It was somewhat of a frustrating day on the lake at Versoix in the D35 Championship: frustrating for the fleet as a whole that a lack of wind meant only two races were sailed; and frustrating for Alinghi that when the wind did arrive - albeit with only five knots - unfortunate pockets of bad air prevented the team from making good on promising starts. With plenty of racing ahead for the weekend, starting with tomorrow's Geneve-Rolle-Geneve, there is plenty of time for the tables to turn.
Alinghi maintained their overnight position, securing second place in the Open de Versoix behind Team Tilt, last year's Champions. Amid decent wind that reached up to 16 knots, Ernesto Bertarelli's team notched two second place finishes in the day's four races, which, because of Tilt's two victories, was ultimately not enough to secure victory. It was very close, however, with only one point separating the two teams at the end of the day. Swisscom were two points further back in third. Next up it's the Geneve-Rolle-Geneve and Alinghi will be looking to build on this really encouraging and competitive performance as they look to go one better and take first place on the podium for the first time this Championship.
The wind on Lake Geneva started building up around 11:30, offering very nice conditions for the six races of the day. Despite a tricky start to the day, Alinghi managed to score a first and a second place, meaning that the team sits 2nd on the leaderboard of the Versoix Grand Prix. The team is now fully focused on picking up the two points that two separate them from first place.
Today, Friday 6th May, saw the opening day of the 2016 D35 Championship. In lovely, balmy conditions on Lake Geneva, the Grand Prix of the Société Nautique de Genève began with ten teams vying for position in the day’s five races. Alinghi were nothing if not consistent, recording three third-place finishes to leave the team tied with Okalys in third position on 14 points. It was Spindrift’s day, with the team recording three victories to leave them out in front. However, with two more days of racing to go the Grand Prix is very much alive and Alinghi will be looking to hunt down those above them on the leaderboard. More sun is predicted for the weekend, so if you are near do come down to support the team.
Heading into the final day of Act 2 of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao, China, Alinghi held a slender lead over their rivals for top spot, Oman Air. After a pulsating day of racing in Fushan Bay, the Swiss team cemented its position and secured their first victory for this year, in the process moving Ernesto Bertarelli's syndicate up to second place overall in the championship. The team knew it would have to come out firing in order to keep Oman at bay and the first race reinforced the point. Eight to ten knots of wind meant that the GC32s could get up on their foils around the stadium course. However, a poor start meant that Alinghi could only manage seventh, while their rivals took the win. An immediate response was required and it was delivered. Race 2 saw the exact inverse of the opener. Alinghi took the front straight from the start and held it to record the first of three wins with Oman back in seventh. By the time the Committee called time on racing because of thick fog, Alinghi's lead was such that even Oman's victory in the double-pointer last race was not enough to overhaul the Swiss. Afterwards, a delighted Arnaud Psarofaghis said: "The team did a fantastic job - they made it easy for me to just helm the boat and be fast. We had a real battle with Oman Air on points. We had a good race, they had a good one, we had a bad one, so did they. Every race was a new race for us. We looked to get the best start possible not think too much about the points. To get up on the foils was great - we made some good gains while flying. We're going to push to be even faster in Cardiff."
Going into day three of Act 2 in Qingdao, Alinghi were defending an overall lead and the team's experience on Lac Leman told. Light wind conditions meant for challenging racing and the team can be delighted to have registered two victories from the six races. After, co-skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis said: “We’re planning on starting well tomorrow and seeing what happens. We just want to stay clear of everyone else and stay fast.” Alinghi's lead at the top of the Act leaderboard is four points from Oman Air. Tomorrow's finale means there is all to play for... Photo Credit: Lloyd Images
On day two of this Extreme Sailing Series Act 2, the whole team welcomed young students from different schools in Qingdao. After this visit to the Alinghi base, the team obviously benefited from their lucky charms, ending the day on top of the leaderboard having scored two wins and a second place from the five races sailed today.
The Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 started today in Qingdao, China, with very light wind conditions allowing only one race to be sailed and that after a 50 minutes postponement. During this race, Alinghi rapidly took the lead and kept it nearly until the end. It was only during the last run, with the winds dying and becoming patchy, that Alinghi were overtaken, falling to third, a position they kept after rounding the bottom gates and crossing the line behind BAR in first and Sail Portugal in second. Photo Credit: Lloyd Images
Act 2 of 2016’s Extreme Sailing Series begins tomorrow in the port of Qingdao, China, to which the teams return for the sixth time and where Alinghi had their epic coming together with Red Bull in 2014. Widely acknowledged to be one of the more challenging of venues, the city’s tall buildings around Fushan Bay make for wildly unpredictable and gusty winds. One thing’s for sure, it won’t be boring. Day one will consist of open water racing, after which the eight teams will move to the stadium for three days of competition that will conclude on Sunday 1st May. The full schedule is: Friday 29 April: 1400-1700 (GMT+8) Saturday 30 April: 1430-1700 (GMT+8) Sunday 1 May: 1430-1700 (GMT+8) Click here to follow the event live
Photo Credit: Lloyd Images After a fascinating final day of racing in Oman, Alinghi finished in fourth place, three points behind Land Rover BAR Academy, themselves behind Red Bull in second and the winners, Oman Air. It was the first time that the Extreme Sailing Series had been raced on the foiling GC32s and, after light winds on days two and three, today provided breezes that enabled the teams to get up into the air and fly through the water. Looking to overhaul their rivals to achieve a podium finish, Alinghi couldn’t quite manage the feat, despite two second place finishes in the third last and then penultimate race. The team would like to send their congratulations to Oman Air for their first place finish and performance throughout the week. We’ll see them and you in China!