Racing:

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.

THE RACING

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 BOAT

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

"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 + 7 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

Alinghi second in Muscat, just pipping Oman Air

11 March, 2017

What a battle it was in Muscat! Having said yesterday how tight things stood at the top, we couldn't have envisaged just how true that would be. With 270 points assigned after 27 races, Oman Air and Alinghi were ultimately separated by the rule of whomever finishes ahead in the last race, wins the duel. Alinghi did and thus secured second place on the podium behind SAP Extreme Sailing Team, deserving winners of this first ESS Act of 2017. Yves Detrey, Number 1: "It was pretty Rock'n Roll on the water today! 20 knots of wind and big waves, in which the bow of the boat was literally crashing. It was intense, but we went there this morning with the desire to do well and we fought to the end to get this second place. "We are tired physically after five busy weeks in Oman but happy with the result - very happy even." Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician and mainsail trimmer: "I'm happy when you win ... so I'm almost happy" (smiles ...). SAP sailed very well this week, it is a deserved victory. Let's focus on the fact that this is only the first test of a long season, so we have to just look to how we can build upon this performance." Nils Frei, headsail trimmer: "I would not be saying anything new if I were to say second place is better than third, but not as good as first, so we are happy, but remain focused on moving forward and on securing wins. "It was really tight at the top of the rankings during those four days and we were able to move from fourth to third place, then today from third to second, so we are still satisfied." Arnaud Psarofaghis, helmsman and co-skipper: "At the start of the last race of the day, we were third overall, four points behind second, Oman Air. "The sailors of SAP, on the other hand, were out in front and hardly reachable. "We knew that we had to finish ahead of Oman and put a boat between them and us to finish second. For that, we had two options: either take the risk of blocking them at the start, or do our own race as best we could. We opted for the latter. Team Tilt won this last race, with SAP in second, us fifth and Oman seventh. Our thanks then to the Kiwis, Tawera Racing, who separated us from our rivals and enabled us to get second place on the podium. "It's a good start to the season for us. We were not at our best but we are happy to finish at this place." Pierre-Yves Jorand, coach: "It was a day of sailing that had it all! 20 knots of wind, waves, speeds of more than 30 knots; we were part of a real spectacle. The boys did a good job. They fought for every metre and, as so often happens, the final rankings were decided in the last race with the double point scoring system. Congratulations to the team, it is a good second place at the beginning of the season." Ernesto Bertarelli, skipper (retained in Europe by his professional commitments, but who dialled in to offer his congratulations): "The season as a whole is evaluated on the basis of the points that we accrue in each Act. The score we gained today is therefore an important one. I'm very happy with the team's work and the result. To see how they fought for four days is great and suggests we will be in for a close and exciting championship this year, so much so the better!"   The Alinghi team will see you at the end of March for the launch of its Decision 35 on Lake Geneva and at the end of April for Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao, China. General ranking of the Oman Act 1 after 27 races: 1st - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 286 points 2nd - ALINGHI (SUI): 270 points 3rd - OMAN AIR (OMA): 270 points 4th - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 247 points 5th - Team Tilt (SUI): 235 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 For photos, videos & interviews: > Online: www.alinghi.com & www.extremesailingseries.com > Twitter @alinghiteam > Facebook @teamalinghi > Instagram @alinghi 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) Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo #Extremesailing Photo credit © 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