Extreme Sailing Series

The Extreme Sailing Series brought together the world’s elite teams for dramatic racing in venues around the world. For the 2018 season, the 12th and last for the Series, the teams were testing their skills on foiling GC32 catamarans – unbelievable boats that can reach impressive speeds by flying over the water.


Having first raced its GC32 in the 2015 Bullit Racing Tour, in 2016 Alinghi joined the Extreme Sailing Series circuit (ESS) – an especially exciting one-design competition that used to be raced on the Extreme 40, the boat on which Alinghi won the title in 2008 and 2014.

As Alinghi can speak to, having set the speed record in 2015, the GC32s are incredibly fast, capable of nearly 40 knots (74km/h). Even more exhilarating is that they do it above the water, over which they ‘fly’ as the foils deploy and the boat accelerates. The technology used is the same as the yachts in the America’s Cup. The GC32 is essentially a scaled-down version, though relative to the bigger boats used in San Francisco in 2013, the foils are quite big. This is because the GC32s are designed to work in a broad range of conditions, and particularly in light wind – and bigger foils generate lift in light airs. Another key difference is that the GC32s are easier (and cheaper) to run, which made the Extreme Sailing Series a particularly accessible tour.

In 2018 - the competition's final season - Alinghi won the Championship ahead of Oman Air and SAP Extreme Sailing Team.

Learn more about the Extreme Sailing Series >


The GC32 is a hydro-foiling catamaran. Made out of carbon-fibre, the foils are slender wing-like arms that are deployed under both hulls of the boat, generating lift and allowing ‘flight’ through the water. Choosing how to trim the foils is, of course, down to the team onboard, while the fact that there is also no hydraulic means that the foils must be adjusted manually. These technical aspects of the boat, combined with the many other control points that must be mastered, means that getting the GC32 up to peak performance is a real challenge for its sailors. When the boat is there, however, there’s nothing like it...

  • Length (overall): 12.00m
  • Length (hull): 10.00m
  • Beam: 6.00m
  • Weight: 975 kg
  • Draft (boards down): 2.10m
  • Draft (rudder): 1.60m
  • Mast height (above deck): 16.50m
  • Bowsprit length: 6.60m
  • Mainsail: 60.00m²
  • Jib: 23.50m²
  • Gennaker: 90.00m²

Extreme Sailing Series News

ChampionS !

3 December, 2018

It's not just one, but three wins for Alinghi in Los Cabos. Amid shifty and light wind conditions, Alinghi won the last Act of the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series and in doing so secured first place in the Championship, the team's fourth such win (2008, 2014, 2016 and 2018). In parallel and at the end of this season's seventh regatta, David Niklès and João Cabeçadas were named the Championship's best shore crew of the year, their meticulous work having given Alinghi's sailors a truly competitive boat for every single race. Over 141 races, 53 of which were won, sailed over 28 days of competition this year, Ernesto Bertarelli, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Nils Frei, Bryan Mettraux, Timothé Lapauw, Yves Detrey, Arthur Cevey and Pierre-Yves Jorand demonstrated mastery and calm to overcome the defending champions, SAP, as well as Oman Air, Red Bull, Ineos Team UK and all the others whose high quality performances have pushed Alinghi all the way. Ernesto Bertarelli, helmsman and skipper: "With this win in Los Cabos, the 2018 season ends on a high point, with this fourth title coming only a few weeks after our win in the D35 Trophy. Given these two victories, our great team, and having achieved all our goals for the season, I'm thrilled." Arnaud Psarofaghis, helmsman and co-skipper: "It was a complicated Act in Los Cabos, with not many races sailed and a very shifty wind. The team did a great job of staying calm and treating each run as if it was the last. Winning the Act in addition to winning the Championship really is the icing on the cake. "The team is the best I've ever sailed with and a big thank you to all of them for giving us the victories this year. I also thank Ernesto Bertarelli especially for having made all this possible, as well as the team's partners who have been with us throughout the year." Yves Detrey, bowman: "I am really happy with our season and the way we've sailed. For sure, we had a bit of a hard time with this event. The conditions were really difficult, with the wind going in all directions, meaning anything could happen. But we remained solid until the end and we showed that we can cope with anything. "For decades now, the strength of the Alinghi team has been based upon passion, experience and, above all, knowing how to put the right people in the right place." Pierre-Yves Jorand, team director: "Both on sea and on shore, the team has been fantastic all year long. In their own way and in their own field of expertise, every single person has contributed to this success, including, and as an example, the unwavering support provided by Ernesto and Nils from Switzerland." After a seventh victory in the D35 Trophy and with this win aboard the GC32, the team has met its sporting goals for 2018 and is already looking forward to next year challenges in Switzerland and beyond. Click here for the full results of the last Act after its 12 races. Click here for the general ranking of the 2018 championship. Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo  //  #Extremesailing   To find out more If you want to know more about the race tracking system, the team and the racing in general, you can find a recap here. Credit for photos: Lloyd Images

Ready for the final

27 November, 2018

The denouement of the Extreme Sailing Series season is imminent and the team has been on site in Los Cabos for a week already so as to prepare as best it can for this Mexican leg of the 2018 championship. In the current provisional standings, Alinghi leads the fleet by three points ahead of SAP, with five on Oman Air. The fine print of this last Act: the scores for this final regatta will be double the usual points; the winning team will score 24 points (instead of the usual 12), the second 22, the 3rd 20... This means that the Swiss can afford to finish one place behind SAP and two behind Oman Air, and still win the championship. Though rest assured that the team will be going all out for the fifth win of the season in the Series! Click here for the provisional general classification of the season:   What> final round of the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series Championship Who> 7 international teams in the running, each with 5 sailors on board and a team in technical support Where> Los Cabos, Mexico, Southern tip of Baja California (UTC-7 = -8h from Swiss) When> official training session on Wednesday, November 28, and then four afternoon regattas from Thursday, November 29 to Sunday, December 2. How> aboard GC32 catamarans that foil, with several races around the marks defining a course Why> to win the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series Championship Follow the action in Los Cabos Here is how to follow the races that will be held from Thursday, November 29 to Sunday, December 2 from 14h to 17h local time (UTC -7, 8h less than in Switzerland): Live > via our website (races modeled in 3D Thursday and Friday, then live video on Saturday and Sunday) > via our Twitter account @teamalinghi (results published after each race with some photos and short video moments) On demand > On Facebook and Instagram for video interviews and photos > On our website for news and replays of the races   Alinghi's GC32 Crew Helmsman, co-skipper: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) Tactician and mainsail trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA) Trimmer: Bryan Mettraux (SUI) Foil trimmer: Timothé Lapauw (FRA) Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI) Spare: Arthur Cevey (SUI) Technical team: João Cabeçadas (POR) David Nikles (SUI) Coach and Team Director: Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI)   Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo  //  #Extremesailing   To find out more If you want to know more about the race tracking system, the team and the racing in general, you can find a recap here. Credit for photos: Toast Prod

2nd in San Diego but a good outcome overall

22 October, 2018

Leading Act 6 from the first day until the 18th race, Alinghi was ultimately unable to fend off the repeated assaults of Oman who took the lead in the 19th run. The Swiss won the 21st and final race of the competition, but the Omanis maintained a slender one-point lead to take the result, with SAP claiming 3rd place (Oman Air 233 points - Alinghi 232 points - SAP 226 points). Alinghi of course was aiming for success in San Diego, but the disappointment of finishing second is offset once the implications for the Series’ overall standings are taken into account, with the Swiss firmly in the lead with one Act remaining. Timothé Lapauw, foil adjuster: “We finish 2nd, but there are many positive points that we take, not least the good speed we achieved regularly. Racing was also not easy in San Diego with a variable and light wind." Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician: "We take heart in light of the implications for the final result of the championship, but of course we would have liked to win here in San Diego because it was a result within our reach. However, we didn’t always sail to the best of our abilities.” Arnaud Psarofaghis, helmsman: "Oman Air deserves this win in San Diego because we did not sail well enough on the last day. Overall we wanted to beat SAP and that's the case. It even allows us to finish behind them in Los Cabos to win the championship, since you do not have to win every Act to win the trophy. The guys have done a good job on-board and we can very much still be satisfied with our second place." Yves Detrey, bowman: “Second place leaves a slightly bitter taste because we lost on the last day because of avoidable mistakes, which should not happen at our level. But there is still one regatta to go before the end of the season and we will work hard until the end." Pierre-Yves Jorand, team director: “It was a tough day. We started really well and finished really well. In between, we had four difficult races and made mistakes probably due to a lack of coordination and communication. We will discuss that with the team. But the good thing is that we did the job finishing ahead of SAP who is our direct opponent for the championship.”  The final Act of the Extreme Sailing Series 2018 will be held in Los Cabos (Mexico) from November 29 to December 2. Click here for the full results of Act 6 after its 21 races Hashtags for the event #GoAlinghiGo  //  #Extremesailing   To find out more If you want to know more about the race tracking system, the team and the racing in general, you can find a recap here. Credit for photos: Lloyd Images

At the last, Alinghi seals victory in Cardiff

27 August, 2018

After 29 races, it, once again, came down to the very last run in this Extreme Sailing Series' Act in Cardiff to decide the podium places. With just a single point separating Alinghi and SAP ahead of the deciding race, the Swiss needed, first, to finish ahead of their rivals, but also to keep a keen eye on Oman Air, who, if they'd managed to put three boats between them and the team, could have taken the Act win too. As the fleet crossed the start-line that scenario wasn't too far-fetched. Arnaud Psarofaghis, helmsman, said: "Seeing SAP make an early start on the last race was pretty good for us. Then they came back into the game, but we did not give up and finished right in front of them, to finally win in Cardiff...for the very first time in six visits here! "There are still two Acts to go this season. With our team being only two points ahead of the Danes and the last Act counting for double, we will stay focused until the end and apply the same rigorous method that has got us this far." Nicolas Charbonnier, tactician, said: "It was a complex event with four windy days, incessant changes in position and a difficult start for us following Nils's groin injury during the first run. Our reserve teammate, Bryan Mettraux, joined us on the second day and, little by little, we worked hard to recover the deficit we'd accumulated after the first day. Once again, it proves that nothing is ever finished, even after what seems a bad run of luck." Bryan Mettraux, headsail trimmer, said: "Having been seven points down this morning on SAP, we had to take risks and with four wins on the first runs this afternoon that's where we made the difference." Pierre-Yves Jorand, team director, said: "I'm proud of the team's work this week. Cardiff is a demanding nautical stadium due to its small racing area and shifty wind, especially when it blows four days in a row. In fact, anything can happen at any moment!" While it was a good result for the team - and one that sees them gain a point on their Championship rivals, SAP - everything suggests it could come down to the wire in this 2018 Series. In the meantime, the team is already looking forward to this weekend's D35 racing on the Lake hosted by the Yacht Club de Genève from August 31st to September 2nd.   Click here for the general ranking of Act 5 after 29 races. Event hashtags #GoAlinghiGo // #Extremesailing To find out more If you want to know more about Alinghi's team or just about this regatta in general, you will find all that you need here. Photos credit: Vincent Curutchet / Lloyd Images