Los Cabos – For the fourth time in their eight-year history of competing in the Extreme Sailing Series™, Swiss team Alinghi took the coveted championship title after a remarkable final in Los Cabos, Mexico. This phenomenal feat makes them the joint most successful team ever to participate in the world-class, globe-trotting foiling circuit, level with former competitor, The Wave, Muscat.
Following ten months of touring around the planet, competing in some of the world’s most iconic locations, Ernesto Bertarelli’s stand out squad: Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Bryan Mettraux and Yves Detrey, closed the grand finale in first place on the double points Act leaderboard – their incredible five Act wins this year cementing them as victors in the overall rankings.
“I’m happy but it’s actually relief that I’m feeling now,” said an overwhelmed Psarofaghis, co-skipper and helm for the team. “I was a bit stressed with all the pressure mounting for an end of season win. The team did a perfect job and made it so easy for me to sail with them. The trick is to stay calm throughout the event. To win the season and to win the last Act, it’s the perfect way to finish the year.”
Alinghi’s shore team also won the award for the best shore crew of the season, a new prize created by Extreme Sailing Series logistics partner, WTC Logistics.
For last year’s Series champions, SAP Extreme Sailing Team, the Los Cabos Act was a bitter pill to swallow. Despite their talented crew of some of the world’s best sailors, including Kiwi match racing champion Adam Minoprio, the Danish squad sailed inconsistently in Mexico.
As their Act scoresheet became littered with low results, the gap grew between them and Alinghi in the overall rankings; the Danes’ hopes of securing a second consecutive Series win sailing off with the Swiss into the distance.
They eventually finished the Act in fourth, resulting in a third place finish overall behind Phil Robertson’s Team Oman Air.
“We’re pretty disappointed,” admitted helm Minoprio. “We didn’t give ourselves many chances this regatta, and we didn’t sail our best as a team. I didn’t get us off the start line very well and it showed in our results. We could blame it on the light wind but really we just didn’t sail well. Alinghi were consistent as usual. They meant business and so did Oman Air. They just left us scraping our way through the middle of the fleet.”
SAP Extreme Sailing Team did, however, win the Zhik Speed Machine Trophy for the fastest speed achieved in the final Act of the season – an insight provided by Series technical partner, SAP.
Red Bull Sailing Team, on the other hand, consistently sailed first-rate races throughout the Los Cabos competition, closing the event on the Act podium in second. Their tumultuous year of back to back obstacles, including collisions, breakages and crew changes, has prevented them from securing a podium until this point, making this a momentous occasion for the Austrian team.
“This result is the best one we’ve had all year,” said an elated Hans Peter Steinacher, the team’s double Olympic gold medallist mainsail trimmer. “We’re very happy with second place in the Act. Alinghi were so calm and cool in the last race. They were enjoying everything because they knew they’d won overall. We had a good fight with Oman Air and it went our way – we’re very pleased.”
Los Cabos rounds off an exceptional twelfth year of the Series that captivated audiences all over the world. Visiting seven countries across three continents, the ultimate Stadium Racing championship once again delivered a truly unique, unparalleled sailing experience for fans and teams alike.
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Extreme Sailing Series™ 2018 Los Cabos
1st, Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Bryan Mettraux, Yves Detrey: 141 points
2nd, Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Dan Morris, Rhys Mara, Micah Wilkinson: 130 pts
3rd, Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Stewart Dodson, Nasser Al Mashari: 126 pts
4th, SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Køstner, Adam Minoprio, Julius Hallström, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason: 123 pts
5th, INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott, Oli Greber, Mark Spearman, Joey Newton: 110 pts
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2018 overall
1st, Alinghi (SUI) 92 points
2nd, Oman Air (OMA) 83 pts
3rd, SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 83 pts
4th, Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 72 pts
5th, INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) 70 pts