Racing:

Extreme Sailing Series

The Extreme Sailing Series brings together the world’s elite teams for dramatic racing in venues around the world. For the 2017 season, the eleventh for the Series, the teams are racing again on spectacular foiling GC32 catamarans – unbelievable machines that speed through the water and fly through the air.

THE RACING

Having first raced its GC32 in the 2015 Bullitt Racing Tour, in 2016 Alinghi has joined the Extreme Sailing Series circuit (ESS) – an especially exciting one-design competition.

Now in its eleventh season, the Series used to be raced on the Extreme 40 – indeed, Alinghi won the title in 2008 and 2014 – the foiling GC32 catamarans will be bringing again their uniquely exciting brand of all-action sailing to the tour, which takes in iconic stadium racing venues across the world, from China to Mexico in front of thousands of spectators.

As Alinghi can speak to, having set the speed record in 2015, the GC32s are incredibly fast, capable of nearly 40 knots (74km/h). Even more exhilarating is that they do it above the water, over which they ‘fly’ as the foils deploy and the boat accelerates. The technology used is the same as the bigger yachts in the America’s Cup. The GC32 is essentially a scaled-down version, though relative to the bigger boats used in San Francisco in 2013, the foils are quite big. This is because the GC32s are designed to work in a broad range of conditions, and particularly in light wind – and bigger foils generate lift in light airs. Another key difference is that the GC32s are easier (and cheaper) to run, making the Extreme Sailing Series a particularly accessible tour.

Learn more about the Extreme Sailing Series >

THE BOAT

The GC32 is a hydro-foiling catamaran. Made out of carbon-fibre, the foils are slender wing-like arms that are deployed under both hulls of the boat, generating lift and allowing ‘flight’ through the water. Choosing how to trim the foils is, of course, down to the team onboard, while the fact that there is also no hydraulic means that the foils must be adjusted manually. These technical aspects of the boat, combined with the many other control points that must be mastered, means that getting the GC32 up to peak performance is a real challenge for its sailors. When the boat is there, however, there’s nothing like it...

  • Length (overall): 12.00m
  • Length (hull): 10.00m
  • Beam: 6.00m
  • Weight: 750 kg
  • Draft (upwind): 2.10m
  • Draft (downwind): 1.60m
  • Mast height (above deck): 16.50m
  • Bowsprit length: 6.60m
  • Mainsail: 60.00m²
  • Jib: 23.50m²
  • Gennaker: 90.00m²

Extreme Sailing Series News

Victory in Act 2 of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series and a lead in the overall standings

2 May, 2017

After having tasted success in 2014 and 2016, this year's performance confirms that Qingdao's Fushan Bay and its variable conditions appeal to Alinghi's sailors. Could that be, perhaps, because of their schooling on Lake Geneva, where it's an imperative that one is able to adapt to changes in wind speed speed and direction? Whatever the reason, the team sealed the deal today in China, securing the win having been in the leading position from the first day. With the victory, Alinghi also moved into first place in the Series' standings, with previous leader, SAP Extreme Sailing Team, recording a fourth place this weekend. Follow this link to the Alinghi facebook page to see comments, hot off the press, from the team, as they discuss the regatta as they return their GC32 to the dock.   A beautiful finish With a dozen knots of medium wind, which peaked at 18 knots, the sailing window was exploited to the full today. Seven great races were launched, allowing the GC32s to traverse the bat at full speed in front of thousands of spectators who were enjoying the May 1st holiday. Xièxie (thank you) & zàijiàn (goodbye) Qingdao. The fleet will be in Madeira from the 29th of June until the 2nd of July for the next Act of the Extreme Sailing Series. In the meantime, we will already see you in few days for the start of the D35 annual championship ! Click here to find out more. Standings after 17 races of Act 2, Qingdao, of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series (12 points awarded for 1st place, 11 for 2nd, 10 for 3rd and so on): 1st - Alinghi (SUI) : 184 points 2nd - Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) : 173 points 3rd - Oman Air (OMA) : 168 points 4th - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) : 168 points 5th - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) : 166 points   To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © Xaume Olleros & Alinghi If you want to know more about how to follow the racing, about Alinghi's team, or just about this regatta in general, you will find all that you need in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo

Towards a crescendo in Qingdao

30 April, 2017

We had been warned of the 'random' nature of the local weather and Qingdao is keeping all of its promises! The waters within Fushan Bay, a nautical stadium bracketed by two sea walls and the city's coastline, delivered a range of conditions this afternoon, going from weak airs to abrupt gusts of over 25 knots, as recorded by the measuring equipment on board. As the wind increased, so too, did the speed of the racing legs, meaning that zone in which the boats sailed is limited by natural barriers. The more the wind rose, the more the GC32 began to lift on their hulls, then up onto their foils, making for an excellent spectacle for the astonished Chinese watching crowds, whose cries of "Ohhhhh" and "Whaaaa" of surprise gave voice to how fun it was to watch. As the wind increased, however, the boats became more difficult to manage and it took all of the sailors' talents to keep them on the right lines and under their control. In that context, Alinghi even narrowly avoided capsizing on the exit to a jibe (the images are obviously online!). In the end, seven validated races were run under a variety of conditions in which the young teams of Land Rover BAR Academy and NZ Extreme Sailing Team performed very well to join Alinghi on the provisional podium. The Swiss team keeps its first place and will start the final day of this Act 2 four small points ahead, a sign of great battles to be anticipated tomorrow! Straight after « hoisting João » up in the rig, Bryan Mettraux shares his impressions of the day in a video on our Facebook page. See you tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the 4th and final day of this ESS Act in a China. After the ten races (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) the overall standings are: 1st - Alinghi (SUI) : 102 points 2nd - Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) : 98 points 3rd - NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) : 96 points 4th - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) : 90 points 5th - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) : 89 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © Sean team, Xaume Olleros et Alinghi If you want to know more about how to follow the racing, about Alinghi's team, or just about this regatta in general, you will find all that you need in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo

No wind, no change

29 April, 2017

There's just one scenario where a day without wind, and therefore without racing, can in any way be seen as favourable: When you are already leading the regatta and so, without doing anything, you stay at the top of the rankings. Pierre-Yves Jorand, team manager, said: "There really was not enough wind to get the sails full. At the end of the afternoon, the race director tried to lay out a course and launch the boats in pairs, in match racing mode, in order to give the public a bit of entertainment, but it was really lacking the wind to run. The forecasts seem more favorable tomorrow, with a strong east wind approaching and so we cross the fingers!" To watch our coach's interview in full, check our Facebook page here. Did you know? João Cabeçadas is not only a passionate rigger, he also inspires younger generations to get into sailing. This morning, he was visited by young Chinese children to whom he introduced our workshop container and the GC32. Check out the pictures on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts! Check back tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the third day of competition...hopefully windy! (No change since yesterday) After the first three races (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) the overall standings are: 1st - Alinghi (SUI): 1st, 2nd, 2nd > 34 points 2nd - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 4th, 4th, 1st > 30 points 3rd - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 2nd, 1st, 6th > 30 points 4th - NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL): 7th, 3rd, 3rd > 26 points 5th - Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 7th, 5th > 24 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © Alinghi If you want to know more about how to follow the racing, about Alinghi's team, or just about this regatta in general, you will find all that you need in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo

A shortened, but productive day

28 April, 2017

Everything was in place for a full day of racing on this, the opening of Act 2 of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao: The course laid out and seven teams looking forward to the battle. Alas, the wind, too weak at the start of the afternoon, had other ideas. For the first hour and a half, because of the unstable wind, which was of the type that can make the finish line a complete lottery, the GC32s took part in 'non-scoring races' – that is, races that got the fleet out on the water, but which counted for nothing in the overall scheme. Suddenly, however, between 10 and 14 knots of breeze filled the bay, making possible three competitive races and providing beautiful images of foiling catamarans for the telephoto lenses of a hundred photographers lined-up on the sea-wall – home to the Qingdao Olympic Nautical Centre – who enjoyed a direct view of the racing. For those who like statistics, Alinghi were today only 6% off a faultless performance, having recorded one win (12 points) and two second-place finishes (11 points each), meaning that they scored 34 points from a total of the 36 on offer. SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Red Bull Sailing team occupy the remaining two places on the provisional podium, each with 30 points. Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician, said: "The opening day's performance is, of course, in line with the objectives we set ourselves, but concentrating on what we need to do remains our priority. We bank what we have achieved, but start tomorrow from a clean slate, knowing that with three days of racing to come – and in conditions that are capable of changing, rapidly – everything remains to be done." To watch our tactician's full debriefing about the day, check our Facebook page by clicking here Check back tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the second day of racing. After the first three races (12 points are awarded for a 1st place, 11 points for a 2nd, 10 points for a third etc.) the overall standings are: 1st - Alinghi (SUI): 1st, 2nd, 2nd > 34 points 2nd - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 4th, 4th, 1st > 30 points 3rd - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 2nd, 1st, 6th > 30 points 4th - NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL): 7th, 3rd, 3rd > 26 points 5th - Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 7th, 5th > 24 points Find all the results at: www.extremesailingseries.com/results To find out more www.extremesailingseries.com Credit for photos © Xaume Olleros If you want to know more about how to follow the racing, about Alinghi's team, or just about this regatta in general, you will find all that you need in the recap at the bottom of this news story. #GoAlinghiGo