The second round of the GC32 Bullitt Tour got off to a great start today in Cowes, that most iconic of sailing venues. Six races were sailed, with the spoils shared pretty evenly among the five teams. That has left the leaderboard particularly tight: Alinghi are in first, but scores are really tight, only three points separate us from the fourth. It was a glorious day, with the sun shining down over the Solent. Winds were relatively light, albeit building over the course of the afternoon, but the racing was fascinating nonetheless. Race 1 went to Sultanate of Oman, who narrowly beat Alinghi to the finish line after a great duel between the two. The next race saw Alinghi have its revenge, taking first place ahead of its Omani rivals. This was Ernesto Bertarelli’s first win on the GC32 circuit and afterwards he was delighted: “It’s such great fun racing these boats, especially when we get up on the foils. As we always knew it would be, the competition is tough, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I think you can see in the way that the wins were spread across a number of teams that this event could be anybody’s. With it being so close, there’s all to play for. Roll on tomorrow…” The remaining races went to Armin, Wave, Team Engie and Armin again, meaning that the leaderboard reads: Alinghi (14 points) Armin Strom Sailing Team (15 points) Team ENGIE (16 points) Sultanate of Oman (17 points) Team Argo (29 points) Highlight of Day 1 [VIDEO::http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzzoq81qFxQ::news] Racing starts tomorrow at 11:00AM GMT – follow it live at www.gc32racing.com Pictures credit: Sander van der Borch/Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour
“We’re really pleased to be in Cowes for round two of the GC32 circuit. In fact, we’ve been here for four days already, preparing the boat and training without any let-up, which is important as we’re still in the learning phase with this boat. Each and every hour on the water allows us to deepen our understanding of how it handles and its many idiosyncrasies!" “A main challenge will be, of course, the current here, which we’re not used to – even more so for Saturday’s Round the Island Race. However, it will only be on Saturday that we’ll go for the island record*, as this coastal race is not part of the GC32 Tour – the championship racing is taking place on the three days before (Weds-Fri)." “Looking to the weather forecast, we see that conditions are expected to be relatively mild on Wednesday and Thursday (approximately 8-12 knots), with the wind expected to strengthen on Friday (12-18 knots) and even more so on Saturday (17-25 knots)." “Once more, we’ve got a change to our traditional line-up, as Pierre-Yves Jorand has had to remain in Switzerland. However, we’re lucky to welcome Arnaud Psarofaghis on board to take the mainsail station. He’s got great experience, especially on these flying boats. He also sailed on Team Engie’s AC45 crew in the opening GC32 round in Austria, so he knows the boats. Of course, it will be a little different without Pierre-Yves on board, but it also offers a different perspective, so it is also very much a positive to have Arnaud on the team.” Alinghi’s crew in Cowes is: Ernesto Bertarelli, Skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis, Mainsail Nicolas Charbonnier, Tactician Nils Frei, Trimmer Yves Detrey, Bow *The current record for the Round the Isle of Wight is 2hrs, 52mins and 15 seconds, held by the AC45 catamaran skipped by JP Morgan BAR’s Sir Ben Ainslie
Photos credit: Guilain Grenier | Bullit GC32 Racing Tour Amid testing conditions on Lake Traunsee, the first event of the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour came to a conclusion in Austria on Sunday 31st May with Alinghi taking third place. Following a minor back injury, Pierre-Yves Jorand had to be replaced at the mainsail on board Alinghi’s GC32, with the team welcoming, at the very last minute, Red Bull Sailing Team member and double Olympian Hans-Peter Steinacher Throughout the event, the wind had been unpredictable, with the key for the teams being to find – and then stay in – the breeze. On the fourth and final day, this was very much the case, with the race area transported to the southern end of the lake at Ebensee in an attempt to find some wind. When racing did get going it was a mixed day for Alinghi team: two wins were combined with two lower results. Having gone into the day way out in front at the top of the leaderboard it was always unlikely that Sultanate of Oman would be caught and so it proved, with Leigh McMillan’s crew winning the event. Alinghi took third place, with Spindrift second. Commenting after the racing, Alinghi’s helmsman Morgan Larson said: “It was nice to finally work on things that, perhaps, we had been struggling a bit with within the team, such as communication and where to position ourselves. Spindrift had a fantastic day and hats off to them for that, while it’s clear that Leigh and his crew are setting a new benchmark in the class. We can’t wait to come back even stronger in the Cowes Cup in a few weeks’ time.” Before Cowes, of course, is the next event in the D35 Championship with a double counting weekend including the second Versoix GP (5&7 of June) and the classic Geneve-Rolle-Geneve (6 of June). Highlights Day 1 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/DhP3_zVUqdk::news] Day 2 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/1ryf4srmLdk::news] Day 3 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/ib88PpHLMwk::news] Day 4 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/HHklNC7_udA::news]
Four races were sailed today on a tricky playground in Traunsee, and Alinghi managed to take the best out of it, winning two races out of four. Hans-Peter Steinacher seems to have found his marks pretty quickly with the core team of Alinghi, composed of Morgan Larson (Helm), Hans-Peter Steinacher (Main in the absence of Pierre-Yves Jorand slightly injured), Nicolas Charbonnier (Tactic), Nils Frei (Trimm) & Yves Detrey (Bow). With talented teams all around and such tricky conditions, everything can change in the coming days but let's bet that this first day of sailing brought a good spirit within the team! Photo credit : Bullitt GC32 - Guilain Grenier
While waiting for races to start in Traunsee, here is a short Film about the preparation of our GC32 at the beginning of the season. [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/s4z1O0IWiAE::news]
Alinghi have broken the GC32 speed record! Last week, in a training session on Lake Geneva, the team clocked 39.21 knots, well over a whole knot faster than the previous record that was set on Lake Garda in July 2014. Perhaps even more impressive, the top speed is a full five knots faster than the team’s previous personal best of 34.2 knots, set only earlier this year. With such a rapid trajectory, the elusive 40 knot barrier is in sight. Onwards and, indeed, upwards!
This week has seen four teams sailing and flying on the waters of the city of Marseille. It was Alinghi’s first regattas on its new GC32. No races were sailed today, as the gusts were up to 30 knots. Alinghi’s crew composed by Ernesto Bertarelli and Morgan Larson at the helm, Nicolas Charbonnier (tactic), Pierre-Yves Jorand (mainsail), Nils Frei (trimmer), Yves Detrey (bow) finished Marseille GC32 test event in second position. This first test event was the perfect opportunity for the team to learn as much as possible, to sail this new foiling machine and improve as much as possible it’s flying abilities before the first official event that will take place in Traunsee, Austria from 27th to 31st of May. Enjoy the magnificent pictures taken by Gilles Martin-Raget in the gallery below. Pictures Copyright: Team Alinghi / Gilles Martin-Raget