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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 3rd in Austria

1 June, 2015

Photos credit: Guilain Grenier | Bullit GC32 Racing Tour Amid testing conditions on Lake Traunsee, the first event of the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour came to a conclusion in Austria on Sunday 31st May with Alinghi taking third place. Following a minor back injury, Pierre-Yves Jorand had to be replaced at the mainsail on board Alinghi’s GC32, with the team welcoming, at the very last minute, Red Bull Sailing Team member and double Olympian Hans-Peter Steinacher  Throughout the event, the wind had been unpredictable, with the key for the teams being to find – and then stay in – the breeze. On the fourth and final day, this was very much the case, with the race area transported to the southern end of the lake at Ebensee in an attempt to find some wind. When racing did get going it was a mixed day for Alinghi team: two wins were combined with two lower results. Having gone into the day way out in front at the top of the leaderboard it was always unlikely that Sultanate of Oman would be caught and so it proved, with Leigh McMillan’s crew winning the event. Alinghi took third place, with Spindrift second. Commenting after the racing, Alinghi’s helmsman Morgan Larson said: “It was nice to finally work on things that, perhaps, we had been struggling a bit with within the team, such as communication and where to position ourselves. Spindrift had a fantastic day and hats off to them for that, while it’s clear that Leigh and his crew are setting a new benchmark in the class. We can’t wait to come back even stronger in the Cowes Cup in a few weeks’ time.” Before Cowes, of course, is the next event in the D35 Championship with a double counting weekend including the second Versoix GP (5&7  of June) and  the classic Geneve-Rolle-Geneve (6 of June). Highlights Day 1 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/DhP3_zVUqdk::news] Day 2 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/1ryf4srmLdk::news] Day 3 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/ib88PpHLMwk::news] Day 4 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/HHklNC7_udA::news]

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: http://d35trophy.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Classement-CNV-2015.pdf