|Alinghi’s helmsman Arnaud Psarofaghis complimented Swiss Foiling Academy on their growing stature: “We were not looking at them too much on that first leg but they sailed a really nice upwind leg. Really great to see them performing in the big breeze and looking forward to seeing their performance in the next few days.”
For the experienced Psarofaghis to talk about ‘big breeze’, you know that he really means it. “A very nice day in tricky race conditions, quite a bit more wind towards the end of the afternoon and with gusts over 25 knots in the last race, you had to stay focused. All the teams sailed really well – Rockwool won their first race and Red Bull gave us a strong challenge – but at the end we had a little edge.”
The last race of the day, the windiest, proved the most successful for Erik Maris and the French team on Zoulou. “I’m tired today,” smiled the owner-driver who steered his GC32 to third place in the final heat, “but very happy to be back. It was a bit wild at times out there today but we managed to keep racing which is important. We had fun, although we were worried for our friends on Black Star, and relieved to hear it was just a broken mast. The conditions were incredible, a bit wild after no racing for 18 months. If the conditions were more mild it would be easier, but we’re here to challenge ourselves. We have wind, sun, good racing, this place is perfect.”
At the halfway stage of the regatta, Alinghi’s string of first and second places gives the Swiss a good lead over Red Bull Sailing Team in second place. Team Rockwool Racing have risen to third overall, although just a point in front of Black Star Sailing Team who will be looking to bounce back strongly after today’s setback.