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.