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

On Your Marks; Set; Go for Act 7

19 October, 2017

It is in San Diego, along Harbor Island Drive, that the Extreme Sailing Series caravan has rolled into this week to take up its quarters for Act 7 of the season. From Thursday 19th October until the 22nd, eight international teams will compete under the Californian sun for the spoils in a breeze that, typically, starts off light and then has a tendency to strengthen in the afternoon, hopefully allowing the GC32s to race onto their foils, which will be a spectacle for the fans and a lot of fun for the sailors. Alinghi is now in third place overall behind SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Oman Air. Alinghi's goal is clear: To win the penultimate stage of the circuit, thereby maximising its chances of winning the Championship in the last event, which will be held in early December in Los Cabos, Mexico. To follow the races, which will be held every day from 2-5pm local time (UTC-7, 9 hours less than in Switzerland), there are several options: Live > via our website (races modeled in 3D on Thursday & Friday, then broadcast live on Saturday and Sunday) > On Twitter @alinghiteam (results published after each race with a few photos and short video clips)   Watch on demand > On Facebook and Instagram for video interviews and photos > On our website for the daily recap and the replay of the races Live scoring as the races progress will be available here.   Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo  //  #Extremesailing   To find out more Photos credit ©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 here. Video bonus! Have you ever gone up to the top of a GC32? To see the interview of João at 17m altitude, it is here!

Alinghi back on the podium in ESS

28 August, 2017

Confidence returned to the team in Cardiff with Alinghi very much in the running, neck-and-neck with SAP until the last race. The Danes win this time but the Swiss remain convinced that they can have the last word ...   SAP and Alinghi were the main players all afternoon and made the suspense last.   Tim Lapauw, foil trimmer, said: "At the start of the first round we were four points behind SAP. We first lost one on them, then gained two, then lost three."   Fortunately the wind held and allowed racing to continue. The day's fourth race arrived: Alinghi wins, SAP finishes next-to-last. The gap between the two boats is just one point.   Tim continues: "After the fifth race of the day, we managed to be at the top of the provisional ranking, tied with SAP! The President of the race committee announced that the next race would be the last. Oman Air, 3rd, is nine points behind and therefore posing little menace."   And so, again, the winner of the Act would be decided in the last of the four day's faces, a shoot-out to decide who finishes in front of the other.   Nils Frei, headsail trimmer: "In this last race, the situation on the start was badly assessed by us. Due to a big wind shift to the right, we remained stuck windward side of the committee, with SAP escaping. In spite of that, we are happy with the way we sailed. We made some mistakes, but on the whole we were strong, both in speed, in manoeuvers and on starts, so it's very positive.   Pierre-Yves Jorand, Team Director:  "I found in the team a combative and warlike attitude. We fought for each metre because it is important to stay in touch to place an attack and then to be able to pass a boat. In my opinion, this is our best ESS event since China with a regatta that was competitive until the last run, as so often is the case in the Extreme Sailing Series. "   Click here to watch the interviews of Tim, Nils and Pierre-Yves (in French) in their entirety.   Fans of the ESS will require patience, because the competition now breaks until October 19 for Act 7, which will take place in San Diego. However, Alinghi will be back on track next weekend for the D35 Trophy’s continuation on Lake Geneva! Click here for the overall standings from Act 6 Click here for the 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

Waiting for the wind...

27 August, 2017

While waiting for the wind, we can: Go over the last few days and look at our performance Continue to prepare and improve the fine tuning the boat Hope for the wind to build up Respond to journalists' questions Take a nap - sorry, refocus by closing our eyes Continue to hope that the wind will build up Run exhibition races to entertain thousands of spectators on Cardiff Bay Turn to liquid in a neoprene suit Hand over the tiller to the 6th man (the guest aboard the boat during a race) And welcome, which comes as something of a blessing, the race committee's permission to return to dock because of the lack of wind in which there is simply no possibility of racing. And so, finally and in conclusion, teams actually do almost as much on a day like today as they would do on a day full of races, excepting, of course, the fact that the scoreboard does not vary by one iota at the end of the day! So now we cross our fingers, hoping to be able to return to racing tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the final day of this Act 6, which you can also follow live (live video and 3D graphics) by clicking here. Click here for the unchanged overall standings after 8 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

At the right tempo

26 August, 2017

Six races were run today in Cardiff Bay, with a tricky wind in both strength and direction, but one that made it possible to get up to nice speed and finally, get up on to the foils. What about the ranking? Alinghi won two races, SAP Extreme Sailing Team the same. Alinghi recorded a third place, two fourth places, but then so did SAP! As it stands yet, SAP lies just four small points ahead at the half-way stage in Wales. The difference between the two? Knots in the gennaker sheet around the winch which caused trouble for the Swiss during a tack on race 5, causing them to finish in the last position. At this level, every detail counts. However, two days remain to build upon a good start and close a small points gap. Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician: "We had some really good races, we had some others when we struggled a little bit more, but we are still in the game and I feel like we are sailing well, the team is working well together, we are happy to sail together in Cardiff so it's a good day. Regarding the big lead in the two races won today, he said: "We had a really good start with a good strategy and then when you are sailing ahead of the other guys, it makes a lot of things easier, but we will have to do even better to come back in the next races." Click here to watch the interview with Nicolas in its entirety.   See you tomorrow from 3pm (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 8 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