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...

Alinghi third in Versoix

26 May, 2015

This past weekend saw the second event in the 2015 D35 Championship – the prestigious Open de Versoix. Having suffered from a relative lack of wind earlier in the season, conditions couldn’t have been any different on the first day of racing in Versoix. Or, rather, what was supposed to be the first day of racing. Huge winds of 30 knots left the Race Committee with little option but to call off Saturday’s competition, meaning it would all come down to how the teams were able to perform on Sunday.  Happily, conditions on day two were perfect, with winds ranging from 12-20 knots. Alinghi got off to a reasonable start, finishing third in Race 1. The team had, however, been out in front before a penalty turn caused them to drop behind Ladycat and Team Tilt. Alinghi’s luck improved in Race 2, which the team won having led from the top turn. Behind them were Team Tilt, who would be a regular competitor over the rest of the day. Indeed, it was Tilt that would take the Open de Versoix after winning races 3, 5 and 6. Alinghi had to beat Realstone in the last race in order to secure second place behind Tilt overall. Unfortunately, a further penalty meant that the team couldn’t do it and had to settle for third. Still, it was a fantastic day of truly competitive racing – the sort that the class and the Series were designed for. Congratulations to Team Tilt – and we’ll see them at the start line next time. Complete results and rankings of the weekend:

Challenging Conditions for the first GP of the D35 Trophy, Alinghi Finishes in 2nd position

11 May, 2015

Amid challenging condtions, last weekend saw the first Grand Prix of the 2015 Decision 35 Trophy at Société Nautique de Genève. With winds going from 28 knots to zero on Friday afternoon, with a mix of rain, gusts, breakage and even a capsize for Racing Django – taken by surprise by a strong gust when leaving their mooring – the race committee had little choice but to call the day’s racing off without a single regatta sailed. On Saturday morning all of the teams were back at the Société Nautique de Genève, impatient to start competing. But the wind was, again, capricious and the first start gun could only be fired at the very end of the afternoon – the SNG Starting Vessel and the 11-boat fleet of the Decision 35 having spent their time chasing the wind up to almost Nyon all afternoon. The racing finally took place between la Belotte and le Reposoir – in a rather strange direction with very shifty winds… Two races were sailed in these tricky conditions and the race committee did a terrific job managing to get the racing going. At the end of the first racing day, three boats were tight on points, Team Tilt, Ladycat powered by Spindrift Racing and Alinghi, with five points each. On Sunday, a nice Séchard, allowed the fleet to sail four more races in relatively steady wind conditions. Alinghi led race five from start to the finish, showing that the 2013 and 2014 champion is still very much in business. The lasting impression after this first weekend isthat the fleet is more compact than ever and that podium places will not be easy to come by. After six races, the overall ranking of the week-end was: And the provisory season 2015 ranking is: Team Tilt (1pt) Alinghi (2pts) Zen Too (3pts) Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing (4pts) Veltigroup-Swisscom (5pts) Realteam (6pts) Racing Django (7pts) Oryx (8pts) Okalys (9pts) Mobimo (10pts) Ylliam Comptoir Immobilier (11pts)

Grand Prix Grange & Cie – Day 2 and Victory VULCAIN TROPHY 2014

7 September, 2014

For the second year running, Alinghi’s victory in the Grand Prix Grange & Cie also secured the Vulcain Trophy for Ernesto Bertarelli’s team. And what a victory it was, the crew dominating proceedings with a near-flawless display of racing in challenging conditions. Having won Saturday’s two races, the team lined up for Race 3 on Sunday full of confidence. Light win conditions had meant that the start had been postponed, but when the fleet did get underway Alinghi quickly established a lead. The wind – already light at 7 knots – then proceeded to drop to 3, making for difficult sailing. Nonetheless, Alinghi worked together to extend their lead on each run, taking the race from Racing Django and Team Tilt. In Race 4, Alinghi got the best start of the five teams who had lined up to port. They led at the first top rounding, getting up to speed for the run and extending the gap between their rivals at the lee gate. Having gone right for the second beat, the team began to feel some pressure from Velitgroup, but, having just rolled them at the top rounding, saw boat speed on the last run do the rest. Victory – again! This win meant that Alinghi had the Grand Prix wrapped-up and so the team took on the role of spectators for the day’s final race – the results of which confirmed that Alinghi had successfully defended its Vulcain Trophy title. Well done team! Speaking after the podium presentations, Ernesto Bertarelli said: “We’re really very happy, both with this win and to have defended the Championship. To win all of our four races…I can’t remember it happening before. We sailed together and that is the secret to our win. This team has been together a long time and we understand one another and the boat. We’re delighted with the way the weekend has gone.”