Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi Team is very pleased to announce that it will be joining the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series, which will be raced on the hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans for the first time. Now in its tenth season, the Extreme Sailing Series is an elite-level competition that brings together some of the world’s best sailors for racing in venues across the globe. The action is always close to the shore, meaning that the thousands of spectators who turn out to watch the teams at each Act are treated to some of the most exhilarating close-quarter sailing that there is on offer anywhere. Alinghi is a veteran of the Extreme Sailing Series, having won the title in 2008 and again in 2014. In 2015 the team raced the GC32 Bullitt Racing Tour and with the ESS adopting that boat for the coming season the decision to go for a third title was an easy one to make. Commenting on the team’s return to the Extreme Sailing Series, Alinghi’s Coach Pierre-Yves Jorand said: “We’re all excited to be going back to the Extreme Sailing circuit. It’s a competition that we know well, of course, and if there’s one thing that we can be certain of it’s that we’re going to be pushed to our best by the many talented teams that are taking part. The racing is always close, it’s always exciting and it’s always supported by great crowds. With the switch to the GC32 this year we are raring to go and hope to bring to bear the invaluable experience we gained about these machines during last year’s racing.” Check our calendar to make sure you don’t miss any venue or date and come visit our news page regularly to stay updated on what is happening during this exciting season.
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!
The Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour Alinghi, created by Ernesto Bertarelli, won the America’s Cup in 2003 in Auckland under the colors of the Société Nautique de Genève. In doing so, it set a double precedent in the history of the world’s oldest sports’ trophy: A first victory at a first attempt; and the first “European” team to bring the "Auld Mug" back to the continent since the first competition in 1851. On behalf of the Société Nautique de Genève, Alinghi then organised the 2007 America’s Cup in Valencia, fondly remembered as the best ever and at which Alinghi successfully defended its title in an epic battle on the water against Emirates Team New Zealand. However, despite Alinghi’s many successes in mono hull racing (Multi One Design, Farr 40, 12mJI, Corel 45, ACC), Ernesto Bertarelli has also been more than present on the multihull stage since 1993. It should come as no surprise then, that, with the creation of a new “flying” one-design catamaran class, Alinghi jumps at the opportunity to join this “foiling adventure”. The GC32 is a 10m, one-design catamaran, able to ‘fly’ with eight knots of True Wind Speed. This carbon dragonfly has already convinced the top-class sailors from across the sport of its pace, power and ability to ratchet up the excitement levels. Ernesto Bertarelli comments: “I have been enormously privileged to sail with some of my crew for more than 20 years. During the course of our adventures, our passion for the sport and for cutting-edge technology has been undimmed. It is therefore only natural that we would be eager to be involved with this evolution of our sport. Sailing in three dimensions will of course be a new challenge for all of us, but it is an exciting one and the opportunity to learn and then master a new type of boat is one that we couldn’t miss. The GC32, as with the D35 and the X40, is a strict one-design class. That’s very important to me, because it means that the racing is not about the equipment we use, but about how the crew works together on the water. It is true competition.” The Alinghi 2015 GC32 crew will be: Ernesto Bertarelli (Helm), sharing the duties with Morgan Larson, who led Alinghi to the victory of the Extreme Sailing Series in 2014, Nicolas Charbonnier (Tactician), Pierre-Yves Jorand (Mainsail), Nils Frei (Trim) & Yves Detrey (Bow). The same crew will compete on the Decision 35 circuit, albeit with the addition of Coraline Jonet (Trim) who will bring her many talents to the team of six that sail the D35. New Partnerships Announced Just before the team takes off for this new competition, Alinghi is delighted to announce an Official Air Carrier partnership with SWISS airlines. After all, what better source of inspiration for the team that is learning how to fly on the water in all four corners of Europe? Lorenzo Stoll, Head of Western Switzerland for SWISS comments: “This partnership was an obvious one for us and we are delighted to team-up with Alinghi. So many parallels can be drawn between sailing – particularly foil sailing – and aviation. Dedication to giving our best performance, the precision we demand of ourselves and a competitive a passion to be the best are all values that unite Alinghi and SWISS”. While the team will be flying through the air, its brand new GC32 will hit the road in the expert hands of PLANZER, who Alinghi is thrilled to announce as Official Logistic Transport Supplier for 2015. Nils Planzer, CEO of PLANZER, said: “It is our great opportunity and honour for PLANZER to put our expertise at the disposal of such an emblematic team as Alinghi. Having already partnered with the team during the America’s Cup campaigns, it is with a very real sense of pride that we announce this new partnership that will see us work together across Europe this season”. The GC32s are pushing the boundaries in sailing and so it is with great pleasure that Alinghi can also announce a new sponsor in HYT Watches, a Swiss company that is breaking new ground with its innovative, stylish and beautiful creations. According to Patrick Berdoz, HYT’s Chairman, “First and foremost, this partnership is a fantastic union of two high-tech universes and two leading teams. Alinghi challenges the elements and flies over the water, while HYT challenges the traditional watch making industry and masters the measurement of time through the use of fluid. We are very proud to associate ourselves with the next chapter of Alighni’s journey and to be aligned with this epic team”. Alinghi can also count on another important partner in MarinePool, who have created an Alinghi 2015 collection, available soon. Robert Stark, CEO of MarinePool, commented: “Alinghi and Marinepool have been working together for a number of years. When we heard about this exciting new project we were eager to work with the team and to associate ourselves with one of the most prestigious brands in the history of sailing. We are all very excited for the coming season”. Last, but in no means least, Alinghi is extremely proud to be able to continue to count on the support of its loyal partner, the Manotel Hotel Group, preferred sanctuary of the Alinghi team when in Geneva – and this since 2001. As Paul Muller, General Manager of the Manotel Group, said: “On a boat, as with the hotel industry, teamwork is of the outmost importance. Alinghi, as well as Manotel, perfectly represents the perpetual quest for quality that makes our teams what they are – leaders in their respective fields. It is therefore a great pleasure for us that we can continue to welcome the Alinghi crew to our six Geneva hotels and to associate ourselves with the team in the city and on the waters around the world.”
It came down, as it so often has this season, to the final race. Tense, exciting and, above all, important, this was perhaps the most satisfying of wins for Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi. Conditions on the Med had varied over the course of the four days of racing, with light winds at the start proving testing for all of the teams. However, from a relatively slow start, Alinghi rallied in incredible fashion, stringing together performance after performance to put themselves in contention as the competition neared to a close. Heading into the final race – a double-pointer, of course – it was the team’s fellow countrymen, Realteam, who led the Act. To snatch victory, Alinghi had to finish a clear two places above their rivals. This they did, taking the spoils in front of the thousands of spectators. Given that this is the penultimate Act of the 2014 season, it was a vital win. With it, Alinghi have now extended their lead at the top of the Series leaderboard to eight points over The Wave, Muscat. However, with 20 points up for the taking in the final Act in Sydney, it is certainly not all over. Indeed, their are five teams capable of a podium position. A jubilant Morgan Larson, Alinghi’s helmsman, summed it up after the prize giving: “We were confident at the start of the year that we had a little bit of an edge, but now the rest of the field are showing some real force. I think now you are seeing the future. More than half the fleet have the ability to win an event, and that’s exactly what we’re going to see going into Sydney. That event is going to be worth double points, and if we go out with a bad performance and The Wave, Muscat or Emirates Team New Zealand come in with a strong one – we’re going to lose. So we’ve got to go out and try and get back on the podium.” The very fact that competition is fierce and that it is getting harder and harder to win races is certainly cause for caution when it comes to Sydney. But it also means that this performance in France is all the more important. And all the more impressive… Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7 Nice standings after Day 4, 29 races (5.10.14): Position / Team / Points Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 183 points Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wasem 171 points J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Campbell-James, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell 161 points Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Thomas Cjakgak, Stewart Dodson 160 points Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Peter Burling, Glenn Ashby, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 156 points GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Seve Jarvin, Hugh Styles, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski 146 points SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Christian Kamp, Brad Farrand 145 points 8th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 143 points 9th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Tanguy Cariou, Valentin Bellet, Arnaud Jarlegan, Devan Le Bihan 143 points Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 138 points Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 133 points Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings: Position / Team / Points Alinghi (SUI) 65 points The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 57 points Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 49 points Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 45 points J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 37 points Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 30 points SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 28 points Oman Air (OMA) 24 points Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 24 points Groupama sailing team (FRA) 22 points GAC Pindar (AUS) 11 points