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.
In the end it was not to be for Alinghi, who were pipped to the post in the D35 Championship by Team Tilt. Having been close adversaries all season, Alinghi would like to send their congratulations to Tilt for a fantastic regatta and a fantastic season. The team also want to express their admiration for all of the teams that did battle on the Lake to make this the most memorable D35 Championship yet. Having gone into Day 2 just two points ahead of Tilt - and with the victor of the two taking the title - Alinghi's advantage was slender. Ultimately it could not be protected, with the two-point lead becoming a six-point deficit. Tilt took the Championship, with Alinghi second. It was a brilliant competition and - watch out Tilt - Alinghi will be gunning for the title next year!
Racing has just finished on Day 1 of the Grand Prix SNG, the last and decisive regatta of the 2015 Championship. Heading into the competition, it would be all about Alinghi and Team Tilt, the two Swiss rivals who have been battling it out at the top of the leaderboard all season. With Tilt holding the lead, albeit a slender one, this regatta is a straight shootout. Whichever of the two teams finishes ahead of the other will takes the title. Which has made for an exhilarating Day 1 and, after today's racing, will make for a nerve-shredding finale! As befits a championship that is coming down to the wire, Friday's racing was extremely close. Wind conditions were good - between 10 and 15 knots - and the first sprint got off on time. Seven boats started on port, including both title contenders. It was an auspicious start for Ernesto Bertarelli's team, who, having gone past Tilt before the first mark perfectly timed their jibe on the last run to take first place from Ladycat, with Tilt down in 7th. Race 2 was equally good from Alinghi's persective, with the team making it two from two, although this time Tilt were right on their heels in second place. It wasn't to be three from three, however, with 7en taking the plaudits and with Tilt ahead of Alinghi. Race 4 made the overall picture even closer - Tilt took it, with Alinghi in 4th, having had a coming-to with Mobimo that saw the former break their starboard hiking ladder (fixed soon after) and incurring a penalty. Happily, Race 5 saw a return to winning ways. Having rounded the mark first, Alinghi maintained their lead to take three wins for the day. But then, fitting the script of intense competition, Tilt took the last race of the day just ahead of Bertarelli's team! It was truly a duel… Things could still not be closer - Alinghi's lead over Tilt is but two points! It promises to be hugely exciting tomorrow, so stay tuned to our twitter feed for live updates. ALLEZ ALINGHI!
With conditions as challenging as they have been for some time, huge credit must go to Realteam for their victory in the Grand Prix Alinghi, which was organised with typical brilliance by the Yacht Club de Crans. Despite having won the first race of the day – and this even having overcome a poor start on port – Alinghi had to settle for second overall, which was a great result and testament to their consistency. Second in this event moves Alinghi even closer to Championship leaders TeamTilt, with now just a single point separating the teams. It could not be tighter heading into the final weekend of racing in the D35 Championnat. As this weekend’s racing has proved, it can be anybody’s…
A combination of challenging winds, challenging starts, and challenging luck meant that it was a mixed bag for Alinghi in the first day of the Grand Prix that has been named after the team. The good news, however, was that it was a mixed bag for all of the teams, with no one dominating. Indeed, despite Ernesto Bertarelli’s team not recording a victory on the Lake, the fact that they were consistently in the top half of the field means that, heading into day two of the Grand Prix, Alinghi is sitting pretty in fourth place, only three points from leader Realteam. Crucially, Team Tilt – Alinghi’s main rival for the D35 Championnat – are five points back. All eyes, therefore, will be on the action on the Lake tomorrow. Roll it on!
A storming performance on Day 2 of racing on Lake Geneva - in good conditions - saw Alinghi take home the Open du Yacht Club Genève and move closer to the top of the overall leaderboard in the D35 Championnat. With three races sailed on Day 1, of which Ernesto Bertarelli's team won one, the final result was very much up in the air as the fleet gathered on the Lake on a fine Sunday, with winds of nine knots greeting the teams. The committee eventually called time on sailing after four races had been run and, nailing their roles, both individually and as a unit, Alinghi managed to win all but one. It was a fantastic day for the team, who were all delighted with the performance and with the fact that they are now breathing down Team Tilt's neck in the competition for the championship. Next week-end, the teams will meet again on the waters of Crans-près-Céligny for the Grand-Prix Alinghi where the atmosphere should be at the Rendez-vous on the water and on land with a concert of the Time Machine planed on Saturday evening under the tent built on purpose in front of the club! Allez Alinghi!
Today started with some delay due to the lack of wind. Finally three races were sailed. Alinghi winning the first one of them. Only four points behind Team Tilt tonight Alinghi will start racing again tomorrow at 11:30am in front of the shores of Cologny.
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...
Next Saturday (the 13th), Alinghi will be lining up its Décision 35 SUI-1 Alinghi for the start of the 77th Bol d’Or Mirabaud, organised by Société Nautique de Genève and known as the largest race in closed waters, with more than 500 boats and 2,500 crew participating. Alinghi is one of the Bol d’Or’s most successful ever teams, having won the trophy in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2011. That record makes Ernesto Bertarelli and Pierre-Yves Jorand members of a very select club of people who have won this prestigious trophy six times since the first edition in 1939. Alinghi’s crew for this year edition will be Ernesto Bertarelli (Helm), Pierre-Yves Jorand (Mainsail), Nicolas Charbonnier (Tactic), Coraline Jonet (Trim), Nils Frei (Trim) and Yves Detrey (Bow). On Saturday, you can follow the regatta live at these links: For news and live footage of the race: http://news.boldormirabaud.ch/ For maps and live positioning of the boats: http://www.suiviregate.ch/mapapps.html?reg_id=BOM15 But before the start gun is shot at 10:00am next Saturday June 13th, 2015 enjoy this great movie made by Pedro Das Neves about last year’s 76th Bol d’Or. [VIDEO::https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKKlHhPiCM0::news]
Due to wind conditions that were uncertain to say the least – varying from incredibly light wind to the possibility of thunderstorms – all races were cancelled on Sunday, the 7th of May. Alinghi, therefore, maintains the second place position secured on the first day of racing, Friday. The very same position that the team is in the D35 Championship. Waiting for us is the Bol d’Or, coming up next weekend. Alinghi would like to send all of our best wishes to Nils for a swift recovery. We hope to have him aboard for next weekend’s classic.