Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi SUI1 leads the D35 championship

[Source: Alinghi] After five regattas on Lake Geneva, Alinghi SUI1, helmed by Ernesto Bertarelli leads the Challenge Julius Baer series. The crew of SUI1 maintained consistant results over the weekend to rank second behind Alain Gautier on Foncia. Ed Baird’s Alinghi SUI6 finished sixth at the Grand Prix Romandie Act II to go into the D35 summer break fifth overall, ahead of experienced lake sailors, in their first D35 season.

Nils Frei, trimmer on board SUI1,
gives some insight on how the day went for his team: “We had a good start in the first race but were on the wrong side of the course, so it was difficult to finish earlier. We had good starts in the other three races and managed to sail fast although the conditions were shifty and patchy. The key today was to get the right side of the race course, like Foncia did. They also had good speed so they deserved to win. We tried to be conservative but overall we are happy with the result.”

Ed Baird, helmsman onboard Alinghi SUI6, also comments on this weekend’s regatta: “We are encouraged in some ways because we have been sailing better and the boat handling is improving, but we also feel a little disappointed because we chose incorrectly a couple of times in the lake conditions and ended up dropping down the fleet, so we know our final score could have ended up better this weekend.
The main challenge was that there were a number of races in which one side was heavily favoured but this was not apparent at the start. Nervertheless, we are still behind but we are catching up.”

This is the last regatta of the Challenge Julius Baer before the summer break, but Alinghi sailors have a challenging task ahead of them, as Baird explains: “We now have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us with the new boat: to get it sailing and to learn about it. It’s great to have the chance to race these smaller boats against so many great teams but the real work starts a few weeks from now.”

The next of the three remaining regattas for the Décision 35 championsip is the Open de Nyon from 22-23 August.

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