Photos: Chris Schmidt/

Alinghi out ahead

As the D35 catamarans make their Mediterranean debut at the Vulcain Trophy off Beaulieu-sur-Mer

Thursday September 1st 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

The Vulcan Trophy's first foray into the Mediterranean for the usually lake-based D35 catamarans, coincided with fine day on the water of Beaulieu-sur-Mer, with three races sailed in the afternoon in a 10-15 knot southeasterly.

The first race of the day was won by Michel Desjoyeaux aboard Foncia while the other two were taken by Ernesto Bertarelli at the helm of Alinghi.

For the crew there was some intrigue in how the D35s, which to date have raced exclusively on Lake Geneva would perform on open water. And the answer seems to have been - very well.

So after the first day of racing, Alinghi is in the lead, having won the latter two races with ease. Bertarelli commented on his first D35 away from Switzerland: "It was great to sail on the sea on a Decision 35. It's been a while since we had this opportunity and it could not have gone better. We had the chance to sail in 10 to 13 knots even though later waves were starting to form. Our multihulls behaved very well."

Finishing on the podium twice, Michel Desjoyeaux and his Foncia currently lies second: "We got off to a good start when we won the first race," commented the double Vendee Globe winner. "We made good decisions and but we are a bit rusty, because we have not sailed over the summer. The conditions here are changable so they are not easy. Today, the waves were the same as those from all the RIBs at the start of the Bol d'Or!"

Torbjorn Tornqvist's Artemis Racing hold third today, ending the day with a second place. Yvan Ravussin gave his impressions at the end of racing today: "The conditions are very interesting. It was not the wind strength that was dangerous, but the waves. Everything went very well. We have a new configuration as two of our five crew have never sailed a Decision 35 before today, including our skipper, Terry Hutchinson."

Dona Bertrarelli's Ladycat had a good day currently lying fourth overall. She finished the day with a third place, ahead of Marco Simeoni's Veltigroup, one of three boats on equal points poised just a point astern of the fushsia Ladycat.

Carrefour Prevention hold sixth place and for this regatta have former Banque Populaire skipper Pascal Bidégorry at the helm for this Grand Prix.

Terry Hutchinson reports on Artemis' day:

Today was a solid day for Artemis Racing at the D35 Grand Prix here in Beaulieu sur Mer.

Our score card reflected how we progressed as a team throughout the day with finishes of 7,5,2.  This was a day of firsts - the  first day for racing the D35 for Michele and I, as well as for us racing together.  Fortunately Julien, Rodney and Yvan are fairly polished in D35 world and helped get us around the track with good speed and boat handling.  The D35 is quite unique in that it is designed for the smooth water and light air of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.  Today was the opposite of the design parameter, 15 knots and lumpy.  Quite unnatural for the boat as it twist and racks through the water the load volume hulls provide for entertaining rides downwind that inevitably see the bows burying quite far, not too far yet though!  But a good experience nonetheless, as the boat is similar to the AC72 with regards to stability and power so great for us to experience.

Alinghi and Foncia showed the way today with Artemis Racing rounding out the final spot on the podium.  All in all, I think if we had said at the beginning of the day that we would be rounding out on the podium we would have taken it as there is a lot to learn.  Probably the coolest thing about the new world of the America's Cup is that everyday is an unbelievable learning day. Tomorrow Torbjorn arrives and will sail for the last three days of the event. Like us, he will be thrown straight into the fire and so we will follow the same mantra of just striving to get better with each race. 

Photos below by Chris Schmidt/


Pos Boat Helm R1 R2 R3 Tot
1 SUI 1 Alinghi Ernesto Bertarelli 3 1 1 5
2 SUI 5 Foncia Michel Desjoyeaux 1 2 6 9
3 SWE 12 Artemis Racing Terry Hutchinson/Torbjorn Tornqvist 7 5 2 14
4 SUI 10 Ladycat Dona Bertarelli 5 8 3 16
5 SUI 11 Veltigroup Steve Ravussin/Marco Simeoni 6 3 8 17
6 SUI 7 CER Carrefour Prévention Pascal Bidegorry 4 9 4 17
7 SUI 8 Nickel Fred Moura 8 4 5 17
8 SUI 4 Zen Too Guy de Picciotto 2 7 9 18
9 SUI 2 Okalys Corum Nicolas Grange 9 6 7 22

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