The Extreme Sailing Series has come to the Madeira Islands for the first time, though the truly glorious setting provided everything but a breeze today. Only one race could be run before the Race Committee called time, but Alinghi can be pleased with securing a second place finish in it. It was the team’s choice to go out to sea on the beat that meant they recovered from being fourth at the mark and also at the bottom gate to finish behind Redbull, but two places above Series’ rivals Oman Air. Other than this one race, the day’s other excitement was the fleet witnessing Cunard Line’s magnificent Queen Elizabeth sail out of Marina Funchal – truly a great sight. Let’s hope for big winds tomorrow!
Alinghi were ultimately unable to repeat last weekend’s victory on Lake Geneva in the D35 Championship, having to settle for third place in the Grand Prix Yacht Club de Genève. The team send their congratulations to Team Tilt, whose win in the last race was matched by a finish on top of the podium. The teams had a frustrating morning waiting for wind to pick-up, but eventually, under overcast skies, a light breeze was found and three races were sailed. The first went very well for Ernesto Bertarelli’s team. With all of the fleet starting on the starboard side, Alinghi’s great start saw their lead at all marks for the win. Sixth and fourth place finishes in the next and final two races were enough for third place in the Grand Prix. Next up, the conclusion to the Championship at the Grand Prix de Clôture that will take place at Société Nautique de Genève on September 30th and October 1st, but before that, the team will take place to the Extreme Sailing Series Act 6 in Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira between September 22nd and September 25th. Stay tuned!
Weather conditions meant that just three races in the Grand Prix Yacht Club de Genève were sailed today. Alinghi recorded a second place in the day’s first race, followed by a sixth and then a third. It was then, with a lack of wind on the lake, that the Committee called a postponement, which eventually became a call to end the day’s competition. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some gusts and give the fleet the opportunity to get the sails up!
The final day of racing in the GP Alinghi at Crans on Lake Geneva in the D35 Championship saw the team do enough amid light winds to secure the win. Having started this, the final day, at the top the leaderboard, consistency proved to be the key. Ttwo second-place finishes, coupled with a third place, were enough to make sure that Alinghi ended the Grand Prix three points clear of Ladycat, who finished second. A good end to a challenging weekend of racing where conditions drew the best from the team and the fleet.
With a lack of breeze scuppering racing yesterday the fleet again had to wait for the wind today. When it did come it was light, which made it all the more challenging for the teams, but also a different kind of competition. Alinghi took the win in race 3 and their competitiveness across the rest of the races meant that they leave the field ahead of tomorrow. All to play for!
The wind, or lack of it, at Crans on Lake Geneva conspired against the D35 fleet on the first day of the Grand Prix Alinghi. The conditions meant that the teams could only get out for some practice sessions and a few aborted starts before the Committee called time, with all of the competitors hoping that tomorrow brings some breeze so that racing get going.
The last day of Act 5 in 2016’s Extreme Sailing Series delivered tension, drama and a win for Alinghi in some of the most exciting of racing that the year has seen thus far. Heading into this final day, the team had a buffer of four points over their rivals, Oman Air. But with this small, tight course and with a final race that counted for double-points, things were far from certain for the Swiss. As it turned out, it was a real nail-biting finale. Four races were sailed and Alinghi got off to a flyer, winning the first. However, Oman Air pegged the team back, winning the second and third races. That meant that the last race double-pointer would be a classic match race, as the two teams were level on points. Whoever finished ahead of the other would take the Act. Arnaud Psarofaghis and the team sailed a brilliant race, finding the breeze when it mattered to secure the points and the Act. With the victory, Alinghi have narrowed the gap between them and Oman in the overall Series leaderboard to five points. Next up, the beautiful Madeira Islands, where Alinghi will be trying to repeat what was a great four days of competition. Before then, the team will, next weekend (9th – 11th September), be doing battle in the GP Alinghi in Crans-près-Céligny on Ernesto Bertarelli's Decision 35.
Three wins on the first day in St Petersburg, two on the second day and one today, the penultimate day of racing in Russia. And yet the team's highly impressive consistency across the other six races, including two second place finished in the last two races, meant that the Swiss have leapfrogged their rivals from Oman into first place on the leaderboard, with a cushion of four points. That's exactly where they want to be ahead of the finale tomorrow and today's performance will give them a lot of confidence. Perhaps it was a pre-racing meeting with the Swiss Consul in St Petersburg that inspired the team today, but whatever the reason Alinghi took full advantage of a penalty for Oman Air in Race 17 to secure a win, with their rivals back in seventh. That result moved the team to the top of the leaderboard and it was there they stayed, even extending the gap by a further two points. So, all very much in play for tomorrow.
Matching the performance of yesterday’s opener to Act 5 in St Petersburg, in which Alinghi notched three wins, was always going to be challenging, but the team gave it a good shot, recording two victories out of the day’s seven races. Those two maximums, couple with a second place in race two meant that they retained their overnight position of second overall, albeit now behind leaders Oman Air, with SAP Extreme slipping back to third place. It might have been even better for the Swiss had they not broken their jib sheet in the final race, meaning that they had to settle for sixth, and that only after having passed the Sail Portugal team in a tight final mark rounding. With two days of racing left only five points separate Alinghi from first place and so there will be plenty of interest for the spectators on the Neva river over the weekend. Join us for live updates. Allez Alinghi!
Light wind conditions delayed racing in the last and decisive day. Only one regatta could be launched. Alinghi having to finish four places ahead of Oman to win this 4th Act. When crossing the line in 3rd position, everyone hold his breath, Oman was in the last position, four places behind. It's only in the last jibes that they managed to pass BAR to take the event a single point ahead of Alinghi. Well done team for this second place!