News

Towards a crescendo in Qingdao

30 April, 2017

We had been warned of the 'random' nature of the local weather and Qingdao is keeping all of its promises! The waters within Fushan Bay, a nautical stadium bracketed by two sea walls and the city's coastline, delivered a range of conditions this afternoon, going from weak airs to abrupt gusts of over 25 knots, as recorded by the measuring equipment on board. As the wind increased, so too, did the speed of the racing legs, meaning that zone in which the boats sailed is limited by natural barriers. The more the wind rose, the more the GC32 began to lift on their hulls, then up onto their foils, making for an excellent spectacle for the astonished Chinese watching crowds, whose cries of "Ohhhhh" and "Whaaaa" of surprise gave voice to how fun it was to watch. As the wind increased, however, the boats became more difficult to manage and it took all of the sailors' talents to keep them on the right lines and under their control. In that context, Alinghi even narrowly avoided capsizing on the exit to a jibe (the images are obviously online!). In the end, seven validated races were run under a variety of conditions in which the young teams of Land Rover BAR Academy and NZ Extreme Sailing Team performed very well to join Alinghi on the provisional podium. The Swiss team keeps its first place and will start the final day of this Act 2 four small points ahead, a sign of great battles to be anticipated tomorrow! Straight after « hoisting João » up in the rig, Bryan Mettraux shares his impressions of the day in a video on our Facebook page. See you tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the 4th and final day of this ESS Act in a China. After the ten races (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) the overall standings are: 1st - Alinghi (SUI) : 102 points 2nd - Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) : 98 points 3rd - NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) : 96 points 4th - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) : 90 points 5th - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) : 89 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © Sean team, Xaume Olleros et Alinghi 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 in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo

No wind, no change

29 April, 2017

There's just one scenario where a day without wind, and therefore without racing, can in any way be seen as favourable: When you are already leading the regatta and so, without doing anything, you stay at the top of the rankings. Pierre-Yves Jorand, team manager, said: "There really was not enough wind to get the sails full. At the end of the afternoon, the race director tried to lay out a course and launch the boats in pairs, in match racing mode, in order to give the public a bit of entertainment, but it was really lacking the wind to run. The forecasts seem more favorable tomorrow, with a strong east wind approaching and so we cross the fingers!" To watch our coach's interview in full, check our Facebook page here. Did you know? João Cabeçadas is not only a passionate rigger, he also inspires younger generations to get into sailing. This morning, he was visited by young Chinese children to whom he introduced our workshop container and the GC32. Check out the pictures on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts! Check back tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the third day of competition...hopefully windy! (No change since yesterday) After the first three races (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) the overall standings are: 1st - Alinghi (SUI): 1st, 2nd, 2nd > 34 points 2nd - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 4th, 4th, 1st > 30 points 3rd - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 2nd, 1st, 6th > 30 points 4th - NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL): 7th, 3rd, 3rd > 26 points 5th - Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 7th, 5th > 24 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © Alinghi 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 in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo

A shortened, but productive day

28 April, 2017

Everything was in place for a full day of racing on this, the opening of Act 2 of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao: The course laid out and seven teams looking forward to the battle. Alas, the wind, too weak at the start of the afternoon, had other ideas. For the first hour and a half, because of the unstable wind, which was of the type that can make the finish line a complete lottery, the GC32s took part in 'non-scoring races' – that is, races that got the fleet out on the water, but which counted for nothing in the overall scheme. Suddenly, however, between 10 and 14 knots of breeze filled the bay, making possible three competitive races and providing beautiful images of foiling catamarans for the telephoto lenses of a hundred photographers lined-up on the sea-wall – home to the Qingdao Olympic Nautical Centre – who enjoyed a direct view of the racing. For those who like statistics, Alinghi were today only 6% off a faultless performance, having recorded one win (12 points) and two second-place finishes (11 points each), meaning that they scored 34 points from a total of the 36 on offer. SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Red Bull Sailing team occupy the remaining two places on the provisional podium, each with 30 points. Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician, said: "The opening day's performance is, of course, in line with the objectives we set ourselves, but concentrating on what we need to do remains our priority. We bank what we have achieved, but start tomorrow from a clean slate, knowing that with three days of racing to come – and in conditions that are capable of changing, rapidly – everything remains to be done." To watch our tactician's full debriefing about the day, check our Facebook page by clicking here Check back tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the second day of racing. After the first three races (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) the overall standings are: 1st - Alinghi (SUI): 1st, 2nd, 2nd > 34 points 2nd - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 4th, 4th, 1st > 30 points 3rd - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 2nd, 1st, 6th > 30 points 4th - NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL): 7th, 3rd, 3rd > 26 points 5th - Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 7th, 5th > 24 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © Xaume Olleros 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 in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo

"Nĭ hăo" - Hello Qingdao!

26 April, 2017

T-minus two days until the start of the second Act of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™, which will take place in China from Friday 28 April to Monday 1 May. For the seventh consecutive year, Qingdao – the host city for sailing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics – will welcome the ESS fleet. It's a place that holds happy memories for Alinghi's tactician, Nicolas Charbonnier, who won bronze in the 470 series in those 2008 games. Alinghi's bowman, Yves Detrey, echoes the opinion of all who have sailed in Fushan Bay when he says: "Here everything and anything can happen. With the skyscrapers framing the bay making for a very variable wind, the watchword has to be adaptability. During open-water regattas (outside the bay), we have to deal with the current, while in 'stadium racing' mode (very close to the shore and to the public), whether the wind is weak or strong, the water is very disturbed anyway. Having won the event last year, we know that we are able to adapt here and do what we need to do whatever the conditions. This week, our goal is clear: win! After our 2nd place in Oman a month ago, we are keen to go one better and take the lead in the overall standings after this stage." Adapt on the water, but not just there... Yves Detrey: "Two factors have disrupted our preparation for this Act. The first, logistical, does not concern us too much, especially since every team is in the same situation. The containers carrying boats and equipment were delayed by two days, leaving us less time than usual to carry out the assembly and to launch the GC32 and the semi-rigid. But, as I said, with all teams facing the same issue and with us not having big work to do on our boat, we can certainly cope. "The second disruptive factor is a bit more of a pain, especially for Nils. Our iconic trimmer has, unfortunately, broken his foot, an injury suffered in mid-April. We've brought the young and experienced Bryan Mettraux on board to replace him. Given the similarities in terms of Nils's and Bryan's abilities, this change won't have an impact in terms of individual performance, but what we all need to focus on as a team is how we communicate, which is of all importance. That's why we will be doing a double-training session to make sure we all know our lines. "Fortunately, Bryan is a veteran trimmer with Realteam, who races these boats on the GC32 Racing Tour and we all met in Switzerland last week to review the "who does what" on the various manoeuvres." Bryan Mettraux was practically born on a boat. After three years of Optimist and three years of 420, he joined the Centre d'Entraînement à la Régate (Geneva) in 2008 to sail on the Tour de France of Sailing and on the Décision 35 circuit. For the following three seasons he sailed with Team Realstone (D35 & Extreme 40), then for two seasons with Team Tilt (D35 & GC32). Now 27, he is racing with Realteam on the GC32 tour, training that team for their D35 sailing, and working as a shipbuilder in the winter at the Philippe Durr shipyard. Undoubtedly his experience, power and height – 6ft'4, or 1.95m – will be valuable assets for Alinghi. Bryan Mettraux said: "I'm looking forward to sailing with the Alinghi team. I have already sailed a lot with Arnaud and I know the position, so I have no particular apprehensions. I just have to adapt as quickly as possible to the peculiarities of the crew work during our one day of training on Thursday. " Racing starts on Friday, April 28 at 2pm (local time), with up to 10 races planned. A RECAP : What: "The Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 2, Qingdao, Mazarin Cup", second Act of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™, which comprises eight events, in eight host cities on three continents. Who: Seven international teams, each composed of five sailors Where: Qingdao, China (on the east coast, between Beijing and Shanghai) When: Between Friday 28th April and Monday 1st May How: Teams compete over short and fast courses in front of the public aboard a 32ft flying, foiling catamaran: the GC32 Follow the action Follow the Alinghi Team from the 28th of April to 1st of May (up to 10 races each afternoon – but be aware of time difference : GMT + 8 hours, + 6 hours compared to Swiss time): Online, via www.alinghi.com and www.extremesailingseries.com > Races modeled in 3D from Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May > Live racing from Sunday 30th April to Monday 1st May, from 2pm local time until the end of racing > Replays available at the end of racing On Twitter @alinghiteam > Updates after each race On Facebook @teamalinghi and on Instagram @alinghi > Interviews, videos, photos throughout the regatta Alinghi's GC32 Team Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI) Headsail Trimmer: Bryan Mettraux (SUI), replacing the injured Nils Frei (SUI) Foil regulator: Timothé Lapauw (FRA) Tactician and mainsail trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA) Helm, co-skipper: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) Technical Team João Cabeçadas (POR) David Nikles (SUI) Trainer and Team Director Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI) To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo #Extremesailing Credit for photos © Lloyd Images

It's 'TBC' as to how the top three will be ordered

10 March, 2017

On the eve of the outcome of this Act 1 of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series in Oman, the competition between the top three is fiercer than even yesterday. After 21 races, only four points separate SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Oman Air and Alinghi. We shall find out tomorrow, when, after the last race, the winner's name will be etched on the trophy. Things are so close that it could be a tie, but there's a rule for that: The boat best placed in the last race wins. It could come down to it... Alinghi's youngest sailor, Tim Lapauw, joined the team's coach to shed some light on this busy day, and the tactics for tomorrow. Tim Lapauw, foil trimmer: "It was super conditions in Oman for this penultimate day. The wind blew between 10 and 13 knots, which enabled us to do nine races, a record for one afternoon. I think we're all going to sleep well tonight! "We are third overall, ready and waiting for SAP and Oman Air ahead of us. Red Bull are now a bit further back after a disqualification for a false start under the black flag rule, the equivalent of 12 points lost, and also suffered of less consistency at the front. In terms of Alinghi, we had a great start to the day, moving to the top of the general standings after a couple of wins. They were then followed by a few fourth and fifth place finishes, which dropped us down the table, but we're still only three points off Oman Air in second, and four behind SAP, who lead. As always, it's tight and it will be decided tomorrow. We will give everything, because we are here to win!" Pierre-Yves Jorand, coach: "Consistency, consistency, consistency – that's the key to success tomorrow. The team that finishes in the top three in the races most regularly will be the one that prevails. If the weather tomorrow is as favorable as it was today, there will be about 80 points on offer, which is a lot. It will be necessary to remain concentrated for three hours and leave no room for a possible slump. "For example, today, the challenge lay in the mid-afternoon change to the type of start and to the course. It was therefore necessary to review our starting procedure methods and our subsequent strategies. In this game you have to adapt, and fast. If you don't, as some teams found, points can be lost. "Finally, as we enter the fourth day, the physical condition becomes key, and not just the sailors, but the boat's materials too. As far as we are concerned, we arrived for some twenty days of sailing here in Oman. As we approach the end, the muscles are on fire and the boat's materials are getting close too. You can see the proof of this in how many teams needed maintenance periods in between each run. These GC32s are absolutely fantastic boats, but their complicated mechanics require a lot of maintenance. Tomorrow it will be a matter of having sailors well rested and a boat perfectly prepared. The team is already in bed after dinner at 6:30 pm and with João and David our boat is in excellent hands." For tomorrow Saturday, check back at 1:30pm (local time) for the final day of this Act 1 broadcast live video on Facebook and Youtube. The awards' ceremony will be held at 5:30 pm (local time). After 21 races, the overall standings of Act 1 of the 2017 ESS in Oman (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) read: 1st - SAP EXTREME SAILING TEAM (DEN): 116 points after the 2nd day + places today of 1st + 2nd + 4th + 3rd + 2nd + 6th + 1st + 4th + 2nd> 208 points 2nd - OMAN AIR (OMA): 117 pts + 4th, 5th, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 6th> 207 points 3rd - ALINGHI (SUI): 114 pts + 3rd + 1st + 1st + 5th + 4th, 4th, 5th, 3rd, 1st> 204 points 4th - RED BULL SAILING TEAM (AUT): 116 pts + 5th + 4th + 8th + 8th + disqualified for premature start + 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 8th> 185 points 5th - TEAM TILT (SUI): 93 pts + 2nd + 7th + 5th + 6th + 5th + 1st + 4th + 5th + 4th> 171 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results THE RECAP What: 1st stage of the Extreme Sailing Series ™ 2017 circuit comprising eight events, in eight host cities, on three continents Who: Nine international teams, each composed of five team members Where: Muscat, Oman
When: Wednesday 8th to Saturday 11th March How: Teams compete over short courses in front of the public on a 32 foot foiling catamaran: the GC32 Tracking the racing Follow the Alinghi team from the 8th to 11th of March (up to 10 races each afternoon – but be aware of the time difference: GMT + 4 hours, + 3 hours compared to Swiss time): Online, via the Alinghi homepage (www.alinghi.com) or at www.extremesailingseries.com > Races modeled in 3D from 9th to the 11th of March > Live video on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th afternoon (from the beginning of the races, until the end) > Replays available at the end of the races On Twitter @alinghiteam > Thread after each race On Facebook @teamalinghi and Instagram @alinghi > Video and video interviews throughout the regatta Alinghi's GC32 Crew Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI) Headsail trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI) Foil Adjuster: Timothé Lapauw (FRA) Tactician and mainsail trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA) Helm, co-skipper: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) Technical team João Cabeçadas (POR) David Nikles (SUI) Coach and Team Leader Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI) To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo #Extremesailing Photo credit
 © Lloyd Images

It's tight at the top in Oman!

9 March, 2017

At the midway point of racing in Oman, four boats are competing at the top of the rankings having widened the gap on their pursuers. Oman Air took the lead tonight, just one point ahead of Red Bull Sailing Team alongside SAP Sailing Team. Alinghi lies in wait, two points behind. As Nicolas (tactician) said yesterday, in the ESS a single race can upset the order, so it is not wise to think that anything is settled, either way. With each place worth a point, with several races per day, and with four contenders for victory not accustomed to easing the pressure on one another, the battle for the top is expected to rage until the last race of Saturday, a race that has the added interest of counting for double points. Nils Frei, headsail trimmer: "This second day of racing started with 10-11 knots of wind, but it quickly faded to seven. In other words, it was a real day of light wind, with a flat sea, little foiling and gentle passing manoeuvres in the afternoon. "We were still able to run five races with us recording three third place finishes, one fifth and then a first in the last race of the day. Now that we have opened our account for wins this season, it's our job to increase the balance! "Overall, it has been a good series for us. We achieved the second best performance of the day (after Oman Air) and nibbled away at those ahead of us. That said, we can still sail better. I think we were at a slightly higher level at the end of last year, so we have to continue to refine a few small points to once again be at the top. Anyway, everything remains open over the next two days given the small gap separating the top four - we have to treat each race as a blank slate." Tomorrow, Friday, the start of the first possible race has been advanced to 1pm due to lighter weather forecast than today. Here's hoping that the wind up when the teams line up! The live video online will start at the beginning of the regattas. After day two, the general classification after 12 races (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) reads: 1st - Oman Air (OMA): 65 points after the 1st day + places today of 4th, 4th, 2nd, 1st, 2nd> 117 points 2nd - Red Bull S.T. (AUT): 68 pts + 2nd + 2nd + 4th + 6th + 3rd> 116 points 3rd - SAP Extreme S.T. (DEN): 69 pts + 1st + 6th + 1st + 2nd + 8th> 116 points 4th - Alinghi (SUI): 64 pts + 5th + 3rd + 3rd + 3rd + 1st> 114 points 5th - Team Tilt (SUI): 54 pts + 8th + 1st + 5th + 5th + 7th> 93 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results THE RECAP What: 1st stage of the Extreme Sailing Series ™ 2017 circuit comprising eight events, in eight host cities, on three continents Who: Nine international teams, each composed of five team members Where: Muscat, Oman
When: Wednesday 8th to Saturday 11th March How: Teams compete over short courses in front of the public on a 32 foot foiling catamaran: the GC32 Tracking the racing Follow the Alinghi team from the 8th to 11th of March (up to 10 races each afternoon – but be aware of the time difference: GMT + 4 hours, + 3 hours compared to Swiss time): Online, via the Alinghi homepage (www.alinghi.com) or at www.extremesailingseries.com > Races modeled in 3D from 9th to the 11th of March > 3hrs of live images on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th afternoon (from the beginning of the races, until the end) > Replays available at the end of the races On Twitter @alinghiteam > Thread after each race On Facebook @teamalinghi and Instagram @alinghi > Video and video interviews throughout the regatta Alinghi's GC32 Crew Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI) Headsail trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI) Foil Adjuster: Timothé Lapauw (FRA) Tactician and mainsail trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA) Helm, co-skipper: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) Technical team João Cabeçadas (POR) David Nikles (SUI) Coach and Team Leader Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI) To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo #Extremesailing Photo credit
 © Lloyd Images

Lead heading into the season's final day

10 December, 2016

For the five Alinghi teammates and the other seven teams in the running, this penultimate day of competition was synonymous with action and endurance. In wind of 13 to 20 knots, the race director Phil Lawrence launched eight races, each consisting of three laps of the course. It must be admitted that the weather and conditions can be quite magical in Sydney Bay: the setting is sublime and the wind has allowed for a flying spectacle, sometimes epic, on each of the 17 races launched since Thursday. Arnaud Psarofaghis, Alinghi's helm said: "With an average start on the first race of the day, we could only manage a 6th place. But we improved straightaway, picking up two 3rd places, two second and three wins. That meant we had the best of it out of all the fleet with 85 points added to our total. Red Bull also had a great day and moved ahead of Oman in the overall standings. It is difficult to point out what really makes the difference between the teams, since we're all so close - indeed, five out eight have won in Sydney. For our part, we seek to navigate in a simple way, execute nice manoeuvres and concentrate on just running the boat. It seems that the strategy is paying off, in any case. Anyway, it's been a great day and we have the satisfaction of a job well done. Tomorrow we will continue in the same spirit." After three days of racing, Alinghi is now six points ahead of Red Bull Sailing Team and 19 ahead of Oman Air. Not enough, however, to mean that the deal is done, given how radically things can change with one or two bad races. Especially since the last race of tomorrow will count for double points. Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician said: "To prepare for the final day of racing, we will first try to rest to recover from a very physical day. We will do a debriefing session tomorrow morning to identify a few small improvements and then we will continue to methodically apply our strategy without focusing too much on our two main opponents, because the races come thick and fast, as does the distribution of points for doing well in them! If there is pressure, it just pushes us to give the best of ourselves." The 2016 season will be settled this Sunday between 14:00 and 17:00 (local time, UTC + 11) Prize-giving scheduled for 17:45 (local time, UTC + 11)   The general standings after 17 races (four of which were in the split-fleet format) are: 1st - Alinghi (SUI): 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 1st: 152 points 2nd - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 1st, 6th, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st, 4th, 5th: 146 points 3rd - Oman Air (OMA ): 3rd, 4th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 7th, 6th, 4th: 133 points Find all of the results in detail at http://www.extremesailingseries.com/results/2016-Sydney