn’t keen on sailing but he would hang out to the Yacht Club in Berlin and it came natural to jump on a boat at some point. He started on a Teeny, a two people dinghy, with the crew (Thomas Plössel) he went to the Olympics and won Bronze medal with in Rio in the highly competitive 49er class, boat he’s been sailing since 2008. The results were immediate, with the Junior World title and they ended 7th at the Worlds in 2012, where their Olympic path officially began. His best result is undoubtedly the Bronze medal in Rio, also from an emotional point of view as Erik lost his father just two months’ before the Games, along with the Europeans. But his favorite results is definitely the first World Cup he won in Palma in 2013, because the stars of the class were there, coming straight from the London Olympics, and “as a sailor you know you are fighting against the bests”.
“The GC32 is quite similar to 49er for stability – gained by crew work, steering and sails set-up – but yet this boat doesn’t cupsize as easily as the 49er which doesn’t forgive any small mistakes. I would now love to expand my sailing knowledge, learning new skills and I can learn a lot from the foiling GC32. I am fully committed with the GC32 program for 2017, but I am paralleling still training on the 49er.”
Alain Sign – Portsmouth, UK 03-02-1986
Started sailing at 10 years old on the Solent, following his brothers at local regattas. A more professional career started on a Topper trained by a coach who scouted him at a Dinghy week event. Crewed 29er and moved to 49er in 2002, he prefers running around the boat and being energetic rather than staying at the helm “it’s more fun, you are controlling the boat”, he says. In 2004 after winning the Worlds on Lake Silvaplana in Engadina he started dreaming of going to the Olympics and it became reality in Rio 2016, 10 years after he started campaigning. The best result is 1st at the 29er Worlds in 2004 and a 3rd at the 49er Worlds in 2016 leading to the Olympics, but his favorite one is the 5th place at the 49er Worlds in Bahamas in 2009, as it represented, for them as a team, the first very good and promising result.
“I don’t think I am going to try another Olympic campaign, I would rather move to the big boats circuit, and the GC32 is my first good opportunity and it is my style of racing with everything happening very quickly, you must be very fit for the loads on it. The goal for the season is try to gel as a team, building our confidence and routine, I love having so many 49er sailors with me on the boat, we’ve all competed against each other and grew up together. The hard work we’ve all done in the 49er will pay off here, I am sure.”
Iago Lopez Marra – Santiago de Compostela 01-09-1990, now living in Portosin, Galicia
Started on the Optimist at 12 years old, by chance, but he still remembers that when he stepped on the boat he thought this was going to be his sport, it was love at first sight. He then moved to Santander to study Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering while crewing for 470. He moved to 49er and after graduating he was hired by bigger boat, like Esimit, Soto40 and a Swan 80. In December 2014 one of his mate in University, Diego Botin, called him to join him in the 49er campaign for Rio, after a small thought on giving up the professional circuits he was involved with, he decided this was his opportunity for attending the Olympics. And they did qualifying only on May 2016 and finishing 9th , and they are still together aiming for Tokyo 2020. “My favorite result was winning the World Cup event in Medemblik in 2016, where we qualified for Rio after an amazing regatta. The GC32 is the future and I am super happy to be involved with this team, it is made of fantastic people, I know most of them and I have a great feeling with everybody.”
Frederico Melo – Washington DC 13-07-1987, now living in Cascais, POR
He was born in the USA but has always competed under the Portugal flag. He is one of the only two members of Armin Strom who had a full season on the GC32 last year. He started sailing in Portugal, his parents’ country, in Cascais, when he was about 10 years old. From Optimist he moved to the Laser and loved it. He soon became too big for the small dinghy and went on to the Finn just before crewing for Alfonso Dominguez in the Star class and actually going to the Olympics in London 2012 at only 25 years old. He is now busy on many different classes, from Dragon, to Star, from big boats to GC32. His best results include a second at the Junior Radial Worlds – his most appreciated results as right here, at 18 years old, he thought he could have a career in sailing – second at both Junior Finn European and Worlds, he won the Dragons Europeans.
“This will be the second season for me in the GC32, it’s a fantastic boat, completely different from the ones I was used before, you have to get used to the speed and adrenaline, fast thinking and requires a lot of team work. It’s hard physically, but it’s good as it is challenging and I think we have a good team. I expect to learn a lot, sailing with people I haven’t sailed before”.
Enrico Voltolini – Codogno, Lodi 22-08-1986, now living in Viareggio
He started sailing as a summer hobby, I was more into swimming. He moved to La Spezia to study Marine Engineering when he was 18, did some Laser and Finn, and tried the Olympic campaign crewing the Star for London. In the Star he had the most important result like winning the European Championship in 2011. So moved back to the Finn fighting for his spot at Rio Olympics, and still fighting to have one in Tokyo, that is his priority. He stepped on a catamaran for the first time in his life with Armin Strom, and it is going to be a flying machine.
“I love being in a crew with all Olympic sailors, some of them still campaigning. I want to learn as much as possible, I want to be eclectic in my career and I would like to be able to jump on every boat.”
Shane Diviney – Dublin 20-05-1991
Shane has been with Armin Strom Sailing Team for one whole season last year, he passed the casting Flavio held in Bay of Island in January 2016. He was living in Sydney at the time, had just finished the Sydney to Hobart Race. He started sailing in Ireland when he was 11 and after finishing University he started match racing and won New Zealand and Ireland Junior Nationals on the same year. Among his best results there is the 3rd place on the GC32 Racing Tour with Flavio in 2016 and winning the class for the Sydney to Hobart. He loves offshore racing just as much as foiling boats and hopes to do a VOR one day, but is totally committed to GC32 for the season.
“The team is highly motivated, we are all very professionals and we should adapt quickly to being together on the boat. The GC32 is great, for me it is very simple though, it requires a strong teamwork, it is very rewarding and it is indeed the most fun boat I’ve ever sailed”.
Andrew Turton – 19-02-1975 in Queensland AUS, now living in Palma de Mallorca
Started sailing very early in the Central Coast of Eastern Australia, loves sailing and the Ocean, so much that he founded with some friends Seabin, a device designed to suck plastic from marinas, ports and yacht clubs around the world. He’s done plenty of offshore racing and in between the marks, he is an absolute pro at sailing, but Andy is now an internationally well known boat builder with America’s Cup campaigns, like Victory Challenge in Valencia in 2007 and TP52 top teams, such as Quantum Racing, Ran and Interlodge in his career. He worked with GC32 last year, with Pierre Casiraghi Malizia, this and workin with TP52 Container with Frida got him a call to join Armin Strom Team.
“The one time I sailed on a GC32 I loved it, I enjoy foiling boats. My role here is boat builder, helping the team get the boat ready for the next day’s racing, I love being in the shore team as much as sailing”.