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

Below par in Hamburg

13 August, 2017

It is in the spirit of a team that, this evening, Alinghi reports this disappointing result. Click here to watch in their entirety the interviews following the end of racing. Tim Lapauw, foil regulator and trimmer: "Complicated, is one way of saying it. We finished sixth out of seven. It was by far our worst day on the Extreme Sailing Series for two years. " Yves Detrey, bowman: "We thought we had seen the worst of this event yesterday and thought that we’d get back on track, but today we could not find the solution. However, we also feel there’s nothing going our way. That said, we must have done something wrong – we thought we’d found it, we didn’t, but we will correct it in Cardiff!” Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician: "We are very disappointed tonight, it will be difficult to digest this week, but we will try to understand what happened and we will come back stronger." Nils Frei, headsail trimmer: "It's easy to be a team when you win, it's harder to be one when you lose. But we all know each other well, it is not a defeat like today that will destabilise us, so we remain confident for the future. " Pierre-Yves Jorand, Team manager: "We talked about the performance of the team, but we must also talk about how the opponents in general have improved. The past years we were up against two-to-three high-performance teams, whereas today we have six very strong teams to compete against. That means each place is hard fought, every single point must be battled for.   Alinghi now sits third in the overall ESS standings, four points behind leaders Oman Air and SAP Extreme Sailing Team, who are tied with 54 points. With three Acts still left to run, with the final counting for double, as Yves says so well: "It's never over until it's over."  #GoAlinghiGo !!! We will be meeting in Cardiff from Friday 25th to Monday 28th of August for Act 6 of the Extreme Sailing Series. Click here for the overall standings from Act 5 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

A cautious start, but a positive end to the day

12 August, 2017

Having temporarily occupied the second-to-last place in the general classification in the middle of the day, Alinghi found the resources and solutions to win the day's last two races.   Heading into the final day, Oman Air remains at the top of the fleet, eight points ahead of Red Bull Sailing Team and SAP Extreme Sailing Team who are tied with 84 points. There follows Alinghi and NZ Extreme Sailing Team with 82 points.   Nils Frei, headsail trimmer said:   "We did not start the day well, but we finished with two wins in a row. Sure, we have a few points to catch up, but fortunately we are still in the game. When you see that five boats are separated by just four points, everything suggests that it will come down to the last race, which counts for double, as so often is he case in the  Extreme Sailing Series. We take confidence in how we finished today so we will start again tomorrow!" Arnaud Psarofaghis, co-skipper and helm:   "These two victories are a great way to finish a day that had not begun very well, with bad starts and some errors on the course. The racing venue is very tough with a small arena, unsteady wind and strong current. We will analyze today's good and bad things and then apply the lessons to attack tomorrow."   Click here to watch Nils’ interview in its entirety (in German & French).     See you tomorrow from 2pm (local time) for the end of this competition, which you can also follow live (video & 3D graphics) by clicking here. At this same link, you can watch until Sunday morning the replay of the racing from today.    Click here for overall standings of Act 5. 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

A mixed day

11 August, 2017

The weak Hamburg wind and the Elbe current only allowed two races to be run among the seven international teams competing for the 5th stage of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series. For three hours of the afternoon, the 35 sailors, their technical crews and the race management were subjected to the vagaries of the local, rainy and suddenly feisty weather.   Apart from Oman Air, which won both legs run, all of the other teams suffered poor results, demonstrating the random character of the day's sailing conditions. The Land Rover BAR Academy team is currently in 2nd place despite only recording finishes of 3rd and 5th... However, everything remains in play if the wind consents to blow a little more during the next two days of competition. Pierre-Yves Jorand, Team leader, said: "We ended up in second position in the first race of the day, then the race committee tried to start a couple of more races; they were all abandoned because the wind just died and the boats couldn’t really fight against the current. "At around 4 o’clock, the RC started the final race of the day. We had a tough start and we ended up in last position, so not a great day for us here in Hamburg. "But the team will recover, we are going to talk about this tomorrow morning during the debrief and hopefully get a lot of races run tomorrow and Sunday." Nils Frei, headsail trimmer, focuses on the second race: "For the start, we wanted to be supported by the current by luffing to have more pressure. So we wanted to get the pin end of the starting line. A boat slipped in and we did not properly defend our position. Afterwards, all the windward boats "walked on us" and sent us bad air. It took us some time to restart with this very light wind. We are obviously disappointed with this round but we take them one after the other and there are still two days left. " Click here to watch Pierre-Yves’ interview in its entirety. See you tomorrow from 1:30pm (local time) for the continuation of this competition, which you can also follow live (video & 3D graphics) by clicking here. Click here for overall standings after 2 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