Once again, the wind – or relative lack of it - on Lake Geneva proved troublesome for the race committee today in the D35 Championship, but to their great credit two races were run once the breeze around Nyon picked-up. It was something of a fillip, given the rest of the weekend’s frustrations, that Alinghi stormed the first of the two races. Having led at the upper gate, the team maintained the first position until the finish line. Unfortunately, the second race, encumbered by a bad starting position, was less successful. This, combined with the other results from other days, put Alinghi in seventh position overall. The team will be looking to tak the form of race 1, rather than 2, to next weekend for the big one – the Bol d’Or. Check back here for updates on the epic race up the Lake – and back!
After over four hours of racing in the Genève-Rolle-Genève, many of which saw the team leading the fleet, Alinghi had to settle for fourth place in today’s sprint up the lake and back. Off the start, Team Tilt and Zen headed for the Swiss shore and took the lead, but we gybe’d twice towards the centre of the lake to catch the building wind. By the time the team reached Dully, Alinghi had passed the two leaders and struck out for the front. The lead was maintained as the mark in Rolle was rounded and it was looking good. However, after rounding that turning mark, and with the fleet heading towards the French shore, things got more complicated, with clouds building overhead as the boats approached Nyon, with shifting winds making it very close. Approaching Versoix, Alinghi led on the Swiss side, but as the lake narrowed the fleet converged. Still, the team maintained the lead until a series of pulsing breezes made the 1-2-3 change time after time, keeping the fleet packed. So close were the boats that only just over a minute separated them all at the finish line, with Alinghi having to settle for fourth. A great day of racing…
It was somewhat of a frustrating day on the lake at Versoix in the D35 Championship: frustrating for the fleet as a whole that a lack of wind meant only two races were sailed; and frustrating for Alinghi that when the wind did arrive - albeit with only five knots - unfortunate pockets of bad air prevented the team from making good on promising starts. With plenty of racing ahead for the weekend, starting with tomorrow's Geneve-Rolle-Geneve, there is plenty of time for the tables to turn.
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…
A combination of challenging winds, challenging starts, and challenging luck meant that it was a mixed bag for Alinghi in the first day of the Grand Prix that has been named after the team. The good news, however, was that it was a mixed bag for all of the teams, with no one dominating. Indeed, despite Ernesto Bertarelli’s team not recording a victory on the Lake, the fact that they were consistently in the top half of the field means that, heading into day two of the Grand Prix, Alinghi is sitting pretty in fourth place, only three points from leader Realteam. Crucially, Team Tilt – Alinghi’s main rival for the D35 Championnat – are five points back. All eyes, therefore, will be on the action on the Lake tomorrow. Roll it on!