Do or die in the D35

25 September, 2015

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!

Alinghi 2nd in the Bol d'Or 2015

14 June, 2015

With Alinghi chasing their seventh victory in this classic race, the 77th edition of the Bol d’Or began in winds that – generously – could be described as light and finished, some 12 hours later, in near-storm conditions. The way that the weather fluctuated mirrored the racing itself, which was full of drama and suspense. It was Team Tilt who crossed the finish line on Lake Geneva in first place, with Alinghi a matter of mere metres and seconds behind them – ultimately unable to reel them back in, but having done an amazing job to be in with a shout at all, doggedly pegging back rival after rival to clamber up the leaderboard and claim second spot on the podium. And it was very close! Ladycat, powered by Spindrift racing, finished in third place and at one stage – indeed for the first half of the race – looked like they might claim victory, having led the fleet almost all the way up to Le Bouveret. All of the teams deserve a huge amount of credit for having done battle with testing and highly variable conditions. The light wind that had characterised the first half of the race gave way tono wind once Alinghi passed the half-way mark in Le Bouveret. That presented one type of challenge, but another entirely was to greet the team when, between Evian and Yvoire, thunderstorms hit, with huge gusts of wind testing the team’s sail handling to the max.  That Alinghi did get so close to victory is perhaps even more impressive given that their bowman – Yves Detrey – had to miss the race at the last minute, as he was confined to his bed by a nasty virus. Andrew Graham stepped up to replace Yves and did a fantastic job to help see Alinghi home. The rest of the crew were: Ernesto Bertarelli (Helm), Pierre-Yves Jorand (Mainsail), Nicolas Charbonnier (Tactician), Coraline Jonet (Trim) and Nils Frei (Trim). Many congratulations to Team Tilt on their impressive victory and to the entire fleet for such an enthralling race! Next year we will go again as we seek that seventh title...