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 were ultimately unable to repeat last weekend’s victory on Lake Geneva in the D35 Championship, having to settle for third place in the Grand Prix Yacht Club de Genève. The team send their congratulations to Team Tilt, whose win in the last race was matched by a finish on top of the podium. The teams had a frustrating morning waiting for wind to pick-up, but eventually, under overcast skies, a light breeze was found and three races were sailed. The first went very well for Ernesto Bertarelli’s team. With all of the fleet starting on the starboard side, Alinghi’s great start saw their lead at all marks for the win. Sixth and fourth place finishes in the next and final two races were enough for third place in the Grand Prix. Next up, the conclusion to the Championship at the Grand Prix de Clôture that will take place at Société Nautique de Genève on September 30th and October 1st, but before that, the team will take place to the Extreme Sailing Series Act 6 in Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira between September 22nd and September 25th. Stay tuned!
The final day of racing in the GP Alinghi at Crans on Lake Geneva in the D35 Championship saw the team do enough amid light winds to secure the win. Having started this, the final day, at the top the leaderboard, consistency proved to be the key. Ttwo second-place finishes, coupled with a third place, were enough to make sure that Alinghi ended the Grand Prix three points clear of Ladycat, who finished second. A good end to a challenging weekend of racing where conditions drew the best from the team and the fleet.
The wind, or lack of it, at Crans on Lake Geneva conspired against the D35 fleet on the first day of the Grand Prix Alinghi. The conditions meant that the teams could only get out for some practice sessions and a few aborted starts before the Committee called time, with all of the competitors hoping that tomorrow brings some breeze so that racing get going.
Alinghi maintained their overnight position, securing second place in the Open de Versoix behind Team Tilt, last year's Champions. Amid decent wind that reached up to 16 knots, Ernesto Bertarelli's team notched two second place finishes in the day's four races, which, because of Tilt's two victories, was ultimately not enough to secure victory. It was very close, however, with only one point separating the two teams at the end of the day. Swisscom were two points further back in third. Next up it's the Geneve-Rolle-Geneve and Alinghi will be looking to build on this really encouraging and competitive performance as they look to go one better and take first place on the podium for the first time this Championship.
The wind on Lake Geneva started building up around 11:30, offering very nice conditions for the six races of the day. Despite a tricky start to the day, Alinghi managed to score a first and a second place, meaning that the team sits 2nd on the leaderboard of the Versoix Grand Prix. The team is now fully focused on picking up the two points that two separate them from first place.
Today, Friday 6th May, saw the opening day of the 2016 D35 Championship. In lovely, balmy conditions on Lake Geneva, the Grand Prix of the Société Nautique de Genève began with ten teams vying for position in the day’s five races. Alinghi were nothing if not consistent, recording three third-place finishes to leave the team tied with Okalys in third position on 14 points. It was Spindrift’s day, with the team recording three victories to leave them out in front. However, with two more days of racing to go the Grand Prix is very much alive and Alinghi will be looking to hunt down those above them on the leaderboard. More sun is predicted for the weekend, so if you are near do come down to support the team.
In the end it was not to be for Alinghi, who were pipped to the post in the D35 Championship by Team Tilt. Having been close adversaries all season, Alinghi would like to send their congratulations to Tilt for a fantastic regatta and a fantastic season. The team also want to express their admiration for all of the teams that did battle on the Lake to make this the most memorable D35 Championship yet. Having gone into Day 2 just two points ahead of Tilt - and with the victor of the two taking the title - Alinghi's advantage was slender. Ultimately it could not be protected, with the two-point lead becoming a six-point deficit. Tilt took the Championship, with Alinghi second. It was a brilliant competition and - watch out Tilt - Alinghi will be gunning for the title next year!
Racing has just finished on Day 1 of the Grand Prix SNG, the last and decisive regatta of the 2015 Championship. Heading into the competition, it would be all about Alinghi and Team Tilt, the two Swiss rivals who have been battling it out at the top of the leaderboard all season. With Tilt holding the lead, albeit a slender one, this regatta is a straight shootout. Whichever of the two teams finishes ahead of the other will takes the title. Which has made for an exhilarating Day 1 and, after today's racing, will make for a nerve-shredding finale! As befits a championship that is coming down to the wire, Friday's racing was extremely close. Wind conditions were good - between 10 and 15 knots - and the first sprint got off on time. Seven boats started on port, including both title contenders. It was an auspicious start for Ernesto Bertarelli's team, who, having gone past Tilt before the first mark perfectly timed their jibe on the last run to take first place from Ladycat, with Tilt down in 7th. Race 2 was equally good from Alinghi's persective, with the team making it two from two, although this time Tilt were right on their heels in second place. It wasn't to be three from three, however, with 7en taking the plaudits and with Tilt ahead of Alinghi. Race 4 made the overall picture even closer - Tilt took it, with Alinghi in 4th, having had a coming-to with Mobimo that saw the former break their starboard hiking ladder (fixed soon after) and incurring a penalty. Happily, Race 5 saw a return to winning ways. Having rounded the mark first, Alinghi maintained their lead to take three wins for the day. But then, fitting the script of intense competition, Tilt took the last race of the day just ahead of Bertarelli's team! It was truly a duel… Things could still not be closer - Alinghi's lead over Tilt is but two points! It promises to be hugely exciting tomorrow, so stay tuned to our twitter feed for live updates. ALLEZ ALINGHI!
With conditions as challenging as they have been for some time, huge credit must go to Realteam for their victory in the Grand Prix Alinghi, which was organised with typical brilliance by the Yacht Club de Crans. Despite having won the first race of the day – and this even having overcome a poor start on port – Alinghi had to settle for second overall, which was a great result and testament to their consistency. Second in this event moves Alinghi even closer to Championship leaders TeamTilt, with now just a single point separating the teams. It could not be tighter heading into the final weekend of racing in the D35 Championnat. As this weekend’s racing has proved, it can be anybody’s…