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.”

Alinghi and the Bol d’Or - a long-lasting story

12 June, 2014

Ernesto Bertarelli participated in his first Bol d’Or in the very early 90s on board an X-119 mono-hull. Fascinated and passionate about speed and technology, he quickly moved to what was then revolutionary, the multi-hull. It was in 1994 that he secured his first podium place at the Bol d’Or with Alinghi (ex-Poseidon), with an upside-down finish having capsized a few meters away from the finish line… in third position. 1995 saw him compete on what was the first Alinghi-conceived multihull (by Melvin and Morelli), built at the Décision boat yard. A yellow trimaran with some Fiat painting especially chosen for its brightness and capacity to reflect the sun. It certainly worked because, in 1997, the team secured its maiden victory in the historic race. In 2000, Alinghi 41 “The Black” was launched. It was a mighty Catamaran, designed by Seb Schmid and Jo Richards. Alinghi won the Bol d’Or with her, four years in a row between 2000 and 2003, getting the right to keep the Bol d’Or forever in 2001, having won it three times in a five years period. No other boat has ever won the Bol d’Or four times in a row, before and since. But sport without competition is not really sport, so Bertarelli decided to withdraw “the Black” from the competition after the 2003 Victory to allow the development of a new one design class, the Décision 35, of which Alinghi D35 was N° SUI-1. Since then, Alinghi D35 has taken part in all of the subsequent Bol d’Or.  And this year will be the team’s 11th participation on this same boat. The team had to wait until 2011 for their sixth victory, which they secured after an epic fight against Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia, setting a new class record in 6h25’50’’. This year will be Ernesto Betarelli’s 22nd participation in this mythic regatta on Lake Geneva, out of which he has sailed 20 on a multihull…The only Bol d’Or that he has missed since his first race in 1994 was the 2007 edition when, of course, his attentions were focused on another regatta, just off the shores of Valencia… May the wind be with us on Saturday and may the best team win the 76th Bol d’Or Mirabaud!