After having tasted success in 2014 and 2016, this year's performance confirms that Qingdao's Fushan Bay and its variable conditions appeal to Alinghi's sailors. Could that be, perhaps, because of their schooling on Lake Geneva, where it's an imperative that one is able to adapt to changes in wind speed speed and direction? Whatever the reason, the team sealed the deal today in China, securing the win having been in the leading position from the first day. With the victory, Alinghi also moved into first place in the Series' standings, with previous leader, SAP Extreme Sailing Team, recording a fourth place this weekend. Follow this link to the Alinghi facebook page to see comments, hot off the press, from the team, as they discuss the regatta as they return their GC32 to the dock. A beautiful finish With a dozen knots of medium wind, which peaked at 18 knots, the sailing window was exploited to the full today. Seven great races were launched, allowing the GC32s to traverse the bat at full speed in front of thousands of spectators who were enjoying the May 1st holiday. Xièxie (thank you) & zàijiàn (goodbye) Qingdao. The fleet will be in Madeira from the 29th of June until the 2nd of July for the next Act of the Extreme Sailing Series. In the meantime, we will already see you in few days for the start of the D35 annual championship ! Click here to find out more. Standings after 17 races of Act 2, Qingdao, of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series (12 points awarded for 1st place, 11 for 2nd, 10 for 3rd and so on): 1st - Alinghi (SUI) : 184 points 2nd - Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) : 173 points 3rd - Oman Air (OMA) : 168 points 4th - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) : 168 points 5th - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) : 166 points To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © Xaume Olleros & 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 in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo
We had been warned of the 'random' nature of the local weather and Qingdao is keeping all of its promises! The waters within Fushan Bay, a nautical stadium bracketed by two sea walls and the city's coastline, delivered a range of conditions this afternoon, going from weak airs to abrupt gusts of over 25 knots, as recorded by the measuring equipment on board. As the wind increased, so too, did the speed of the racing legs, meaning that zone in which the boats sailed is limited by natural barriers. The more the wind rose, the more the GC32 began to lift on their hulls, then up onto their foils, making for an excellent spectacle for the astonished Chinese watching crowds, whose cries of "Ohhhhh" and "Whaaaa" of surprise gave voice to how fun it was to watch. As the wind increased, however, the boats became more difficult to manage and it took all of the sailors' talents to keep them on the right lines and under their control. In that context, Alinghi even narrowly avoided capsizing on the exit to a jibe (the images are obviously online!). In the end, seven validated races were run under a variety of conditions in which the young teams of Land Rover BAR Academy and NZ Extreme Sailing Team performed very well to join Alinghi on the provisional podium. The Swiss team keeps its first place and will start the final day of this Act 2 four small points ahead, a sign of great battles to be anticipated tomorrow! Straight after « hoisting João » up in the rig, Bryan Mettraux shares his impressions of the day in a video on our Facebook page. See you tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the 4th and final day of this ESS Act in a China. After the ten races (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) the overall standings are: 1st - Alinghi (SUI) : 102 points 2nd - Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) : 98 points 3rd - NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) : 96 points 4th - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) : 90 points 5th - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) : 89 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © Sean team, Xaume Olleros et 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 in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo
There's just one scenario where a day without wind, and therefore without racing, can in any way be seen as favourable: When you are already leading the regatta and so, without doing anything, you stay at the top of the rankings. Pierre-Yves Jorand, team manager, said: "There really was not enough wind to get the sails full. At the end of the afternoon, the race director tried to lay out a course and launch the boats in pairs, in match racing mode, in order to give the public a bit of entertainment, but it was really lacking the wind to run. The forecasts seem more favorable tomorrow, with a strong east wind approaching and so we cross the fingers!" To watch our coach's interview in full, check our Facebook page here. Did you know? João Cabeçadas is not only a passionate rigger, he also inspires younger generations to get into sailing. This morning, he was visited by young Chinese children to whom he introduced our workshop container and the GC32. Check out the pictures on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts! Check back tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the third day of competition...hopefully windy! (No change since yesterday) After the first three races (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) the overall standings are: 1st - Alinghi (SUI): 1st, 2nd, 2nd > 34 points 2nd - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 4th, 4th, 1st > 30 points 3rd - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 2nd, 1st, 6th > 30 points 4th - NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL): 7th, 3rd, 3rd > 26 points 5th - Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 7th, 5th > 24 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © 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 in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo
Everything was in place for a full day of racing on this, the opening of Act 2 of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao: The course laid out and seven teams looking forward to the battle. Alas, the wind, too weak at the start of the afternoon, had other ideas. For the first hour and a half, because of the unstable wind, which was of the type that can make the finish line a complete lottery, the GC32s took part in 'non-scoring races' – that is, races that got the fleet out on the water, but which counted for nothing in the overall scheme. Suddenly, however, between 10 and 14 knots of breeze filled the bay, making possible three competitive races and providing beautiful images of foiling catamarans for the telephoto lenses of a hundred photographers lined-up on the sea-wall – home to the Qingdao Olympic Nautical Centre – who enjoyed a direct view of the racing. For those who like statistics, Alinghi were today only 6% off a faultless performance, having recorded one win (12 points) and two second-place finishes (11 points each), meaning that they scored 34 points from a total of the 36 on offer. SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Red Bull Sailing team occupy the remaining two places on the provisional podium, each with 30 points. Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician, said: "The opening day's performance is, of course, in line with the objectives we set ourselves, but concentrating on what we need to do remains our priority. We bank what we have achieved, but start tomorrow from a clean slate, knowing that with three days of racing to come – and in conditions that are capable of changing, rapidly – everything remains to be done." To watch our tactician's full debriefing about the day, check our Facebook page by clicking here Check back tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the second day of racing. After the first three races (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) the overall standings are: 1st - Alinghi (SUI): 1st, 2nd, 2nd > 34 points 2nd - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 4th, 4th, 1st > 30 points 3rd - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 2nd, 1st, 6th > 30 points 4th - NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL): 7th, 3rd, 3rd > 26 points 5th - Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 7th, 5th > 24 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © Xaume Olleros 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 in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo
T-minus two days until the start of the second Act of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™, which will take place in China from Friday 28 April to Monday 1 May. For the seventh consecutive year, Qingdao – the host city for sailing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics – will welcome the ESS fleet. It's a place that holds happy memories for Alinghi's tactician, Nicolas Charbonnier, who won bronze in the 470 series in those 2008 games. Alinghi's bowman, Yves Detrey, echoes the opinion of all who have sailed in Fushan Bay when he says: "Here everything and anything can happen. With the skyscrapers framing the bay making for a very variable wind, the watchword has to be adaptability. During open-water regattas (outside the bay), we have to deal with the current, while in 'stadium racing' mode (very close to the shore and to the public), whether the wind is weak or strong, the water is very disturbed anyway. Having won the event last year, we know that we are able to adapt here and do what we need to do whatever the conditions. This week, our goal is clear: win! After our 2nd place in Oman a month ago, we are keen to go one better and take the lead in the overall standings after this stage." Adapt on the water, but not just there... Yves Detrey: "Two factors have disrupted our preparation for this Act. The first, logistical, does not concern us too much, especially since every team is in the same situation. The containers carrying boats and equipment were delayed by two days, leaving us less time than usual to carry out the assembly and to launch the GC32 and the semi-rigid. But, as I said, with all teams facing the same issue and with us not having big work to do on our boat, we can certainly cope. "The second disruptive factor is a bit more of a pain, especially for Nils. Our iconic trimmer has, unfortunately, broken his foot, an injury suffered in mid-April. We've brought the young and experienced Bryan Mettraux on board to replace him. Given the similarities in terms of Nils's and Bryan's abilities, this change won't have an impact in terms of individual performance, but what we all need to focus on as a team is how we communicate, which is of all importance. That's why we will be doing a double-training session to make sure we all know our lines. "Fortunately, Bryan is a veteran trimmer with Realteam, who races these boats on the GC32 Racing Tour and we all met in Switzerland last week to review the "who does what" on the various manoeuvres." Bryan Mettraux was practically born on a boat. After three years of Optimist and three years of 420, he joined the Centre d'Entraînement à la Régate (Geneva) in 2008 to sail on the Tour de France of Sailing and on the Décision 35 circuit. For the following three seasons he sailed with Team Realstone (D35 & Extreme 40), then for two seasons with Team Tilt (D35 & GC32). Now 27, he is racing with Realteam on the GC32 tour, training that team for their D35 sailing, and working as a shipbuilder in the winter at the Philippe Durr shipyard. Undoubtedly his experience, power and height – 6ft'4, or 1.95m – will be valuable assets for Alinghi. Bryan Mettraux said: "I'm looking forward to sailing with the Alinghi team. I have already sailed a lot with Arnaud and I know the position, so I have no particular apprehensions. I just have to adapt as quickly as possible to the peculiarities of the crew work during our one day of training on Thursday. " Racing starts on Friday, April 28 at 2pm (local time), with up to 10 races planned. A RECAP : What: "The Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 2, Qingdao, Mazarin Cup", second Act of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™, which comprises eight events, in eight host cities on three continents. Who: Seven international teams, each composed of five sailors Where: Qingdao, China (on the east coast, between Beijing and Shanghai) When: Between Friday 28th April and Monday 1st May How: Teams compete over short and fast courses in front of the public aboard a 32ft flying, foiling catamaran: the GC32 Follow the action Follow the Alinghi Team from the 28th of April to 1st of May (up to 10 races each afternoon – but be aware of time difference : GMT + 8 hours, + 6 hours compared to Swiss time): Online, via www.alinghi.com and www.extremesailingseries.com > Races modeled in 3D from Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May > Live racing from Sunday 30th April to Monday 1st May, from 2pm local time until the end of racing > Replays available at the end of racing On Twitter @alinghiteam > Updates after each race On Facebook @teamalinghi and on Instagram @alinghi > Interviews, videos, photos throughout the regatta Alinghi's GC32 Team Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI) Headsail Trimmer: Bryan Mettraux (SUI), replacing the injured Nils Frei (SUI) Foil regulator: Timothé Lapauw (FRA) Tactician and mainsail trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA) Helm, co-skipper: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) Technical Team João Cabeçadas (POR) David Nikles (SUI) Trainer and Team Director Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI) To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo #Extremesailing Credit for photos © Lloyd Images
Heading into the final day of Act 2 of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao, China, Alinghi held a slender lead over their rivals for top spot, Oman Air. After a pulsating day of racing in Fushan Bay, the Swiss team cemented its position and secured their first victory for this year, in the process moving Ernesto Bertarelli's syndicate up to second place overall in the championship. The team knew it would have to come out firing in order to keep Oman at bay and the first race reinforced the point. Eight to ten knots of wind meant that the GC32s could get up on their foils around the stadium course. However, a poor start meant that Alinghi could only manage seventh, while their rivals took the win. An immediate response was required and it was delivered. Race 2 saw the exact inverse of the opener. Alinghi took the front straight from the start and held it to record the first of three wins with Oman back in seventh. By the time the Committee called time on racing because of thick fog, Alinghi's lead was such that even Oman's victory in the double-pointer last race was not enough to overhaul the Swiss. Afterwards, a delighted Arnaud Psarofaghis said: "The team did a fantastic job - they made it easy for me to just helm the boat and be fast. We had a real battle with Oman Air on points. We had a good race, they had a good one, we had a bad one, so did they. Every race was a new race for us. We looked to get the best start possible not think too much about the points. To get up on the foils was great - we made some good gains while flying. We're going to push to be even faster in Cardiff."
Going into day three of Act 2 in Qingdao, Alinghi were defending an overall lead and the team's experience on Lac Leman told. Light wind conditions meant for challenging racing and the team can be delighted to have registered two victories from the six races. After, co-skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis said: “We’re planning on starting well tomorrow and seeing what happens. We just want to stay clear of everyone else and stay fast.” Alinghi's lead at the top of the Act leaderboard is four points from Oman Air. Tomorrow's finale means there is all to play for... Photo Credit: Lloyd Images
On day two of this Extreme Sailing Series Act 2, the whole team welcomed young students from different schools in Qingdao. After this visit to the Alinghi base, the team obviously benefited from their lucky charms, ending the day on top of the leaderboard having scored two wins and a second place from the five races sailed today.
The Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 started today in Qingdao, China, with very light wind conditions allowing only one race to be sailed and that after a 50 minutes postponement. During this race, Alinghi rapidly took the lead and kept it nearly until the end. It was only during the last run, with the winds dying and becoming patchy, that Alinghi were overtaken, falling to third, a position they kept after rounding the bottom gates and crossing the line behind BAR in first and Sail Portugal in second. Photo Credit: Lloyd Images
Act 2 of 2016’s Extreme Sailing Series begins tomorrow in the port of Qingdao, China, to which the teams return for the sixth time and where Alinghi had their epic coming together with Red Bull in 2014. Widely acknowledged to be one of the more challenging of venues, the city’s tall buildings around Fushan Bay make for wildly unpredictable and gusty winds. One thing’s for sure, it won’t be boring. Day one will consist of open water racing, after which the eight teams will move to the stadium for three days of competition that will conclude on Sunday 1st May. The full schedule is: Friday 29 April: 1400-1700 (GMT+8) Saturday 30 April: 1430-1700 (GMT+8) Sunday 1 May: 1430-1700 (GMT+8) Click here to follow the event live