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ALINGHI 2017: The D35 Trophy, Extreme Sailing Series and the first ever GC32 Class Championship

23 January, 2017

In its 23rd season of competitive sailing, Alinghi will line-up on two circuits, as well as take part in a new championship for the GC32 class. Competing against some of the world's most prestigious racing stables, Alinghi will be going for a sixth victory in the D35 Trophy, as well as aiming to repeat last year's performance and win in the Extreme Sailing Series. Ernesto Bertarelli is founder, owner and skipper of the Alinghi sailing team. He outlines Alinghi's thinking behind the upcoming 2017 season: "The Alinghi spirit was forged by our exploits and victories on Lake Geneva, long before the America's Cup. That is why our participation in the D35 Trophy was never in doubt. It's where we come from, it's in our DNA and, whatever my schedule, I make it a priority to lead Alinghi on the D35 circuit. "Our successes on the Lake are extremely important to us and, believe you me, winning the big prizes, like the D35 or the Bol d'Or, is just as tough and just as satisfying as getting on the most acclaimed international podiums. "With regards the Extreme Sailing Series, Alinghi will be defending its title in 2017. Being the defending champions, we know that we have our work cut out, because we have become the ones to beat, but also because – and this is what makes the Extreme Sailing Series so good – the standard of all of our competitors is so high. We saw some amazing performances in 2016, notably from SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Red Bull Sailing Team and Oman Air. It was always close and hard-fought racing and, given that all of the teams will continue to improve, we need to make sure that we are ready to compete. "We therefore are also looking forward to participating in the first ever GC32 Class Championship, which will take place between the 28th of February and the 5th of March in Muscat (Oman) and in which teams from both the GC32 racing tour and the Extreme Sailing Series will participate. Exciting times ahead!" Alinghi: Team spirit is at the heart of our approach Ernesto Bertarelli: "It's no great secret that the key to a successful sailing team is teamwork. We have a long history of success, which breeds know-how and a determination to win. I've sailed with some of my teammates for more than 20 years now and also we have been able to integrate some of the best young sailors of the new generation. Take Arnaud Psarofaghis, for example, one of the premier talents in sailing. He was only 14 when Alinghi won its first America's Cup in 2003. Today, we are co-helming the GC32 and sailing together on the D35 Trophy on Lake Geneva. "Alinghi just has this superb team ethic, something I've always put at the forefront of what we try to do. It is not just about the guys on the boat, but also a fantastic technical team and a coach who is second to none. It is precisely the richness and variety of experience of each member of the team that makes Alinghi stand out. Each member can share and express their own experiences and ideas with the rest of the team, and spending as much time together as we do helps us to learn from one another and allows every member to up their game. This is also where the hard work of the past years comes into play; all the hours and hours of training together on the Lake came to fruition. "Finally, I believe that one of our strengths is that we are able to question ourselves and to learn from failures, enabling us to come back stronger. I could not be more proud of our team." Keep improving to stay at the top Arnaud Psarofaghis, GC32 co-skipper & co-helm, D35 mainsail trimmer: "We fully match Ernesto's way of thinking. We believe above all in teamwork. For me, it is a great thrill to race with a team I dreamt about sailing with as a youngster growing up on the shores of Lake Geneva. It was a great moment in Sydney - winning the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series - and we worked for it, but the next hardest thing is to do it again because everyone will improve and many more people with experience will come into the fleet, so it's going to be even harder this year. "I believe that there are lots of areas where our team can still improve. In sailing, you can always gain everywhere. One particular focus for 2017 will be trying to play the percentage game a little more when a race is going against the team. That means, for example, instead of trying to go for a big play that could produce a podium finish, but also risks finishing in the cheap seats, we will, with our tactician Nicolas Charbonnier, try to go for a safer option that gives us a few points but avoids the risk of disaster. "That's easy to say before you are racing, but when you are out on the water, it is really hard to make decisions that could be the difference between beating one boat or losing out against five others. You need to take risks, but in some positions we need to be careful not to throw everything away." Composition of the team The crew will remain the same in what will be: - Their 14th year competing in the D35 Trophy (with 13 podiums, including five victories) - And their 7th year in the Extreme Sailing Series (with four podiums and three victories) Ernesto Bertarelli and Arnaud Psarofaghis will share the responsibilities as co-skipper and co-helm on the GC32, while on the D35 Ernesto will helm and Arnaud trim the mainsail. Nicolas Charbonnier, Olympic bronze medallist in the 470 class, will operate as tactician both on the D35 & the GC32. Nils Frei, who first competed onboard Alinghi in 2001, will continue his role as headsail trimmer both on the D35 & the GC32. Yves Detrey, who was part of Alinghi's 2003, 2007 and 2010 America's Cup campaigns, remains on bow both on the D35 & the GC32. Timothé Lapauw, the youngest on the team at just 20 years of age and who made his debut last season, will return as floater on the GC32. Coraline Jonet, who was in the hospitality team during the 32nd and 33rd America's Cup joined the D35 sailing team in 2008, will be floater on the D35. Supporting the onboard team will be longstanding Alinghi crewmember, Pierre-Yves Jorand, who will continue to deliver guidance as coach and team leader, alongside the expert shore crew, David Nikles, João Cabeçadas and Claudy Dewarrat. 2017 Sporting calendar D35 Trophy Grand prix d'ouverture – Société nautique de Genève: 5th – 7th May Grand prix Realstone – Club nautique de Versoix: 20th & 21 May Open de Versoix – Club nautique de Versoix: 9th & 11th of June Genève-Rolle-Genève – Yacht Club de Genève < > Rolle: 10th of June Bol d'Or Mirabaud – Société nautique de Genève < > Le Bouveret: 17th and 18th of June Open du Yacht Club – Yacht Club de Genève: 2nd and 3rd of September Grand prix Alinghi de Crans – Club nautique de Crans: 9th and 10th of September Grand prix de clôture – Société nautique de Genève: 22nd and 23rd of September Extreme Sailing Series Act 1 – Muscat, Oman: 8th – 11th of March Act 2 – Qingdao, China: 28th April – 1st May Act 3 – Madeira Islands, Portugal: 29th June – 2nd of July Act 4 – Europe (TBA): 20th – 23rd of July Act 5 – Hamburg, Germany: 10th – 13th of August Act 6 – Cardiff, UK: 25th – 28th August Act 7 – San Diego, USA: 19th – 22nd October Act 8 – Los Cabos, Mexico: 30th November – 3rd December GC32 Class Championship Muscat, Oman: 28th of February – 5th of March Check Alinghi's sporting calendar at: www.alinghi.com/calendar Alinghi's record of success 1997: 1st victory in the Bol d'Or 2000: 2nds victory in the Bol d'Or 2001: 3rd victory in the Bol d'Or (the Challenge Bol d'Or awarded for having won the race three times) 2001: World Champion of the Farr 40 2001: Winner of the America's Cup Jubilee 2002: 4th victory in the Bol d'Or 2003: Winner of the Louis Vuitton Challenger's Series for the America's Cup 2003: Winner of the 31st America's Cup 2003: 5th victory in the Bol d'Or 2004-2007: Winner of the Louis Vuitton Acts 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 13 2007: Winner of the 32nd America's Cup 2007: 1st victory in the D35 Championship 2008: 2nd victory in the D35 Championship 2008: Victory in the Trophée Clairefontaine 2008: 1st Extreme Sailing Series Championship win 2009: 3rd victory in the D35 Championship 2011: 6th victory in the Bol d'Or 2013: 4th victory in the D35 Championship 2014: 2nd victory in the Extreme Sailing Series 2014: 5th victory in the D35 Championship Since April: Top-speed record on a GC32, with 39.2 knots 2016: 3rd victory in the Extreme Sailing Series   For more information, please visit: www.d35trophy.com www.extremesailingseries.com   Photos credit: Loris Von Siebenthal & 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 http://www.extremesailingseries.com/results/2016-Sydney  

Alinghi maintains the pressure on its rivals

9 December, 2016

Six races overall, four for each team (with the fleet sailing in two groups in the afternoon), about twenty laps around the course's buoys, and as many turns and gybes by each boat, and all in a wind that varied from eight to 22 knots and under the beautiful Australian sun. Such were the ingredients for Day 2 of the final Act of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ in Sydney. Pierre-Yves Jorand explains the decision to split the fleet in two: "One of the peculiarities and attractions of this Series is that the spectators can get close to the boats as they race, much the same as you would from the stands in Formula 1. Given the strong and unstable wind we had today, shifting in force and direction, the Race Director had no choice but to split the fleet to launch the early races in a confined area close to the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron." Sailing in this configuration, Alinghi won both of the runs, having made good starts, maintained good speed and made good manoeuvres. Nils Frei takes up the story of the rest of the day: "A change in the direction of the wind meant that the course could be reconfigured and the whole fleet could race as one. With eight boats on this narrow course you can quickly find yourself in traffic if you don't take a risk at the start. Some teams certainly took this approach to try and find clear water. That can pay off, but it can also go the other way, for example going across the line too soon or executing the start poorly. Given where we stand, we went for conservative starts, which is why we recorded 4th and 5th place finishes. We can be happy with our day, because with this kind of race format anything can happen." In terms of the battle for the Series podium, all three contenders scored a similar amount of points on Day 2. Although Alinghi relinquish one point to Oman Air, the Swiss team still lead the standings at the halfway point of this grand final of the 2016 season.   After seven races for each team (two per team were in the split fleet format, meaning Sydney Harbour has seen nine races overall) the general standings read: 1st – Alinghi (SUI): 2nd,1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 4th, 5th – 67 points 2nd – Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 4th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd – 65 points 3rd – Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 1st, 6th, 4rd, 4rd, 1st, 3rd, 4th: 62 points Find all of the results in detail at http://www.extremesailingseries.com/results/2016-Sydney   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 (www.alinghi.com) - 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)

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 http://www.extremesailingseries.com/results/2016-Sydney

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 (www.alinghi.com) - 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)