Extreme Sailing Series

The Extreme Sailing Series brings together the world’s elite teams for dramatic racing in venues around the world. For the 2017 season, the eleventh 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 has joined the Extreme Sailing Series circuit (ESS) – an especially exciting one-design competition.

Now in its eleventh season, the Series used to be raced on the Extreme 40 – indeed, Alinghi won the title in 2008 and 2014 – the foiling GC32 catamarans will be bringing again their uniquely exciting brand of all-action sailing to the tour, which takes in iconic stadium racing venues across the world, from China to Mexico in front of thousands of spectators.

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 bigger 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

A hard day on the water, but confidence remains

22 July, 2017

There are days when it’s with you, days when it’s not. Yesterday, Alinghi’s performance was almost perfectly choreographed; today, it was much more complicated. The team won one race, but in general things did not go to plan throughout the day. However, the team remained positive – “it happens, it’s sport…” The shame for the team was that such a day of misfortune came when a full ten races were run, meaning that they now train Oman Air, who have built a good gap at the top of the standings tonight. Red Bull and SAP Extreme, however, remain within the team’s reach. All the more so given that favourable weather is expected tomorrow, which should allow up to six or seven races, with 70-80 points therefore up for grabs. With that in mind, the team remains, as ever, confident and pulling together. Yves Detrey, Bowman: "It was a difficult day for us, even terrible in places. Nothing seemed to go our way, but really we have nobody to blame but ourselves. Our starts weren’t great and everything seemed to go wrong after that. “For now, we need some rest because today was certainly challenging physically with ten races in 12 knots of wind and sometimes sailing upwind with the gennaker. We will have a good debrief in the morning and come back stronger for the racing in the afternoon.” Click here to view Yves’ interview in its entirety. See you tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the last day of this Act 4, which you can also follow live (video & 3D graphics) by clicking here. At this same link, valid until Sunday morning, you can watch the replay of the racing from today. Click here for the overall standings after 16 races To find out more Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo  //  #Extremesailing If you want to know more about how to follow the racing, about Alinghi’s team, or just about this regatta in general, you will find all that you need by following this link. Photos credit © Lloyd Images

End of Act 3: 2nd place, 3 points from the winner

2 July, 2017

21 races in four days, 264 points distributed and, at the end, only three small points separating SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi, who finished in 2nd. Oman air completes the podium, five points behind. The numbers speak for themselves and reflect the level of competition at the top of the table. Once again, the final order of the podium was in play until the last race, which, counting for double points, meant that the result was not secure and that the racing would be tense until the last. Nils Frei, headsail trimmer, said: "It was a good day. We sailed really well in a light air, but unfortunately it was not quite enough to win the event. We had a lot to catch-up after the first day, which left us 11 points behind, but we narrowed that gap at the end to three. We sailed really solidly, but then so did SAP, who deserve the win here. Overall, it’s a good result, with 2nd better than 3rd, for sure – it was the first day that probably cost us the victory.” Pierre-Yves Jorand, team leader, said: "It was today a great performance from the team. We had a hard first day, but then, they sailed super well. Overall we are one point ahead in the season rankings and we are already looking forward to the next event. Goodbye Madeira, it has been a fantastic venue with a wonderful crowd every day coming to watch the races."   Tim Lapauw, foil regulator and trimmer, said: "There were good races today in light wind. We were strong, but so too were SAP and we finish second. Of course, we started the week wanting to win, and that's what we'll aim for in the next event in Barcelona."   Click here to review the live prize ceremony on Facebook and the interviews of Nils and Pierre-Yves after the podium presentation. After this stage in Portugal, Alinghi scores 34 points and still leads the provisional overall standings, one point ahead of SAP and four ahead of Oman air. We will be meeting in Barcelona from Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 July for Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series.  Click here for overall standings of Act 3   Click here for provisional overall standings of the championship To find out more   Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo  //  #Extremesailing   If you want to know more about how to follow the racing, about Alinghi’s team, or just about this regatta in general, you will find all that you need by following this link. Photos credit Lloyd Images