Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi SUI1 wins first regatta of the D35 series on Lake Geneva

[Source: Alinghi] Ernesto Bertarelli and the crew on Alinghi SUI1 bounced back from fourth place on the eve of the finals performing consistently today to take a second and another first place after lengthy delays due to weather conditions on Lake Geneva. Ernesto Bertarelli and his crew won three of the six races over the weekend, facing some of the top multihull experts in the world.

Ed Baird’s Alinghi SUI6 team, having progressed all weekend in what is their first D35 regatta ever, jumped from mixed results in the first two days to two 4th places today to finish the series in sixth place, highest ranking of the ‘new boats of the championship’. Alinghi is using the D35 championship series on Lake Geneva as part of the America’s Cup Defender’s preparations towards the 33rd event in multihulls next year.

Ernesto Bertarelli celebrates SUI1's victory in Grand Prix Corum. Geneva, 10 May 2009. Photo copyright Schmid Chris / EYEMAGE MEDIA

Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi SUI1 helmsman, explains how his team improved throughout the weekend to take the championship: “We sailed really well in today’s breeze. We were in second position overall before going into race 2 today and we managed to get a good start; with good speed in light airs. The level of the fleet here is very high, but we are pleased that we have improved through the weekend.”

A word on your crew mates on Alinghi SUI6: “Alinghi SUI6 has had a good result, they have progressed well and are the best of the new teams, and the other teams are strong, so I think it is mission accomplished for this first grand prix. Knowing them as well as I do, I’m sure they have learned a lot and their level is going to go up very fast. Last year the same crew did the iShares circuit, they were a new team and they managed to win the championship.”

How does Alinghi benefit from this platform for the next America’s Cup on multihulls? “This is the best platform we have today to train on because the boats have a large sail area, and they are suited to inshore racing. Also, the fact that there are so many specialists on this circuit such as Loïck Peyron, Alain Gautier, Franck Cammas and Pascal Bidegorry, among others, allows us to measure ourselves against the cumulated experience they have on sail trim, sail shapes and more generally on how to sail multihulls. These people are specialists in offshore sailing, racing on Lake Geneva, Olympic Games, and the America’s Cup. This is very fertile ground to experiment with how different people approach the same matter: sailing multihulls on the lake.”

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