Sailor, America's Cup Winner Alinghi, Athlete

Dominik Neidhart is a top athlete, three-time America’s Cup participant and winner with the Alinghi team.

Dominik Neidhart was a crew member of the Alinghi winning team in New Zealand. After studying medicine, he turned to his passion, sailing. In three different America’s Cup Challenges – a not very successful start, a triumphant victory and a bitter defeat – he gained rich experience in the complex organization, the demanding management, and the successful teamwork in realizing this unique vision. Subsequently, he has scientifically processed these experiences on teamwork and also published on the subject.

Dominik Neidhart: It is the team that makes the decisive difference.

Dominik Neidhart is one of the few management consultants to have gained this insight from his own experience. His vivid knowledge of the irrepressible power of optimally bundled competencies as well as his well-founded know-how about the development of a successful cooperation culture make Dominik Neidhart an internationally sought-after speaker, management coach and trainer in the field of cooperation culture.

Topics and lectures by Dominik Neidhart

With his lectures for living cooperation, Dominik Neidhart supports committed industrial and service companies in their cultural transformation. Away from the internal competition culture, towards a successful cooperation culture.

Working Together Wins!

The teams have highly competent sailing crews who continuously improve their skills. They are supported by a multinational shore team of several hundred people: Scientists, engineers, boat builders, sail designers, weather specialists, and more. In 155 years of its history, this competition has never been won by teams with the biggest budgets, the most advanced infrastructure, or the most extensive crew.

In his presentation “WORKING TOGETHER WINS!” Dominik Neidhart, former crew member of Alinghi, makes the step from inspiration to education. Participants will not only learn how the unexpectedly great success of the Swiss sailing team Alinghi was possible at the first attempt, but they will also receive a concept / program on how they can transfer the principles of successful cooperation into their working environment themselves.

On course despite headwinds – From Great to Unstoppable

The faster the world changes and the tougher the competition becomes, the more decisive is the culture of cooperation – because it is this culture that gives a company the agility it needs.

Business enterprises facing increasingly fierce competition and sailing teams competing in the America`s Cup, the world`s oldest sports trophy, face comparable challenges. For both players, the competitive environment is changing dramatically fast: changing venues, new technologies, new rules, and diverse competitors. There is an ever-increasing ‘headwind’. As a former crew member of Team Alinghi, which was victorious in its first appearance in the America`s Cup in New Zealand and was able to repeat this success in Valencia, Dominik Neidhart reports on how the Swiss team mastered this challenge on land and on water and how the elements of this successful concept can be transferred to business.

In the America`s Cup, the team with the biggest budget or the most extensive infrastructure has never won in around 150 years. It is always the team that makes the decisive difference. The ability to generate the highest possible energy, maneuver well, and perfect teamwork is critical to staying on course. That’s what it’s all about!

Cooperation wins the competition – Cooperation wins the Race.

Great achievements are only possible through the cooperation of well-informed, motivated and competent participants. In this process, each participant gives forces and competences into a process, loses them and must and wants to get something back in return, so that they do not feel left out or even lose their identity.  Only in this way can cooperative relationships remain stable and effective. To continuously strengthen cooperation, every team needs a theory to continuously analyze and adjust this process of cooperation.

Alinghi’s mission statement consisted essentially of three points. First: Pride through competence. Second, not to dream of success, but to focus on what you can influence, that is, to take success into your own hands. Third, to know that it is always the team that makes the difference.

The basis for being able to work together at all is trust. Without trust, we are not willing to support or ask for support from other team members. There is no added value of working together.

Go hard or go home.

Few people really realize the extreme situations that can arise for a team on a high-tech racing yacht, isolated at sea and exposed to difficult weather conditions. There is probably no other challenge of similar magnitude in which the success or failure of the whole depends so much on the competence, performance, reliability and mutual trust of each individual team member. After all, the failure of any individual team member can bring down the entire undertaking and put the crew in great danger. Therefore, in such a crew, there is a strict division of roles, coupled with mental strength and endurance, as well as physical and psychological presence and empathy. Communication must be extremely fast and clear so that everyone can perform their tasks immediately and without error.

Thus, such a boat crew is an ideal-typical collective actor whose work can be used to study the success or failure of challenging team projects. Dominik Neidhart analyzes these processes in a highly descriptive manner, thus enabling the transfer of his experience and insights to economic fields and other organizations.


Committed teams need a clear self-image of what they stand for and how they treat each other.

We need strong mutual trust so that we in a team are willing to share our knowledge with other team members, support them or ask them for help. This is the only way to create synergies and added value.

In a tough competitive environment, it is the team that must make the difference. The quality of this cooperation determines success or failure. Successful teams are characterized by a special quality of collaborative action in the interest of the company as a whole.

It is not a matter of course that highly specialized players become a collaborative collective that joins forces. This process must be actively shaped and accompanied.

Depending on the working phase a team is in, the conditions for success are different: developing ideas, solving problems and training, and delivering the best possible performance in a competitive environment.

In the America`s Cup, as in business and science, the environment is constantly changing. Therefore, there is no longer a direct route to the goal. Teams must constantly adjust their course and be agile. These many maneuvers require strength and energy.

The best helmsman cannot win a regatta if he has the wrong sailors on board. It is no longer enough for everyone to just do their job. Tolerance, acceptance and respect for your fellow team members make it possible not to fake a false “family feeling”, but to hold each other accountable to the highest possible standards, thus spurring and challenging each other.

replied the race director in the first America’s Cup in 1851 to the British Queen, after a small American yacht had crossed the finish line first, ahead of the entire traditional British fleet. There is no silver or bronze medal in the America’s Cup, nor is there any prize money.

Even competent and highly motivated teams fall apart when they fail to achieve consistent results.

“When I look back on my career as a professional sailor in the America`s Cup, the first thing I remember is not victories or defeats, but the most diverse people, my team members, who came together over an idea and knew there was only one way to succeed in this competition: By unleashing the irrepressible energy and potential of working together.”
Dominik Neidhart