Alinghi wins in China

2 May, 2016

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."