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.


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 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

A disappointing 4th place

23 July, 2017

After 22 races in three days, Alinghi leaves Barcelona with a 4th place finish, now sharing the top of the Championship standings with SAP Extreme Sailing Team, (who finished third in this Act), with both teams on 43 points. After their victory today, Oman Air is back in contention, lying in the ambush position just one point behind the leaders. Red Bull Sailing Team, 2nd in this event, is in 4th overall with 37 points. Pierre-Yves Jorand, Team leader, said: "The guys sailed well. We were able to execute what we had talked about following yesterday's performance, namely to sail our way, in clear air, even if we are not on the "right" side of the course. It worked for us apart from the last race of the day where the wind shifted by a good 30 degrees to the left – we were then on the right-side of the course. In such a situation, good speed and good manoeuvres can't be enough to make-up the loss we experienced from the way the wind shifted." Tim Lapauw, trimmer: "We had a better day than yesterday, that's what counts. Before the last race, which is a double-pointer, we had some really nice starts, beautiful manoeuvres and had great speed. Before that last race we were back on the podium." Yves Detrey, bowman: "We're a little disappointed with this regatta. We probably made mistakes. But we also have the impression that nothing was happening for us. We tried to correct our starts, but when it's not going for you, it's not. We hope we've had our fair share of this kind of luck for the season and that things will be better for the next regatta in Hamburg. Whatever the case, things will be played out over the course of the remaining Acts and we must not take it for granted that anything is written in the stars. It is up to us to take control." Click here to watch the interviews after racing finished in their entirety. We will be meeting in Hamburg from Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th of August for Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series. Click here for the overall standings from Act 4. Click here for the overall standings of the Championship: To find out more Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo  //  #Extremesailing 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 by following this link. Photos credit © Lloyd Images

A hard day on the water, but confidence remains

22 July, 2017

There are days when it’s with you, days when it’s not. Yesterday, Alinghi’s performance was almost perfectly choreographed; today, it was much more complicated. The team won one race, but in general things did not go to plan throughout the day. However, the team remained positive – “it happens, it’s sport…” The shame for the team was that such a day of misfortune came when a full ten races were run, meaning that they now train Oman Air, who have built a good gap at the top of the standings tonight. Red Bull and SAP Extreme, however, remain within the team’s reach. All the more so given that favourable weather is expected tomorrow, which should allow up to six or seven races, with 70-80 points therefore up for grabs. With that in mind, the team remains, as ever, confident and pulling together. Yves Detrey, Bowman: "It was a difficult day for us, even terrible in places. Nothing seemed to go our way, but really we have nobody to blame but ourselves. Our starts weren’t great and everything seemed to go wrong after that. “For now, we need some rest because today was certainly challenging physically with ten races in 12 knots of wind and sometimes sailing upwind with the gennaker. We will have a good debrief in the morning and come back stronger for the racing in the afternoon.” Click here to view Yves’ interview in its entirety. See you tomorrow at 2pm (local time) for the last day of this Act 4, which you can also follow live (video & 3D graphics) by clicking here. At this same link, valid until Sunday morning, you can watch the replay of the racing from today. Click here for the overall standings after 16 races To find out more Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo  //  #Extremesailing 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 by following this link. Photos credit © Lloyd Images