Sunday, October 05, 2008

Alinghi wins 2008 Julius Baer Challenge

[Source: Julius Baer Challenge] On the season’s last day of competition today, Zephyr (greek god of the wind) did not show his presence until 3pm and team members of the Julius Baer Challenge had their patience tested. Alinghi, with two victories over 5 races, won the Beau-Rivage Palace Grand Prix and became champion of the 2008 season.

On this final day of competition, it was Okalys that finished first ahead of Julius Baer and Foncia. Nicolas Grange’s boat, with Loïck Peyron at the helm, thus picked up the missing points to catch up to Zen Too in the general ranking. ‘I am happy that we settled this in a sportingly way’, comments Nicolas Grange. For Franck Cammas, who was at the helm of Zen Too, ‘the result of this weekend is not very positive. Friday was the hardest race of the season and yesterday it was still tight; we did what we could’.

The D35 fleet on the final day of the Beau-Rivage Palace Grand Prix and the 2008 Julius Baer Challenge. Lausanne, 5 October 2008. Photo copyright Jean-Marie Liot / Julius Baer

Following this Beau-Rivage Palace Grand Prix, it is therefore Alinghi who finishes the season first on the podium: ‘I am doubly happy, happy for the Beau-Rivage Grand Prix and for the Julius Baer Challenge. We worked really hard and proved our consistency throughout the season. We were able to sail with crew members of the America’s Cup, such as Murray Jones or Yves Detrey, and this increased the standard’, explains Ernesto Bertarelli, delighted. Having won the cup two times in a row, Alinghi leaves again with the trophy.

Foncia finished second on the podium ; Alain Gautier’s team being unable to catch up to Alinghi as it had intended to do during the weekend : ‘We are happy; we finished the weekend with a good race. For us, this Grand Prix is important because we had three boats behind us that could have caught up. The season ends well.’ For the final spot on the podium, there was a hard-fought battle between Zen Too and Okalys.

In mid-ranking, we have Cadence, Julius Baer and Ladycat. All came through with fine performances : Cadence with its team of amateurs, Julius Baer with its own sailors from Lake Leman, and finally the ladies, who imposed themselves through sheer will.

Alinghi, winners of the Beau-Rivage Palace Grand Prix and the 2008 Julius Baer Challenge. Lausanne, 5 October 2008. Photo copyright Jean-Marie Liot / Julius Baer

For the pursuers, the season will be marked by good results, such as the victory of the young Zebra 7 crew during the Bol d’Or, the 5th place finish and the well-performed races of Smarthome at the HP Cup la Réserve, as well as unforgettable instances such as the capsizing of during the Act II Grand Prix.

The Décision 35s now prepare for a winter’s rest and will return in May 2009 for a new challenge with eleven boats this time around. SUI 11 Veltigroup, with Stève Ravussin at the helm, will be welcome indeed.

General ranking Challenge Julius Baer
Alinghi 11 pts
Foncia 19 pts
Okalys 26 pts
Zen Too 27 pts
Cadence 38 pts
Julius Baer 38 pts
Ladycat 40 pts
Zebra 7 46 pts
Smart Home 47 pts 60 pts

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