Act VI of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series delivered everything – frenetic racing in some of the best conditions that the fleet have seen this year, incident and, at the end, a display of tactics and strategy of the sort that makes this competition so enthralling. It was – as the cliché goes – an Act of two halves for Alinghi. Having had a challenging start, things got even more problematic for the team on day one when, having being pushing hard, they lost their mast in the seventh and final race of the day (see Mark Lloyd’s spectacular pictures, below). As helmsman Morgan Larson explained: “In that last race we were leading at the mark, we unfurled the gennaker, got the bear away and then the rig broke in two spots. We pushed a little too hard in that puff, and then it just went. It’s the first time I’ve broken the rig in these boats so it’s probably a lesson I’ve learnt there. There is a limit and we found it.” That meant repairs by night, with the technical team performing miracles. João Cabeçadas, an integral part of Alinghi’s shore team, said: “We’re a team so we were all hands on deck last night. First we looked at what we could recover from the broken mast, and then how we could adapt the new mast that we were provided. We didn’t get to bed until around 3am – David and I stayed for longer, and when we didn’t need as many hands helping with the heavier parts, we sent the sailing crew home. They were all keen to stay and help but we forced them to go and take some rest because they will be busy today. We have some races to win, and we don’t need to win all races to win the event”. Their efforts were not in vain. The boat was back on the water and the team were reaping the benefits of the night’s hard work, putting together a string of performances that shot them right back into contention. So much so that, when it came to the final race, Alinghi had a chance to take the Act. However, there is a bigger prize and Morgan Larson’s eyes were on it. With Emirates Team New Zealand needing to put a gap of two boats between them and The Wave, Muscat – Alinghi’s rival for the overall title – the Swiss went into full-on tactical mode, with the aim of keeping the Omani team from securing top spot and, thus, closing the gap in the championship. This they did, working hard to force their rivals ‘into the pack’, meaning that ETNZ did indeed take the Act, with The Wave taking second spot and Alinghi third. ESS have put together a fantastic highlights package, which tells all of the story! As Morgan Larson explained afterwards: “We had an outside chance to win that last race and we did one lap of the race still trying to win, not knowing what could still happen. Then we got to the final lap and it was clear that if we continued to win the race with Emirates Team New Zealand second, then The Wave, Muscat may have won this Act. So we were thinking of the overall Series, we just had to let the Kiwis go, and then go back and hold The Wave, Muscat back a little bit because they were coming out strong. They’re such a good team, picking off boats one by one and so we just had to try and block them back and make it so we got second.” Riveting viewing and it has made for what promises to be an epic conclusion to the 2014 Series. And now to Nice! Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6 Istanbul standings after Day 4, 31 races (14.09.14): Position / Team / Points Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 210 points The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 204 points Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 188 points Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 169 points SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Christian Kamp, Brad Farrand 154 points Groupama sailing team (FRA) Tanguy Cariou, François Morvan, Romain Motteau, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 148 points J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell 143 points Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Nick Blackman, Mark Bulkeley, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson 142 points Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Cédric Schmidt, Thierry Wassem 135 points GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Jack Macartney, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, Tyson Lamond 130 points Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 126 points TeamTurx (TUR) Mitch Booth, Can Bayülken, Selim Kakış, Deniz Çinar, Anıl Berk Baki 85 points Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings: Position / Team / Points Alinghi (SUI) 55 points The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 54 points Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 43 points Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 36 points J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 29 points SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 24 points Oman Air (OMA) 23 points Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 23 points Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 23 points Groupama sailing team (FRA) 20 points GAC Pindar (AUS) 6 points All photos by Mark Lloyd and copyright Lloyd Images 2014
Act VI of 2014’s Extreme Sailing Series will be starting on the 11th of September in Istanbul, surely one of the circuit’s most iconic of venues. With just three Acts left this year, the pressure is on all of the teams to bring their best performance. From Friday 12 September, Extreme Sailing will be bringing you a multi-camera live online feed, available here on the Alinghi website. Including on-board cameras and with commentary from Hannah White and former Series winner David ‘Freddie’ Carr, SAP will also be providing graphic 3D insights, allowing you to follow all the racing as it happens. Meanwhile, before the racing gets underway, here’s a little preview of what we can expect… All of the live video and graphics feeds will be available at these local times (GMT+3) Thursday 11 September SAP 3D Insights: 1430-1730 GMT+3 Friday 12 September Live video: 1530-1700 GMT+3 SAP 3D insights: 1400-1700 GMT+3 Saturday 13 September Live Video: 1630-1800 GMT+3 SAP 3D Insights: 1500-1800 GMT+3 Sunday 14 September Live Video: 1530 – 1700 GMT+3 SAP 3D Insights: 1400 – 1700 GMT+3
For the second year running, Alinghi’s victory in the Grand Prix Grange & Cie also secured the Vulcain Trophy for Ernesto Bertarelli’s team. And what a victory it was, the crew dominating proceedings with a near-flawless display of racing in challenging conditions. Having won Saturday’s two races, the team lined up for Race 3 on Sunday full of confidence. Light win conditions had meant that the start had been postponed, but when the fleet did get underway Alinghi quickly established a lead. The wind – already light at 7 knots – then proceeded to drop to 3, making for difficult sailing. Nonetheless, Alinghi worked together to extend their lead on each run, taking the race from Racing Django and Team Tilt. In Race 4, Alinghi got the best start of the five teams who had lined up to port. They led at the first top rounding, getting up to speed for the run and extending the gap between their rivals at the lee gate. Having gone right for the second beat, the team began to feel some pressure from Velitgroup, but, having just rolled them at the top rounding, saw boat speed on the last run do the rest. Victory – again! This win meant that Alinghi had the Grand Prix wrapped-up and so the team took on the role of spectators for the day’s final race – the results of which confirmed that Alinghi had successfully defended its Vulcain Trophy title. Well done team! Speaking after the podium presentations, Ernesto Bertarelli said: “We’re really very happy, both with this win and to have defended the Championship. To win all of our four races…I can’t remember it happening before. We sailed together and that is the secret to our win. This team has been together a long time and we understand one another and the boat. We’re delighted with the way the weekend has gone.”
The Yacht Club of Geneva played host to 7th leg of the Vulcain Trophy 2014, the “Grand Prix Grange & Cie“, this weekend. The first day’s racing was marked by a beautiful weather of 25°C, but, unfortunately the sunny conditions were not matched by wind, meaning that spectators and crews waited until 3pm for the first race to get underway. When racing did start, however, Alinghi got off to a great start, taking the first race, which was shortened owing to the relative lack of wind. Conditions such as these present an entirely different challenge in themselves and Ernesto Bertarelli’s team were the one who managed their boat best. And it was the same story in race two! So, Alinghi head into Sunday’s racing in a great position, not just in the Grand Prix, but also in the Vulcain Trophy. The team will be looking to repeat their performance to secure victory. Check back here later to see how they do.
After a wonderful day on Saturday, conditions for the second day of the Open Nationale Suisse were similar, meaning that – happily – the organizers were able to get the first race off at 11.30am, though a relative lack of wind did mean that the course was shortened, with Alinghi claiming 5th place. The next race – number 7 of the event – was entirely different, with the wind picking up considerably to 12 knots. It was good news for Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi, who were like a rocket on both runs, claiming the race from Realstone and then Mobimo. This was followed up by a third place in Race 8 and a creditable fourth in Race 9, which was sailed in tricky and crowded conditions. The wind for the final race was simply all over the place, up and down in the most capricious of manners. Having rounded the top gate in second place behing Mobimo, Alinghi seize first after a gybe and lead at the bottom gate. And then…the wind changes again, completely dying to leave the organiser’s with little option but to abandon racing. That meant that, reflecting their consistency in challenging conditions over the two days, that Team Alinghi SUI1 is the winner of the 2014 Open Nationale Suisse in Versoix-2014! Joining them on the podium were Mobimo in second and Zen Too in third. Congratulations to the organisers and to all of the crews for a great weekend of exciting racing. And, allez Alinghi!
After the summer break, during which the team has excelled in the Extreme Sailing Series, the Vulcain Trophy has returned to Versoix for the Open Nationale Suisse. Alinghi, of course, were sitting pretty in 1st position…. It was a beautiful summer’s day today in Versoix and the wind conditions, varying as befits a classic regatta, made for some great racing. Ranking Day 1: Alinghi Mobimo Ladycat powered by Spindrift racing Zen Too Realstone Team Tilt Okalys Veltigroup Racing Django Ylliam – Comptoir Immobilier Oryx
Over the course of a bank holiday weekend in Cardiff, the weather ranged from blue skies to tempestuous clouds. These changing conditions, combined with a tight and challenging stadium racecourse, created some of the most exciting racing of the 2014 season so far. And the final race had it all… Having raced consistently well throughout the course of the weekend, Alinghi had it all to play for as the fleet lined up for the finale, with the team vying with old rivals The Wave, Muscat and J.P. Morgan BAR for top spot. With all three crews able to secure top spot the racing was tense, competitive and, above all, dramatic. With the teams fighting each other all the way as they tried to gain the upper hand, racing took place at even closer quarters than normal, resulting in a three-way collision as all three teams leaned hard on each other in the tussle for the top. It was The Wave who took advantage of the mayhem to secure Act 5, leaving Alinghi to do battle with Sir Ben Ainslie’s J.P. Morgan BAR for second place. Happily, the team were able to see off their opponents, claiming the runner’s up position that their performance over the weekend more than merited. Commenting after the final race, Alinghi’s tactician Anna Tunnicliffe said: “We were waiting for Leigh to tack and he drove us right into the boats rounding the mark and boats started coming at us head first. We ended up above the mark so we couldn’t bear away and at the same time, Ben (Ainslie) was coming round into the side of us and it all turned into a mess. All three boats were tangled on each other. It’s very frustrating, but hopefully we can learn from our mistakes, we’re still on top which is good – the damage could have been worse. We need to move on to Istanbul and refocus for that event.” With Alinghi still leading the Series leaderboard – albeit by a slightly reduced margin – Act 6 (11-14 September) promises to be one not to miss… Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5 Cardiff, presented by Land Rover standings after Day 4, 33 races: 1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 210 points. 2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 205 points. 3rd J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Campbell-James, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell 203 points. 4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson 186 points. 5th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem 182 points. 6th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 175 points. 7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Jonas Hviid-Nielsen, Brad Farrand, Nicolai Sehested 174 points. 8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 154 points. 9th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Romain Motteau, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 154 points. 10th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Hugh Styles, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, James Wierzbowski 153 points. 11th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Ray Davies, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 151 points. Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings: 1st Alinghi (SUI) 47 points. 2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 45 points. 3rd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 34 points. 4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 33 points. 5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 25 points. 6th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 22 points. 7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 20 points. 8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 18 points. 9th Oman Air (OMA) 16 points. 10th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 15 points. 11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 5 points.
After a two-month break, the Extreme Sailing Series returns this Friday (the 22nd) to Cardiff for four days of intense stadium racing. The venue makes for particularly tricky but exciting racing. Surrounded as it is by buildings, the winds can swirl unpredictably, providing a unique challenge. And as it’s a Bank Holiday, big crowds, once again, should create a great atmosphere. Ahead of the start of racing, the teams have arrived in Cardiff to begin fine-tuning their machines. Here are some photos showing exactly what these awesome boats look like in pre-race mode!
In a thrilling end to Act IV of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series Alinghi sealed victory in Saint Petersburg – the team’s third win of the season, which has cemented their place at the top of the overall leaderboard at the halfway mark of the competition. Though the triumph was not secured until the final double-pointer race on Day 4, in truth it was Alinghi’s awesome performance on Day 3 that was the key to victory. Three race wins on this penultimate day saw the team notch an astonishing 74 points to move to the top of the rankings. It was a day and a performance that helmsman Morgan Larson said was his best ever in his three years on the circuit. Six short, action-packed races were sailed on the final day, which provided the best conditions of the week – 10 knots of breeze and 15 knot gusts making for exciting sailing. This meant that the starts were particularly important, with those that got it right able to take full advantage. As has been the case for some time now Alinghi’s biggest rival for top-spot was The Wave. Despite their best efforts, however, the Omani team could not close the overnight points gap on Ernesto Bertarelli’s team. Heading into the final race they needed a gap of seven boats to overtake Alinghi. It was a task too far and the delighted Swiss easily confirmed their win. Afterwards, Morgan Larson said: “It’s nice to put a little stamp on our win and to let the guys know that we’re here to try and win the whole Series this time. The team is working well together and we finally feel confident that we can do it. Saying that, the heat is on, some teams are working really hard and we know that we’ll have to step up if we want to stay head.” It was the fleet’s first visit to Saint Petersburg and to Russia and it was a huge success. There can’t be many more beautiful settings in which to race. Conditions were fantastic, as were the crowds. And Alinghi will certainly have happy memories of the venue! Now, onto Cardiff… Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4, Saint Petersburg: 1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 160 points. 2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 148 points. 3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Peter Burling, Ray Davies, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 146 points. 4th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Phil Sparks, Matt Cornwell 120 points. 5th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Denis Girardet, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem 117 points. 6th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 113 points. 7th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 97 points. 8th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 96 points. 9th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson 95 points. 10th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, James Wierzbowski 88 points. 11th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Romain Motteau, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 88 points. 12th RussianFirst (RUS) Georgy Shayduko, Sergey Dzhienbaev, Pavel Kalinchev, Leonid Kazinets, Pavel Karachov 40 points. Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings: 1st Alinghi (SUI) 38 points 2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 35 points 3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 32 points 4th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 28 points 5th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 19 points 6th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 17 points 7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 14 points 8th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 13 points 9th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 13 points 10th Oman Air (OMA) 11 points 11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 4 points