Extreme Sailing Series

The Extreme Sailing Series brings together the world’s elite teams for dramatic racing in venues around the world. For the 2018 season, the 12th for the Series, the teams are racing again on spectacular foiling GC32 catamarans – unbelievable machines that speed through the water and fly through the air.


Having first raced its GC32 in the 2015 Bullitt Racing Tour, in 2016 Alinghi joined the Extreme Sailing Series circuit (ESS) – an especially exciting one-design competition that used to be raced on the Extreme 40, the boat on which Alinghi won the title in 2008 and 2014.

As Alinghi can speak to, having set the speed record in 2015, the GC32s are incredibly fast, capable of nearly 40 knots (74km/h). Even more exhilarating is that they do it above the water, over which they ‘fly’ as the foils deploy and the boat accelerates. The technology used is the same as the yachts in the America’s Cup. The GC32 is essentially a scaled-down version, though relative to the bigger boats used in San Francisco in 2013, the foils are quite big. This is because the GC32s are designed to work in a broad range of conditions, and particularly in light wind – and bigger foils generate lift in light airs. Another key difference is that the GC32s are easier (and cheaper) to run, making the Extreme Sailing Series a particularly accessible tour.

Learn more about the Extreme Sailing Series >


The GC32 is a hydro-foiling catamaran. Made out of carbon-fibre, the foils are slender wing-like arms that are deployed under both hulls of the boat, generating lift and allowing ‘flight’ through the water. Choosing how to trim the foils is, of course, down to the team onboard, while the fact that there is also no hydraulic means that the foils must be adjusted manually. These technical aspects of the boat, combined with the many other control points that must be mastered, means that getting the GC32 up to peak performance is a real challenge for its sailors. When the boat is there, however, there’s nothing like it...

  • Length (overall): 12.00m
  • Length (hull): 10.00m
  • Beam: 6.00m
  • Weight: 750 kg
  • Draft (upwind): 2.10m
  • Draft (downwind): 1.60m
  • Mast height (above deck): 16.50m
  • Bowsprit length: 6.60m
  • Mainsail: 60.00m²
  • Jib: 23.50m²
  • Gennaker: 90.00m²

Extreme Sailing Series News

2nd in San Diego but a good outcome overall

22 October, 2018

Leading Act 6 from the first day until the 18th race, Alinghi was ultimately unable to fend off the repeated assaults of Oman who took the lead in the 19th run. The Swiss won the 21st and final race of the competition, but the Omanis maintained a slender one-point lead to take the result, with SAP claiming 3rd place (Oman Air 233 points - Alinghi 232 points - SAP 226 points). Alinghi of course was aiming for success in San Diego, but the disappointment of finishing second is offset once the implications for the Series’ overall standings are taken into account, with the Swiss firmly in the lead with one Act remaining. Timothé Lapauw, foil adjuster: “We finish 2nd, but there are many positive points that we take, not least the good speed we achieved regularly. Racing was also not easy in San Diego with a variable and light wind." Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician: "We take heart in light of the implications for the final result of the championship, but of course we would have liked to win here in San Diego because it was a result within our reach. However, we didn’t always sail to the best of our abilities.” Arnaud Psarofaghis, helmsman: "Oman Air deserves this win in San Diego because we did not sail well enough on the last day. Overall we wanted to beat SAP and that's the case. It even allows us to finish behind them in Los Cabos to win the championship, since you do not have to win every Act to win the trophy. The guys have done a good job on-board and we can very much still be satisfied with our second place." Yves Detrey, bowman: “Second place leaves a slightly bitter taste because we lost on the last day because of avoidable mistakes, which should not happen at our level. But there is still one regatta to go before the end of the season and we will work hard until the end." Pierre-Yves Jorand, team director: “It was a tough day. We started really well and finished really well. In between, we had four difficult races and made mistakes probably due to a lack of coordination and communication. We will discuss that with the team. But the good thing is that we did the job finishing ahead of SAP who is our direct opponent for the championship.”  The final Act of the Extreme Sailing Series 2018 will be held in Los Cabos (Mexico) from November 29 to December 2. Click here for the full results of Act 6 after its 21 races Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo  //  #Extremesailing   To find out more If you want to know more about the race tracking system, the team and the racing in general, you can find a recap here. Credit for photos: Lloyd Images

At the last, Alinghi seals victory in Cardiff

27 August, 2018

After 29 races, it, once again, came down to the very last run in this Extreme Sailing Series' Act in Cardiff to decide the podium places. With just a single point separating Alinghi and SAP ahead of the deciding race, the Swiss needed, first, to finish ahead of their rivals, but also to keep a keen eye on Oman Air, who, if they'd managed to put three boats between them and the team, could have taken the Act win too. As the fleet crossed the start-line that scenario wasn't too far-fetched. Arnaud Psarofaghis, helmsman, said: "Seeing SAP make an early start on the last race was pretty good for us. Then they came back into the game, but we did not give up and finished right in front of them, to finally win in Cardiff...for the very first time in six visits here! "There are still two Acts to go this season. With our team being only two points ahead of the Danes and the last Act counting for double, we will stay focused until the end and apply the same rigorous method that has got us this far." Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician, said: "It was a complex event with four windy days, incessant changes in position and a difficult start for us following Nils's groin injury during the first run. Our reserve teammate, Bryan Mettraux, joined us on the second day and, little by little, we worked hard to recover the deficit we'd accumulated after the first day. Once again, it proves that nothing is ever finished, even after what seems a bad run of luck." Bryan Mettraux, headsail trimmer, said: "Having been seven points down this morning on SAP, we had to take risks and with four wins on the first runs this afternoon that's where we made the difference." Pierre-Yves Jorand, team director, said: "I'm proud of the team's work this week. Cardiff is a demanding nautical stadium due to its small racing area and shifty wind, especially when it blows four days in a row. In fact, anything can happen at any moment!" While it was a good result for the team - and one that sees them gain a point on their Championship rivals, SAP - everything suggests it could come down to the wire in this 2018 Series. In the meantime, the team is already looking forward to this weekend's D35 racing on the Lake hosted by the Yacht Club de Genève from August 31st to September 2nd.   Click here for the general ranking of Act 5 after 29 races. Event hashtags #GoAlinghiGo // #Extremesailing To find out more If you want to know more about Alinghi's team or just about this regatta in general, you will find all that you need here. Photos credit: Vincent Curutchet / Lloyd Images

Top opening to the second half of the season

22 August, 2018

It is back to business for the Alinghi team after the summer break. On the programme for this second half of the season are three Acts in the Extreme Sailing Series (Cardiff (UK) from August 24 to 27 // San Diego (USA) from October 18 to 21 // Los Cabos (Mexico) from November 29 to December 2nd) and three D35 Trophy events (Yacht Club Open (YCG) from August 31st to September 2nd // Alinghi Grand Prix (CN Crans) from September 7th to 9th // Realstone Grand Prix presented by the Musée du Léman (SN Nyon) from 21 to 23 September). Currently leading the two championships, the team is open in its desire to continue its momentum and is delighted to again doing battle on Welsh waters in the coming days. Click here for the mid-season provisional general classification of the D35 Trophy and here for the Extreme Sailing Series.   Follow the action in Cardiff Here is how to follow the races that will be held from Friday 24 to Monday 27 August from 14h to 17h local time (UTC + 1, 1h less than in Switzerland): Live > via our website (races modeled in 3D Friday and Saturday, then live video on Sunday and Monday) > via our Twitter account @teamalinghi (results published after each race with some photos and short video moments) On demand > On Facebook and Instagram for video interviews and photos > On our website for news and replays of the races   Event hashtags #GoAlinghiGo // #Extremesailing To find out more If you want to know more about the race tracking system, the team composition and the race in general, you can find the event recap here. Photos credit: Lloyd Images, Loris Von Sieventhal, Eric Gachet

A-Z, winning from start to finish in Cascais

8 July, 2018

Rare enough that it deserves to be mentioned...From the first of the 28 races, which was won by Alinghi, right up until the last, the Swiss team held the lead in this fourth Act of the Extreme Sailing Series. With eleven race wins and only six races outside of the top three, the crew were united in their view that the sailing in the waters off Cascais set the bar high. SAP Extreme Sailing Team and INEOS Rebels UK completed the podium.   Arnaud Psarofaghis, helmsman, said: "We are really happy with the way we have approached this event and competed throughout these four days. The whole team did a great job, both on the water and on the ground preparing the boat. The racing conditions were good and there was no disrupting factors that affected our performance. In terms of the season's overall standings, and with three Acts to go, Oman Air loses a bit of ground on us here with its 4th place finish here and we have gained a point on SAP."   Tim Lapauw, trimmer and foil adjuster, is also our (comic, and 1st-placed) actor: In partnership with Sailors for the Sea, the event's organisers challenged the teams by asking them to create a video supporting environmental protection. Guess who's leaving with 1st place?! Click here to view "#Baaad #Goood"   The team looks forwards to seeing you from August 24 to 27 in Cardiff (United Kingdom) for the Act 5 of the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series. Click here for the general ranking of Act 4 after 28 races. Event hashtags #GoAlinghiGo // #Extremesailing To find out more If you want to know more about Alinghi's team or just about this regatta in general, you will find all that you need here. Photos credit: Lloyd Images