Six races overall, four for each team (with the fleet sailing in two groups in the afternoon), about twenty laps around the course's buoys, and as many turns and gybes by each boat, and all in a wind that varied from eight to 22 knots and under the beautiful Australian sun. Such were the ingredients for Day 2 of the final Act of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ in Sydney. Pierre-Yves Jorand explains the decision to split the fleet in two: "One of the peculiarities and attractions of this Series is that the spectators can get close to the boats as they race, much the same as you would from the stands in Formula 1. Given the strong and unstable wind we had today, shifting in force and direction, the Race Director had no choice but to split the fleet to launch the early races in a confined area close to the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron." Sailing in this configuration, Alinghi won both of the runs, having made good starts, maintained good speed and made good manoeuvres. Nils Frei takes up the story of the rest of the day: "A change in the direction of the wind meant that the course could be reconfigured and the whole fleet could race as one. With eight boats on this narrow course you can quickly find yourself in traffic if you don't take a risk at the start. Some teams certainly took this approach to try and find clear water. That can pay off, but it can also go the other way, for example going across the line too soon or executing the start poorly. Given where we stand, we went for conservative starts, which is why we recorded 4th and 5th place finishes. We can be happy with our day, because with this kind of race format anything can happen." In terms of the battle for the Series podium, all three contenders scored a similar amount of points on Day 2. Although Alinghi relinquish one point to Oman Air, the Swiss team still lead the standings at the halfway point of this grand final of the 2016 season. After seven races for each team (two per team were in the split fleet format, meaning Sydney Harbour has seen nine races overall) the general standings read: 1st – Alinghi (SUI): 2nd,1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 4th, 5th – 67 points 2nd – Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 4th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd – 65 points 3rd – Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 1st, 6th, 4rd, 4rd, 1st, 3rd, 4th: 62 points Find all of the results in detail at http://www.extremesailingseries.com/results/2016-Sydney Follow the action With up to eight races on each of the four days, there will be plenty of sport to enjoy, though do watch out for the time difference: UTC + 11, i.e. + 10 hours compared to Swiss time. Online, via the Alinghi homepage (www.alinghi.com) - Races modeled in 3D from December 8 to 11 - 90 minutes of live pictures on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th afternoon (from 3.30pm to 5pm local time) - Replay available at the end of the races On Twitter @alinghiteam: - Updates after each race On Facebook @teamalinghi: - Pictures and video interviews throughout the regatta - Live broadcast of the awards ceremony - Sunday 11 December from 17.45 local time (= 7.45 in Switzerland)
"The conditions were pretty wild today in Sydney harbour. With such strong winds, our focus was on keeping control of the boat. We could foil, but we avoided doing anything crazy! To be confident of our manoeuvres we were even on our hands and knees as we traversed the net during the turns and gybes". So said Yves Detrey, Alinghi’s bowman and one of the toughest sailors on the circuit. It was a hard day in this, the opening of the grand final of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™, with an average wind of 20 knots and gusts up to 28. With this the situation, Alignhi’s caution proved a good decision, providing two second-place finishes and a victory in the day’s three races. Their rival for the Series, Oman Air, also won a race, but finished third and fourth in the others. In the middle of the afternoon, the race committee asked the competitors to return to the dock. Tim Lapauw explains: "In the third round, two boats capsized (Portuguese Visit Madeira and English Land Rover BAR Academy). Thankfully, there were no injuries or damages to the boats, but, understandably, for safety reasons, the race director preferred to stop there. We sailed well and are happy with our day. We were just really watchful and respectful of the conditions." So far, so good for the team, who now look to continue where they left off tomorrow. The standings in Sydney after three races, with 12 points for first place, 11 for second and so on, are: 1st – Alinghi (SUI): 2nd, 1st, 2nd: 34 points 2nd – Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 4th, 1st: 31 points 3rd – Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 1st, 6th, 3rd: 29 points Find all of the results at http://www.extremesailingseries.com/results/2016-Sydney
After its triumph on a monohull in the America's Cup and numerous victories on multihulls in the Decision 35 and Extreme 40 competitions, this week sees Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi try to add foiling catamarans to the list of boats on which they’ve won championships. Starting next Thursday the 8th and running until Sunday the 11th Sydney will play host to the last Act of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ (ESS) with eight international teams doing battle in the iconic harbour between the Opera House and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. And at stake? A world-class sailing championship on the ‘flying’ GC32. Alinghi, the form team Timothé Lapauw, trimmer, comments: "Since September, we've had three wins in a row, so if anything the pressure is on our competitors in this last Act.” And if there is pressure rising as the start in Australia draw closer, then it’s one that Tim enjoys. "Once on the water, I'm focused solely on my job. There is so much to do in this fast-racing format that I do not have time to think about anything else!" The skipper, Arnaud Psarofaghis, says: "I know that the pressure generated by what is at stake will help us to raise our level. The goal is clear for us all – win! We are eager to do battle and we are confident, but certainly don’t take anything for granted because our opponents are so strong and anything and everything can happen in this kind of racing.” Podium secured, but where upon it is not… The general classification for the 2016 Series currently reads: 1st - Oman Air (OMA): 79 points 2nd - Alinghi (SUI): 77 3rd - Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 73 4th - SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): 61 5th - Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR): 54 6th - Visit Madeira (POR): 49 This eighth and final stage of the 2016 circuit counts for double, meaning the points in play in Sydney are 24 for first place, 22 for second and so on. In the case of a tie, the team best placed in Sydney will take the Series. At this stage of the competition, a place on the final podium is assured for Oman Air, Alinghi and Red Bull Sailing Team, but it of course remains to be seen in which order the leading trio will stand upon it finish. To win this championship, Alinghi must finish in front of Oman Air and not finish more than a place behind Red Bull. A Recap What: Grand final of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™, which has seen eight Acts in eight host cities, on three continents. Who: Eight international teams, each made up of a crew of five Where: Sydney Harbor (Australia), between the Opera House and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron When: Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th December How: Teams compete in short, fast races in front of the public on a 32-ft foiling catamaran, the GC32 Follow the action With up to eight races on each of the four days, there will be plenty of sport to enjoy, though do watch out for the time difference: UTC + 11, i.e. + 10 hours compared to Swiss time. Online, via the Alinghi homepage (www.alinghi.com) - Races modeled in 3D from December 8 to 11 - 90 minutes of live pictures on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th afternoon (from 3.30pm to 5pm local time) - Replay available at the end of the races On Twitter @alinghiteam: - Updates after each race On Facebook @teamalinghi: - Pictures and video interviews throughout the regatta - Live broadcast of the awards ceremony - Sunday 11 December from 17.45 local time (= 7.45 in Switzerland) Crew Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI) Headsail trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI) Headsail trimmer and foil adjuster: Timothé Lapauw (FRA) Tactician and mainsail trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA) Helm, co-skipper: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) Technical Team and Coach João Cabeçadas (POR) David Nikles (SUI) Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI)
It has been a golden few days in Portugal for the Extreme Sailing Series, with a superb Lisbon setting matched by equally tremendous conditions. They combined to make for exciting and fast racing. So fast, in fact, that Alinghi nudged 40 knots on Day 3! Having put in some dominating performances over the first three days, not just in terms of race wins, but also in terms of consistent place-finishes, Alinghi had opened up a big gap at the top of the leaderboard heading into the final day. Though there were no race wins today, another excellent and consistent performance saw the team secure the Act victory, meaning that – ahead of the finale in Sydney at the end of the year – Alinghi now trail Oman Air by only two points thanks to three Act wins on the bounce. More of the same in Australia, please, when racing starts on the 8th of December! Photo credit: Lloyd Images
Conditions were just about perfect on Day 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Lisbon, so much so that a top speed by Alinghi of 32 knots in one race was bettered just a half an hour later with the team reaching 37!. The stadium course and the crowd there got to see the GC32s taken to their limits and it made for some thrilling and high-speed racing. Having recorded two wins on both of the Act’s previous days, Alinghi had set themselves a tough act to follow, but, again, they got off to a flyer, winning the first of the day’s seven races. There then followed a second place and a third, with a little interlude of a fifth, before another win and then two second-place finishes in the day’s last two races. For all of the victories, it has been the team’s great consistency that sees them way out front heading into tomorrow’s closing day. A full 19 points separates them from second-place Noruato, with Oman Air a further nine points back. Lisbon has been awesome fun and tomorrow’s racing can’t come soon enough!
Alinghi have been enjoying their time in Portugal, so much so that it’s hard to recall a better day than today’s for the team in their history in the Extreme Sailing Series. Just as yesterday, they started off with two wins from the day’s first two races, but – improving on yesterday – they then recorded three successive second place finishes. This super performance means that the team have extended their lead at the top of the Act leaderboard to 14 points over Norauto, with Oman Air a further ten back. It was all stadium racing today, with the coastal race having to be postponed because of wind, and the team have shown their mettle. Keep going like this and it will be a vital step in the attempt to claw back Oman’s in the overall Series. Follow tomorrow’s action live on the website. Photo credit: Lloyd Images
With a win in the last ESS Act in the Madeira Islands, coupled with a victory in last weekend’s D35 Grand Prix on Lake Geneva, Alinghi have been flying high of late and their good form continued today in Portugal on the opening day of Act 7 of the Extreme Sailing Series. It could not have started better for Arnaud Psarofaghis and the team. A win in the opener was followed by victory in race two, having got inside and past Series rivals Oman Air at the upper gate. There were to be no more wins in the day’s next three races, but the team’s consistency – two second place finishes in races four and five – mean that they top the leaderboard heading into tomorrow, two points above Series newcomers and wildcard Norauto, and five above Oman in third. Photo credit: Lloyd Images
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.