Setubal, in Portugal, is a European City of Sport for 2016 and Alinghi’s rigger, Joao Cabecadas, who hails from the town, was honoured to have been named its Ambassador for Sailing. During a recent trip to his hometown, Joao had the opportunity to address a primary school and a secondary school, as well as participate in a discussion with 200 students at the sports school in the Forum Luisa. Having been a key part of Alinghi’s America’s Cup campaigns and a central figure in the team’s exploits today, Joao had much to say about sailing and about his other ocean-based passions, such as kite surfing and windsurfing. Having answered questions about the Cup campaigns, the Extreme Sailing Series and more, Joao and his friend, Joao Rodriques (seven-time Olympic windsurfer), then took to the water to show off their skills. Every little bit helps in inspiring the next generation!
After yesterday’s drama, which saw Alinghi’s mast slowly descend following a collision with Red Bull, the shore team had a mammoth task on their hands to get the GC32 race-ready for Day 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series in the Madeira Islands, all the more important a task because the team were topping the leaderboard . All credit to them, because the team were able to sail and repaid their colleagues’ efforts by nailing the two races that today’s conditions allowed . Two wins meant the Act was Alinghi’s, a fantastic result. Up next is Lisbon and it’s all getting tight at the top! Next is Lisbon from the 6th to the 9th of October but before that, the team will be back on its home waters at Société Nautique de Genève for the final GP of the D35 Trophy on September 30 & October 1. See you there!
Alinghi’s third day in the Madeira Islands ended after race three. A dramatic collision with Red Bull off the start line saw the team lose their mast and forced to retire. It was symptomatic of how closely the teams were pushing each other, but thankfully nobody was hurt and Alinghi will be working all night to get the GC32 back on the water tomorrow, especially because they top the leaderboard going into the final day. The crash happened with Red Bull just that little bit too close to Alinghi as they made a fast start, their rear clipping the Swiss’s front. The impact was critical for Alinghi’s rigging and, ultimately, the mast. The Race Committee awarded Alinghi redress for the incident, meaning that they retain their lead overall. However, it’s a race against time to get the boat ready for the final day tomorrow. Arnaud Psarofaghis, explained: “During the third start we were sandwiched between Red Bull Sailing Team and Sail Portugal. Red Bull Sailing Team popped up onto their foils then came down on us, and we couldn’t really avoid them. This all happened really quickly and unfortunately they hit us and we lost the rig, but no-one was hurt and that’s the main thing. Photo Credit: Lloyd Images “We need to assess the damage and see if we will be able to sail tomorrow. It’s going to be a long night for us but we have the greatest shore crew and they will do everything they can to get us back on the water.”
Consistency was key for Alinghi on the second day in the Extreme Sailing Series in the Maderia Islands. They, and the rest of the fleet, had trouble keeping up with Red Bull, whose two victories today made it three out of five overall, propelling them up the leaderboard, where they share top spot with Alinghi. Despite not recording a win of their own, Arnaud Psarofaghis and the team can be very pleased with their performance indeed. The team finished in the top three in every race, meaning they share the overnight spoils. More of the same over the weekend will be just what’s called for.
The Extreme Sailing Series has come to the Madeira Islands for the first time, though the truly glorious setting provided everything but a breeze today. Only one race could be run before the Race Committee called time, but Alinghi can be pleased with securing a second place finish in it. It was the team’s choice to go out to sea on the beat that meant they recovered from being fourth at the mark and also at the bottom gate to finish behind Redbull, but two places above Series’ rivals Oman Air. Other than this one race, the day’s other excitement was the fleet witnessing Cunard Line’s magnificent Queen Elizabeth sail out of Marina Funchal – truly a great sight. Let’s hope for big winds tomorrow!