Extreme Sailing Series

The Extreme Sailing Series brings together the world’s elite teams for dramatic racing in venues around the world. For the 2018 season, the 12th 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 joined the Extreme Sailing Series circuit (ESS) – an especially exciting one-design competition that used to be raced on the Extreme 40, the boat on which Alinghi won the title in 2008 and 2014.

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 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

Off to a flying start with our foiling hats on

17 March, 2018

From the first run to the last – the 24th of this four-day Act - Alinghi led from the front, and all in various conditions. Indeed, the team started the final day with a lead of ten points. After being closely trailed by Oman Air, SAP Extreme Sailing Team took-up the pursuit, managing to narrow the gap to just two small points going into the double-point-scoring last race. In other words, everything to play for.   Arnaud Psarofaghis, helmsman and co-skipper, said after having crossed the finish line:  "In seven races today, this is the only time we finished in front of SAP, but it was the right time to do so!"   In four days of competition on the water of Muscat, Alinghi won five races, with SAP recording ten. However, Alinghi finished second 11 times and only missed the top-three four times, against eight for the Danes.   Yves Detrey, bowman, said:  "The key is in the consistency, a mantra we have applied to the end. Today we had some difficult starts and situations, but we fought for absolutely every point and in the end it came down to the last race heat, as is often the case in the Extreme Sailing Series. This is the first time we have won the event in Oman. We are delighted with this start to the season!"   Tempted to jump aboard the GC32 on its foils just after crossing the finish line in the last race of the day? Find it here. The team will see you again in two weeks on Lake Geneva to launch the D35!   Click here for the general ranking of Oman's Act 1 after 25 races. Event hashtags #GoAlinghiGo // #Extremesailing To find out more If you want to know more about Alinghi's team or just about this regatta in general, you will find all that you need here. Photos credit: Lloyd Images

What a finish!

4 December, 2017

To look at the points tally at the end of Act 8 one might think that the last day of racing did not contain any pitfalls for the Swiss team. However, to follow the last race of the event minute-by-minute, or even second-by-second, a different story is told! Before this double-points last one, the overall Championship went to SAP, who managed to put enough of a gap between themselves and Red Bull to secure the season win. Still, aside from a victory in the Act being at stake, second place in the Championship was still in play. Whomever of Alinghi or Oman Air finished in front of the other, would claim the spot. From one tack to the other, the sailors held us in suspense. Halfway through this last race, Oman Air was even positioned to win the Act and to keep their second place overall. They were, however, perhaps not counting on Alinghi reviving its fortunes. The end of race 20 saw real mano-a-mano racing and, when the dust settled, it was Arnaud, Nicolas, Nils, Tim and Yves who won the duel, securing both the Act win - the team's first since Act 2 - and second place in the Championship. Ernesto Bertarelli, skipper, said: "After a difficult phase this summer, Alinghi has raised the bar since Act 6 in Cardiff. Tonight I am very proud of the team and the result they produced in Los Cabos." Pierre-Yves Jorand, coach: "It was an exciting season of ups and downs for the team. We learned much, especially that we must never give up and that we must always fight to the end, because in sailing and with these competition formats, anything can happen." Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician: "What a battle with Oman Air and SAP all throughout this year! I have only one desire for us now: Come back even stronger next year!" Nils Frei, trimmer: "It was a season with fluctuations, one that ebbed and flowed. We started well, then had a slump in Hamburg, before regrouping and beginning again in a positive waystarting. I really enjoyed the way we sailed this Act. We are, naturally, a little disappointed not to win the Championship, but we know that it was not here in Mexico that it was decided. However, it was important for us to finish well and, on this point, we are satisfied with the job we did." For the end-of-the-season video commentary, click here. To relive Act 8 with race replays, click here. The entire Alinghi team congratulates SAP Extreme Sailing Team for their victory in the 2017 Championship, thanks its partners and many fans for their support and looks forward to seeing you on the water in 2018! The standings for Act 8 in Los Cabos after 20 races: 1st - Alinghi: 224 points 2nd - Oman Air: 212 points 3rd - SAP Extreme Sailing Team: 209 points 2017 Championship standings after eight Acts: 1st - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 98 points 2nd - Alinghi (SUI): 96 points 3rd - Oman Air (OMA): 95 points Click here for the results in their entirety. Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo // #Extremesailing To find out more Photo credit ©Lloyd Images To find out more about the race tracking system, team composition and the event in general, you can find the event recap by clicking here.

Placed for the final assault

3 December, 2017

In two days and over 11 races, Alinghi won a remarkable nine. The team has consolidated its lead in the Act, but it still lacks a further boat to come between them and SAP, which is necessary in order to clinch the victory in the annual championship. Will salvation come from the Red Bull Sailing Team? Currently they lie in 4th place, 12 points behind SAP. As such, it seems a tough ask, but with five to six races scheduled tomorrow and a final race that counts for double points, anything can happen. On Alinghi's side, the team will, of course, continue to race as we have done until today to confirm our first place in the Act 8, we will try to put pressure on SAP and, maybe, we might consider also giving a boost to the "bull-boat with wings"... Yves Detrey, bowman, said: "The first race of the day was like a cold shower. In fact, we did not see NZ Extreme arrive on starboard, so we had to last minute tack under them and then tack once again to get to the next mark. Obviously that meant we lost ground and position, with no possibility of recovery, finishing last. After this brutal awakening, we returned to our previous form and nailed four consecutive victories! We made pretty decent starts, we sailed on good lines with good speed and our manoeuvres were excellent. After a slump this summer during Act 5, I would say that we have reached again the level of sailing from the end of last season when we won everything." Arnaud Psarofaghis, helm and co-skipper: "The crew did a great job today, manoeuvering the boat and tactically. After a very bad first race we managed to turn the tide to win all the others and position ourselves to have a chance of going for the Championship tomorrow. We will aim to win this event, but also to finish as far above SAP as possible, which is our chance for the title. It's up to us now to get back to the top of the podium." See you tomorrow at 2 pm local time (UTC-7, 8h less than in Switzerland) for the closing of Act 8 and the 2017 season, which you can follow live or replay by clicking here. And for the standings after the 17 races so far, click here. Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo // #Extremesailing To find out more Photo credit ©Lloyd Images To find out more about the race tracking system, team composition and the event in general, you can find the event recap by clicking here.

The sort of day we like

1 December, 2017

Not two, not three, not four, but a massive five straight wins for Alinghi on the waters off Los Cabos during this second day of racing. It was only Oman Air who managed to finish ahead of the team, just in front of our bow, in the sixth and last race of the day. Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician, said: "Listen, just because it might seem easy, it doesn't mean that it is! With a wind direction that did not stop moving, we were never able to apply the same strategy twice. However, the whole team was very good at adapting to the conditions. We were inspired, we went fast and we had great starts, which helps a lot on short courses. There are days like that where everything just goes right, it was a pretty magical day. " Thanks to the team's hard work and flawless focus, the Swiss lead Act 8's provisional standings, six points ahead of Oman Air and 11 points over SAP. Midway, there is still some way to go, especially as to win the whole Championship would require a second boat between us and SAP. For now, Red Bull (4th) are 14 points behind the Danes and the New Zealanders (5th) a further five points back. See you tomorrow at 2 pm local time (UTC-7, 8h less than Switzerland) for the 3rd day of the racing, which you can follow live or in replay here. And the overall classification after 12 races is here. Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo // #Extremesailing To find our more Photo credit ©Lloyd Images To find out more about the race tracking system, the composition of the team and the event in general, the event recap is here.