The second round of the GC32 Bullitt Tour got off to a great start today in Cowes, that most iconic of sailing venues. Six races were sailed, with the spoils shared pretty evenly among the five teams. That has left the leaderboard particularly tight: Alinghi are in first, but scores are really tight, only three points separate us from the fourth. It was a glorious day, with the sun shining down over the Solent. Winds were relatively light, albeit building over the course of the afternoon, but the racing was fascinating nonetheless. Race 1 went to Sultanate of Oman, who narrowly beat Alinghi to the finish line after a great duel between the two. The next race saw Alinghi have its revenge, taking first place ahead of its Omani rivals. This was Ernesto Bertarelli’s first win on the GC32 circuit and afterwards he was delighted: “It’s such great fun racing these boats, especially when we get up on the foils. As we always knew it would be, the competition is tough, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I think you can see in the way that the wins were spread across a number of teams that this event could be anybody’s. With it being so close, there’s all to play for. Roll on tomorrow…” The remaining races went to Armin, Wave, Team Engie and Armin again, meaning that the leaderboard reads: Alinghi (14 points) Armin Strom Sailing Team (15 points) Team ENGIE (16 points) Sultanate of Oman (17 points) Team Argo (29 points) Highlight of Day 1 [VIDEO::http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzzoq81qFxQ::news] Racing starts tomorrow at 11:00AM GMT – follow it live at www.gc32racing.com Pictures credit: Sander van der Borch/Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour
“We’re really pleased to be in Cowes for round two of the GC32 circuit. In fact, we’ve been here for four days already, preparing the boat and training without any let-up, which is important as we’re still in the learning phase with this boat. Each and every hour on the water allows us to deepen our understanding of how it handles and its many idiosyncrasies!" “A main challenge will be, of course, the current here, which we’re not used to – even more so for Saturday’s Round the Island Race. However, it will only be on Saturday that we’ll go for the island record*, as this coastal race is not part of the GC32 Tour – the championship racing is taking place on the three days before (Weds-Fri)." “Looking to the weather forecast, we see that conditions are expected to be relatively mild on Wednesday and Thursday (approximately 8-12 knots), with the wind expected to strengthen on Friday (12-18 knots) and even more so on Saturday (17-25 knots)." “Once more, we’ve got a change to our traditional line-up, as Pierre-Yves Jorand has had to remain in Switzerland. However, we’re lucky to welcome Arnaud Psarofaghis on board to take the mainsail station. He’s got great experience, especially on these flying boats. He also sailed on Team Engie’s AC45 crew in the opening GC32 round in Austria, so he knows the boats. Of course, it will be a little different without Pierre-Yves on board, but it also offers a different perspective, so it is also very much a positive to have Arnaud on the team.” Alinghi’s crew in Cowes is: Ernesto Bertarelli, Skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis, Mainsail Nicolas Charbonnier, Tactician Nils Frei, Trimmer Yves Detrey, Bow *The current record for the Round the Isle of Wight is 2hrs, 52mins and 15 seconds, held by the AC45 catamaran skipped by JP Morgan BAR’s Sir Ben Ainslie
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.
After the storms and thunderstorms of last night on and around lake Geneva, the same was looking more like a mirror than anything else this morning. The team suffered from the absence of its trimmer Nils Frei who suffered from a knee infection that kept him on shore for the rest of the week-end. Called on last minute, long time team member Andrew Graham jumped on board after the doctors call to keep Nils at the very last minute. After a risky start towards the shores of "le Vengeron" Alinghi had to fight hard to stay in contact with the rest of the fleet. The Rolle marks proved to be a nightmare to turn, as there was literally no wind in front of the castle and the wine yards. Alinghi chose to return to Geneva sticking to the French coast, which proved to be the good option as the team managed to take over more than ten boats on the way back to Geneva finishing third of the D35 and 4th at the overall ranking. It's never over until it is over! A game of patience and passion for the whole crew on board who will start again racing tomorrow in Versoix for the second day of the Versoix GP II where they currently hold the second position. Enjoy the pictures of the day!
Today, despite some negative forecast, a maximum of 6 races were sailed. Alinghi started the day with a first place in race 1. For the rest of the day – consistency proved once more to be key to stay at the top of the leaderboard. After scoring, 1, 5, 4, 2, 4, (7 discard) Alinghi is 2nd after day 1, one point behind Tilt and 3 points ahead of Okalys. Tomorrow the D35 fleet will participate to the Geneva-Rolle-Geneva classic together with 240 other boats from many different classes. Follow us on: http://player.georacing.com/?event=100160&race=91215&application_id=-1&name=geneve-rolle-geneve%20-%20toutes%20categories Day 2 of GP VERSOIX II will take place on Sunday, June 7. Enjoy the gallery of the day at the top of the page.
Photos credit: Guilain Grenier | Bullit GC32 Racing Tour Amid testing conditions on Lake Traunsee, the first event of the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour came to a conclusion in Austria on Sunday 31st May with Alinghi taking third place. Following a minor back injury, Pierre-Yves Jorand had to be replaced at the mainsail on board Alinghi’s GC32, with the team welcoming, at the very last minute, Red Bull Sailing Team member and double Olympian Hans-Peter Steinacher Throughout the event, the wind had been unpredictable, with the key for the teams being to find – and then stay in – the breeze. On the fourth and final day, this was very much the case, with the race area transported to the southern end of the lake at Ebensee in an attempt to find some wind. When racing did get going it was a mixed day for Alinghi team: two wins were combined with two lower results. Having gone into the day way out in front at the top of the leaderboard it was always unlikely that Sultanate of Oman would be caught and so it proved, with Leigh McMillan’s crew winning the event. Alinghi took third place, with Spindrift second. Commenting after the racing, Alinghi’s helmsman Morgan Larson said: “It was nice to finally work on things that, perhaps, we had been struggling a bit with within the team, such as communication and where to position ourselves. Spindrift had a fantastic day and hats off to them for that, while it’s clear that Leigh and his crew are setting a new benchmark in the class. We can’t wait to come back even stronger in the Cowes Cup in a few weeks’ time.” Before Cowes, of course, is the next event in the D35 Championship with a double counting weekend including the second Versoix GP (5&7 of June) and the classic Geneve-Rolle-Geneve (6 of June). Highlights Day 1 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/DhP3_zVUqdk::news] Day 2 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/1ryf4srmLdk::news] Day 3 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/ib88PpHLMwk::news] Day 4 [VIDEO::https://youtu.be/HHklNC7_udA::news]
Four races were sailed today on a tricky playground in Traunsee, and Alinghi managed to take the best out of it, winning two races out of four. Hans-Peter Steinacher seems to have found his marks pretty quickly with the core team of Alinghi, composed of Morgan Larson (Helm), Hans-Peter Steinacher (Main in the absence of Pierre-Yves Jorand slightly injured), Nicolas Charbonnier (Tactic), Nils Frei (Trimm) & Yves Detrey (Bow). With talented teams all around and such tricky conditions, everything can change in the coming days but let's bet that this first day of sailing brought a good spirit within the team! Photo credit : Bullitt GC32 - Guilain Grenier