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.


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

Alinghi takes 2016 Extreme Sailing Series championship title

11 December, 2016

Four in a row secures the championship At the mid-seasons stage the task of overcoming their rival, Oman Air, would require no less than four wins from the last four Acts, a mammoth task. After winning in St Petersburg, Madeira and Lisbon, the Swiss team arrived at the grand finale in Sydney with the job nearly done, but with one last hurdle to overcome – the eighth and last stage in Sydney harbour. Having won this in Australia this weekend, Alinghi have done it – they are the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series Champions! Following on from previous victories in this Series aboard the Extreme 40s in 2008 and 2014, this win marks the first for Ernesto Bertarelli's team on the flying GC32s, making it three overall on this prestigious international circuit. Commenting, he said: "I am really delighted and proud of the team, whose season has been just immense." Arnaud Psarofaghis said: "This victory means a lot to me. I do not think I have fully taken it in! I feel very lucky, happy and privileged to be racing with an amazing team, the best there is. The guys did a very good job on board, as did David and Joao preparing the boat, not to mention Pierre-Yves, our coach. I would also like to thank Ernesto Bertarelli for giving me the opportunity to break my duck in the GC32 this season." Nicolas Charbonnier said: "I'm really happy today because the battle to get ahead of Oman and Red Bull was really very tough. It's fantastic to sail with this team, but more importantly a lot of fun. I hope that we will continue this momentum next year and compete for more championships." "Happy, fresh and available for another 10 races", laughed Yves Detrey, who had just finished a grueling day of sailing. "I'm so pleased with our win. It is the result of a job well done and a reward for all of our hard work." Tim Lapauw said: "It was really cool! I'm very happy! Great day, great regatta, great season. I am delighted to be part of this team." "We came to win: mission accomplished! Thanks to our partners: HYT, Swiss, Manotel and Marinepool for their support and to our supporters for their encouragement throughout the year. It is always with pride that we sail knowing that we have you all behind us", said Nils Frei. "That's it, we won! I am as happy as happy can be", said João Cabeçadas. David Nikles elaborated: "The sailors gave everything and stayed focused until the end to end this season. They deserve it." The final word belongs to the team's coach, Pierre-Yves Jorand: "A fantastic season, truly. The boys navigated perfectly and managed their races superbly in these latter events. Congratulations also to Joao and David, who make up our technical team, and thanks to our fans all over the world. It is always fun and rewarding to see a Swiss flag flying high when we are racing." Eight races sailed today, in winds varying from nine to 18 knots. The season has closed and Alinghi has met its objective, adding the first foiling Championship to its previous achievements. Overall ranking in Sydney after 25 races (four of which were in the split-fleet format): 1st - Alinghi (SUI): 238 points 2nd - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 226 points 3rd - Oman Air (OMA): 215 points Overall ranking of the 2016 championship after eight Acts: 1st - Alinghi (SUI): 101 points 2nd - Oman Air (OMA): 99 points 3rd - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 91 points Find all of the results in detail at   A Recap What: Grand final of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™, which has seen eight Acts in eight host cities, on three continents. Who: Eight international teams, each made up of a crew of five Where: Sydney Harbor (Australia), between the Opera House and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron When: Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th December How: Teams compete in short, fast races in front of the public on a 32-ft foiling catamaran, the GC32   Crew Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI) Headsail trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI) Headsail trimmer and foil adjuster: Timothé Lapauw (FRA) Tactician and mainsail trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA) Helm, co-skipper: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) Technical Team and Coach João Cabeçadas (POR) David Nikles (SUI) Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI)   #GoAlinghiGo Photos Credit : Jesús Renedo / Lloyd Images

Alinghi 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  

Extreme conditions, but Alinghi prove assured

8 December, 2016

"The conditions were pretty wild today in Sydney harbour. With such strong winds, our focus was on keeping control of the boat. We could foil, but we avoided doing anything crazy! To be confident of our manoeuvres we were even on our hands and knees as we traversed the net during the turns and gybes". So said Yves Detrey, Alinghi’s bowman and one of the toughest sailors on the circuit. It was a hard day in this, the opening of the grand final of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™, with an average wind of 20 knots and gusts up to 28. With this the situation, Alignhi’s caution proved a good decision, providing two second-place finishes and a victory in the day’s three races. Their rival for the Series, Oman Air, also won a race, but finished third and fourth in the others. In the middle of the afternoon, the race committee asked the competitors to return to the dock. Tim Lapauw explains: "In the third round, two boats capsized (Portuguese Visit Madeira and English Land Rover BAR Academy). Thankfully, there were no injuries or damages to the boats, but, understandably, for safety reasons, the race director preferred to stop there. We sailed well and are happy with our day. We were just really watchful and respectful of the conditions." So far, so good for the team, who now look to continue where they left off tomorrow. The standings in Sydney after three races, with 12 points for first place, 11 for second and so on, are: 1st – Alinghi (SUI): 2nd, 1st, 2nd: 34 points 2nd – Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 4th, 1st: 31 points 3rd – Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 1st, 6th, 3rd: 29 points Find all of the results at

Alinghi head to Sydney looking for the win

5 December, 2016

After its triumph on a monohull in the America's Cup and numerous victories on multihulls in the Decision 35 and Extreme 40 competitions, this week sees Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi try to add foiling catamarans to the list of boats on which they’ve won championships. Starting next Thursday the 8th and running until Sunday the 11th  Sydney will play host to the last Act of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ (ESS) with eight international teams doing battle in the iconic harbour between the Opera House and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. And at stake? A world-class sailing championship on the ‘flying’ GC32. Alinghi, the form team Timothé Lapauw, trimmer, comments: "Since September, we've had three wins in a row, so if anything the pressure is on our competitors in this last Act.”  And if there is pressure rising as the start in Australia draw closer, then it’s one that Tim enjoys. "Once on the water, I'm focused solely on my job. There is so much to do in this fast-racing format that I do not have time to think about anything else!" The skipper, Arnaud Psarofaghis, says: "I know that the pressure generated by what is at stake will help us to raise our level. The goal is clear for us all – win! We are eager to do battle and we are confident, but certainly don’t take anything for granted because our opponents are so strong and anything and everything can happen in this kind of racing.” Podium secured, but where upon it is not… The general classification for the 2016 Series currently reads: 1st  - Oman Air (OMA): 79 points 2nd  - Alinghi (SUI): 77 3rd  - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 73 4th  - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 61 5th  - Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR): 54 6th  - Visit Madeira (POR): 49 This eighth and final stage of the 2016 circuit counts for double, meaning the points in play in Sydney are 24 for first place, 22 for second and so on. In the case of a tie, the team best placed in Sydney will take the Series. At this stage of the competition, a place on the final podium is assured for Oman Air, Alinghi and Red Bull Sailing Team, but it of course remains to be seen in which order the leading trio will stand upon it finish. To win this championship, Alinghi must finish in front of Oman Air and not finish more than a place behind Red Bull. A Recap What: Grand final of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™, which has seen eight Acts in eight host cities, on three continents. Who: Eight international teams, each made up of a crew of five Where: Sydney Harbor (Australia), between the Opera House and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron When: Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th December How: Teams compete in short, fast races in front of the public on a 32-ft foiling catamaran, the GC32   Follow the action With up to eight races on each of the four days, there will be plenty of sport to enjoy, though do watch out for the time difference: UTC + 11, i.e. + 10 hours compared to Swiss time. Online, via the Alinghi homepage ( - Races modeled in 3D from December 8 to 11 - 90 minutes of live pictures on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th afternoon (from 3.30pm to 5pm local time) - Replay available at the end of the races On Twitter @alinghiteam: - Updates after each race On Facebook @teamalinghi: - Pictures and video interviews throughout the regatta - Live broadcast of the awards ceremony - Sunday 11 December from 17.45 local time (= 7.45 in Switzerland)   Crew Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI) Headsail trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI) Headsail trimmer and foil adjuster: Timothé Lapauw (FRA) Tactician and mainsail trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA) Helm, co-skipper: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) Technical Team and Coach João Cabeçadas (POR) David Nikles (SUI) Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI)