Archive | Extreme 40

Extreme 40s prepare for 2014 title fight in iconic Sydney Harbour

Posted on 04 December 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] “We have had a spectacular season on Alinghi but relaxing now would make it all worthless.” With just one week to go until the final Act of the 2014 season, Morgan Larson and the Swiss team Alinghi have only one thing on their minds – lifting the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series™ trophy in Sydney, Australia in this the final Act of 8 global events, presented by Land Rover. But while they may be in the driving seat by eight points as they head to the Harbour City, they can expect a fight-back from The Wave, Muscat, with the defending 2012 and 2013 Series champions and skipper Leigh McMillan out to defend their title and achieve a first ever triple crown. “When it comes to the last event you’ve got to have the best event of the year. It’s not game over yet.” With double points (20) on the table, four days of competition and probably 30 to 40 races will decide who is this year’s Extreme 40 World Champion.

While the battle for the top spot may be relatively clear cut, the battle behind for the remaining podium position will be equally hard fought. Jérôme Clerc’s Swiss-flagged Realteam, who have been giving Emirates Team New Zealand a run for their money all season are ready to pounce. With a slim four-point deficit as the fleet head down under, Clerc knows it’s within their grasp. “We are well aware that we will have to fight hard to be on the podium. Anything can happen in Sydney. We will sail as simply as possible and we will stay calm and confident despite what is at stake. It would be a great reward for the entire team and for all the people who support us. The podium is close at hand and we will do everything in our power to reach the target.”

British sailing fans are sure to be watching out for J.P. Morgan BAR. Mathematically they could finish on the Series podium, and the Brits have been getting better and better as the year has gone on. Ben Ainslie is a man used to being in pole position, and he is hoping to pull out some big punches to finish the 2014 season on a high. “At each of the Acts we have gone out and just tried to sail to our best. As a team we are pleased with our position overall going into the final Act, things have really come together for us, we have made good progress and hope to finish the Series in the top half of the fleet.” Ainslie who claimed one of his four Olympic gold medals at the Sydney Games continued: “Personally Sydney is my favourite sailing venue and it’s a great place to end the Series. We are all looking forward to good conditions and solid racing against such an iconic backdrop.”

Also looking to end the season on a high is the local lads on GAC Pindar, and their Olympic champion skipper Nathan Wilmot summed up what the event means to him. “It will be great to race in my home town of Sydney. For my family and friends to be able to see the racing and for the people of Sydney to get up close to some great sailing will be amazing. The racing will be intense, close and exciting with one of the best back drops in the world.”

There are some significant crew changes in the fleet for the final Act of the season, and no more so than on Oman Air. Australia’s home grown talent Tom Slingsby will take the helm from Rob Greenhalgh who was called up to round the world race duty onboard the Spanish Volvo Ocean Race entry, and while it may be his Extreme 40 debut, he lacks no ability on the water as a world, Olympic and America’s Cup champion. Ed Smyth will replace an injured Kinley Fowler on The Wave, Muscat, while New Zealand’s Matt Mitchell replaces Smyth on GAC Pindar.

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A day to forget for The Wave, Muscat in Nice

Posted on 04 October 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] The third day of racing on the French Riviera for the Extreme 40s could prove to be one of the most defining days of the whole 2014 season, with the leaderboard well and truly blown open. There were plenty of movers and shakers in the rankings, but the most significant moves came from Alinghi, who came to Nice with a slender one-point lead in the Series rankings, between them and the team challenging them for the season title, The Wave, Muscat. The Swiss took an impressive 54 points from a possible 70, while the Omanis could only add 21 to their tally, and the result: Alinghi lead, The Wave, Muscat last going into tomorrow’s final showdown, leaving The Wave, Muscat now planning their damage limitation strategy.

Explaining what worked for them today, Morgan Larson commented: “Sometimes in the light air, if you just focus on your positioning, your tactics and your starts and ignore the other boats – it works. That was our strategy this morning; ignore the other boats. I know I keep my loose eye on The Wave, Muscat all the time, and the team remind me to just sail the boat well, and we did that – which in turn will put the pressure on them. It’s working, but there’s still a lot of races to go.”

For the defending champions from Oman it was a day of sailing they will want to forget. But while the team are down, they are by no means out and when the pressure is on, Leigh McMillan has more then enough ability to rise to the challenge and bounce back, which the team’s tactician Sarah Ayton was positive about: “It was a really tough day – the conditions were such that if you had a good start then you could lead either into the left or into the right and that’s were the gains were. As a team we are solid, our roles, routines, the synergy on the boat is good – so we’ll just take a bit of time to reflect on our performance and have another go tomorrow.”

Realteam, who have led the regatta since day one, did well to maintain their podium position and head into tomorrow in second place, just 10 points behind Alinghi, and three ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, somewhat to the relief of Skipper Jérôme Clerc. “It was a tough day for us, we are surprised by the overall standings because we didn’t think we had a good day. The plan of attack for tomorrow is to continue to navigate as we did the first few days, it is quite regular and strategy work. The mindset will also play a role tomorrow because it is going to be complicated; everyone will want to attack and be on the podium.”

Seven races were sailed, and with so much at stake, the teams took plenty of risks in the light conditions, often rolling the dice and trying to break away from the pack to make gains. On the tight and congested racetrack, mistakes were punished hard; misjudge the start and there was no coming back, find yourself stuck in a hole in the wind and sufferer the consequences. Those who could minimise mistakes and stay out of trouble rose to the top, and it was a great day of racing for Rob Greenhalgh and the team from the Sultanate of Oman, Oman Air, scoring two race wins to upgrade their overnight position from eighth to fourth at the close of play. “It was a difficult day, we didn’t start off brilliantly but then we had a string of reasonable results all the way through,” said Greenhalgh “We were good downwind and made some good decisions. We will go out tomorrow and do the best we can – the team has made excellent progress and we hope to continue to.”

Behind them is J.P. Morgan BAR who had a consistently inconsistent day like much of the fleet, currently in fifth place and leading the middle of the pack. Just one point behind are the new boys from Down Under on GAC Pindar, and while it has been a steep learning curve this season the team are getting better Act by Act, as skipper Nathan Wilmot explained: “I think we’ve learnt a lot over the last couple of regattas. Generally we are being more consistent although we had a couple of bad races today. I think we are learning a lot and up there fighting at the top of the fleet in a lot of the races, so we’ve just got to try and keep it up and hopefully we’ll keep doing it come Sydney.”

Gazprom Team Russia tumbled a few places on the leaderboard, and finish the day tied on points with Red Bull Sailing Team in seventh place. Roman Hagara and his crew had a much better day, making the right sort of waves to move up from eleventh to eighth at the close of play and their double Olympic champion skipper Roman Hagara explained what was different: “We sat down as a team yesterday and tried to analyse all of the things we did that were both bad and good, and then came up with a plan for today. So we’ve continuously improved over the last three days, and that’s what we’ll try and do tomorrow.”

As is the way in Extreme Sailing Series, the final double points race can be a shoot-out that always has twists and turns, and expect tomorrow to be no different, with any team mathematically capable of a top three finish at the close of play.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7 Nice standings after Day 3, 22 races (4.10.14)
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) 135 points.
2nd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 125 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 122 points.
4th Oman Air (OMA) 120 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 110 points.
6th GAC Pindar (AUS) 109 points.
7th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 106 points.
8th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 106 points.
9th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 105 points.
10th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 98 points.
11th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 95 points.

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Realteam, Gazprom Team Russia and Groupama excel in Nice

Posted on 02 October 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] Light winds dominated the opening day of Act 7 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Nice, France calling for pin-point precision from the teams as the battle at the penultimate Act of the 2014 global tour began on the sparkling Mediterranean waters. There was change in the air with the newer teams on the circuit calling the shots and Realteam had all the right tactics and boat speed as the fastest average team according to the SAP sailing analytics. The Swiss team scored two first and two seconds places finishing the end of day one in pole position, and skipper Jérôme Clerc commented: “With these light wind conditions, it is even harder to be ahead all the time but I think we have been able to find a good strategy for the day. I think we have to continue with this spirit and try to limit the bad races.”

Gazprom Team Russia had their best day on the circuit on the opening day where the team finished in second position.Credit Lloyd Images

Gazprom Team Russia had their best day on the circuit on the opening day where the team finished in second position.Credit Lloyd Images

Despite not scoring in race two after sailing the wrong course whilst leading, Gazprom Team Russia sailed an impressive day, scoring two race wins to claim second place overall, on equal points with the all-French fixture on Groupama sailing team skippered by Franck Cammas at the close of play. Team Russia’s skipper Phil Robertson, who only took over the tiller at Act 5 Cardiff, spoke about ‘fine-tuning’ their Extreme 40 for light wind racing. “Your whole set up changes with your rig tuning and speed wise, the whole balance of the boat changes. We talk about these factors after every race, whether we need to make any changes or not and as a whole, chat about what we can improve on. That was really good today and the boys put in a big effort to make sure we were going fast. The trick now is just to keep that rolling. The hard part is having another day like this over the next three days, and keep as consistent as possible when we’re not having such a great day so that’s the key.” The Aussie team GAC Pindar, led by Olympic gold medallist Nathan Wilmot had their best start to a regatta this year, coming out of the blocks quickly and sailing consistently to finish the day in fourth place. Cool as ever, Wilmot commented: “We just kept plugging some good races in now and then, and in the lighter air you have a little more time to think about what’s going on. We just tried to sail the boat fast around the course and stay out of trouble with everyone and it seems to have worked well today. It’s pretty hard out there and it can be frustrating so it’s quite hard on the brain when trying to figure out where to go, but if we can keep the boat going around the course nicely we’ll be there doing alright at the end.”

The French local team, Groupama sailing team excelled on their home waters for Act opener in Nice, France.Credit Lloyd Images

The French local team, Groupama sailing team excelled on their home waters for Act opener in Nice, France.Credit Lloyd Images

Ben Ainslie and the British on J.P. Morgan BAR made the right sort of waves in the opening races, and looked to be in imperious form, but a penalty in the third race followed by a start line collision with Alinghi cost them valuable points. The Brits finish the day in a credible fifth place, tied with Emirates Team New Zealand, helmed here by Pete Burling, fresh from a successful defense of the World 49er title in Spain. J.P.Morgan BAR’s bowman Matt Cornwell explained what it was like on the course. “It was very tricky, very light and very easy to put yourself in situations where you’re looking to be in the top three, and then very quickly you can be in the bottom three, so it’s very hard to get those calls right. I think it was the same for everyone and there’s a lot of teams out there that looked frustrated with today’s racing but actually I think we’re all on similar points and it’s all very tight.”

Act 7, Nice 2014 - Day One - 2 Oct 2014. Credit Lloyd Images

Act 7, Nice 2014 – Day One – 2 Oct 2014. Credit Lloyd Images

It wasn’t such a pretty story for the current Series leader Alinghi, and their long-standing dueling partners The Wave, Muscat who both found themselves in the bottom half of the fleet more then the top today. The pair finish the day tied on 39 points in seventh place, leaving themselves with a bit of work to do over the next three days. Despite managing to finish a handful of races in the top three between, Oman Air, Red Bull Sailing Team and SAP Extreme Sailing Team all struggled in the light airs finishing the day in ninth to eleventh respectively. The opening day is just a shakedown of what is to come over the next three days here in Nice, and expect plenty more twists and turns on the leaderboard.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7 Nice standings after Day 1, 8 races (2.10.14)

1st Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 51 points.

2nd Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 48 points.

3rd Groupama sailing team (FRA) 48 points.

4th GAC Pindar (AUS) 45 points.

5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 44 points.

6th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 44 points.

7th Alinghi (SUI) 39 points.

8th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 39 points.

9th Oman Air (OMA) 33 points.

10th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 30 points.

11th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 26 points.

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Extreme Sailing Series returns to Nice for the penultimate Act of 2014

Posted on 26 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] Act 7 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series™ global tour is just around the corner, as some of world’s best sailors prepare to descend once again on to the shores of Nice, France, for the penultimate Act in the battle for the 2014 crown. The event will be broadcast live online to fans around the world from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th October 1530-1700 local time (GMT+2) daily, and nationally in France on Canal Sport+  on Saturday and Sunday.

Three Act victories so far this year puts Alinghi top of the Series leaderboard, and the Swiss team, helmed by Morgan Larson, will welcome back Olympic champion Anna Tunnicliffe as tactician in Nice. Tunnicliffe, a two-times ISAF World Sailor of the Year knows all about the pressure of competing and spoke about the team’s focus for the Act. “The fleet is very strong, especially now towards the end of the season. Every point counts. The smallest mistake costs a lot on the scoreboard. Our main goal is to win the Act. We can’t just focus on one boat, there are too many good teams on the course.”

Just one point behind Alinghi is The Wave, Muscat fresh from a second place at the last Act in Istanbul just two weeks ago. As defending champion of not only the Series but also the Nice Act, the team’s British helmsman Leigh McMillan knows what it takes to win on the French Riviera. “Nice can be a whole variety of conditions, so we have to be ready for anything. We just need to continue the form we have had for the last two events. We are always improving and working well as a team, so more of the same is the aim.” Looking at the bigger picture, McMillan continued: “The events are too long with too many races to be concerned with one boat, but as the end approaches, we will have Alinghi in our sights.”

Following fantastic form in Istanbul that saw the Kiwis take their first Act win of the year, you wouldn’t bet against Emirates Team New Zealand, who will be reinforced by Glenn Ashby as well as Pete Burling and Blair Tuke – a duo who are quickly earning a reputation as the hottest property in sailing right now. “We know that anything can happen in Nice and we will look to get as much out of the training day as possible, that hopefully will set us up for a good week of racing. Pete is taking turns at the helm with Dean (Barker) throughout the season and this crew rotation is something we decided at the beginning of the year to try different onboard configurations with the different guys, which is working out well. We go into Nice with the intention of keeping a podium position with 2 Acts to go”, said bowman Jeremy Lomas.

The British team J.P. Morgan BAR is currently leading the second half of the fleet, where the battle is just as close, with just nine points separating the Brits in fifth place, from Groupama sailing team in tenth, with SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Oman Air, Gazprom Team Russia and Red Bull Sailing Team all sandwiched between them. J.P. Morgan BAR’s trimmer, Nick Hutton, who won the Series in 2010, spoke about the importance of a good result in the French Riviera. “We have been addressing what worked and what didn’t so we can move things forward, ready to come back fighting in Nice. It’s the second to last event in the Series, there’s not much time left to get the points in the bag and we want to deliver – it’s a great venue and we are looking forward to some solid racing.”  

Groupama sailing team will be back to full strength welcoming their skipper Franck Cammas back to the fray, who missed Act 6 whilst competing in the Nacra 17 ISAF World Championships in Santander, Spain. Tactician Tanguy Cariou spoke about what to expect from their home waters: “Nice will offer a new racecourse and some different conditions from all the other Acts this season. The last two years the winds have been very strong so who knows what might happen this year! Nice is also a beautiful city and it will be very interesting to expose both the boats and the Stadium Racing to the French public.”

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Emirates Team New Zealand break Alinghi and The Wave, Muscat’s dominance

Posted on 14 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] In some of the best conditions the fleet have raced in all year, you couldn’t have scripted a better final to the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6 in Istanbul, and the fans on shore and following around the world were rewarded with a nail bitingly close, down to the wire shoot out after 31 races. The 12 Extreme 40s blasted around the track in 20-23 knots, reefs in their mainsails, with the lead changing hands in almost every race. As fortunes swung one way, and then another, Dean Barker and the crew on Emirates Team New Zealand needed to put two boats between them and The Wave, Muscat in the final race to take the win – and they did just that, clinching their first Act win of the year – the first time a team other then Alinghi or The Wave, Muscat have won an Act since 2012. “It’s always good to get on the plane after a good one rather than a bad one, so I’m just really happy with the way the guys have just responded after what was a really tough result in Cardiff (where the team came last) and every now and then it’s good to get a good kick up the backside to make you realise you have to work hard for these. We’ve improved each day and it was just a really close, hard event,” Barker commented.

Act 6, Istanbul 2014. Credit: Lloyd Images

Act 6, Istanbul 2014. Credit: Lloyd Images

Heading into the final race, mathematically Alinghi could have taken the Act win, but with their eyes on the 2014 season prize, their focus was locked on The Wave, Muscat and keeping them off the top spot. The Swiss had done their maths and knew exactly where they wanted their season rivals to finish, working hard to force them deep into the pack and out of contention for the Act win. “We had an outside chance to win that last race and we did one lap of the race still trying to win, not knowing what could still happen. Then we got to the final lap and it was clear that if we continued to win the race with Emirates Team New Zealand second, then The Wave, Muscat may have won this Act. So we were thinking of the overall Series, we just had to let the Kiwis go, and then go back and hold The Wave, Muscat back a little bit because they were coming out strong. They’re such a good team, picking off boats one by one and so we just had to try and block them back and make it so we got second.”

The Wave, Muscat finished the penultimate day at the top of the leaderboard in Istanbul. Credit: Lloyd Images

The Wave, Muscat finished the penultimate day at the top of the leaderboard in Istanbul. Credit: Lloyd Images

Despite missing out on top prize in Istanbul, McMillan and the team on The Wave, Muscat did what they came here to do: beat Alinghi and narrow the gap on the 2014 rankings. However, that gave little solace to McMillan, who commented after the win: “It was close points between us and Emirates Team New Zealand, but unfortunately Alinghi obviously didn’t want us to win and so they got in the way during the race and made our life pretty difficult. We’re frustrated, the last two days we’ve sailed really well. There are two more Acts, and we’ve beaten Morgan Larson at the last two, and that’s what we’ve got to keep doing. Second or first at this event, it doesn’t make any difference really because it can come down to Sydney and that’s what we’re focused on.”

Rob Greenhalgh’s Oman Air finished the regatta in fourth place, their strongest performance of the season, going better than their pre-Act target of sixth place, as Greenhalgh commented: “It has been a tough event as usual but we have finished fourth, which we are happy with. It has been hard work for everyone. The crew have worked really hard and have done a very good job. We are improving and refining the details and everyone wants to do better so they get upset when there are mistakes but that’s what happens when expectations improve. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going and put a good performance in Nice”.

The fleet power off the startline with Istanbul's Blue Mosque providing the backdrop. Credit: Lloyd Images

The fleet power off the startline with Istanbul’s Blue Mosque providing the backdrop. Credit: Lloyd Images

It was a good day for SAP Extreme Sailing Team, all the time making steady progress and narrowing the points gap to finish in a solid fifth place after starting in the day in eighth. Just six points behind is Groupama sailing team – a season’s best for the French under the guidance of skipper for this Act, Tanguy Cariou. Racing at this level, as one of the very best teams in the world, things don’t always go to plan, as the French found out on the opening day, when they dismasted. Missing four races and languishing in last place, the team still managed to bounce back to finish sixth overall, and their persistence, commitment, and performance on the water, earned them the Land Rover Above and Beyond Award.

With the penultimate Act of 2014 in Nice, France just over two weeks away (2-5 October), there will be many lessons learnt here and rivalries are burning stronger than ever. Alinghi hang onto the overall lead with 55 points but their advantage over The Wave, Muscat has been narrowed to just one point. Looking ahead Larson summarised: “It’s a fresh event and we’ll have to come out strong, try to have some great results – it will all be on. If we have some good results and things go our way, it will be nice going into Sydney but it’s going to be close and with double points in the final event I’m sure it will come down to the last race”.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6 Istanbul standings after Day 4, 31 races (14.09.14)
Position / Team / Points
1st Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 210 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 204 points.
3rd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 188 points.
4th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 169 points.
5th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Christian Kamp, Brad Farrand 154 points.
6th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Tanguy Cariou, François Morvan, Romain Motteau, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 148 points.
7th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell 143 points.
8th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Nick Blackman, Mark Bulkeley, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson 142 points.
9th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Cédric Schmidt, Thierry Wassem 135 points.
10th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Jack Macartney, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, Tyson Lamond 130 points.
11th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 126 points.
12th TeamTurx (TUR) Mitch Booth, Can Bayülken, Selim Kakış, Deniz Çinar, Anıl Berk Baki 85 points.

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) 55 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 54 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 43 points.
4th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 36 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 29 points.
6th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 24 points.
7th Oman Air (OMA) 23 points.
8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 23 points.
9th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 23 points.
10th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 20 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 6 points.

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A remarkable penultimate day’s racing for Extreme 40s in Istanbul

Posted on 13 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] The tankers and cargo ships on one of the world’s busiest shipping channels, the Bosphorus Strait, were replaced this morning with the magnificent sight of a fleet of Extreme 40s, as traffic was shut down for a spectacular passage race right through the heart of Istanbul. If navigating the channel and racing past some of Istanbul’s most spectacular Ottoman architecture wasn’t remarkable enough to open the penultimate day’s racing at Act 6 of the Extreme Sailing Series™, eight full on, adrenaline-fuelled races were sailed and as always, it is tight at the top between the leading pack heading into tomorrow’s final showdown.

Act 6, Istanbul 2014 - Day Three - 13 Sep 2014. Credit: Lloyd Images

Act 6, Istanbul 2014 – Day Three – 13 Sep 2014. Credit: Lloyd Images

Race Director Phil Lawrence summed up an extraordinary day’s racing: “The Bosphorus is one of my favourite races. You’re sailing around this fantastic waterway and it’s very rare that they’ll stop all the ships and the scenery is just absolutely fantastic.” Going on to talk about this afternoons racing, “Full-on would sum it up. It was pretty breezy, we had full mainsails – we didn’t go to a reef, so it was right on the limit for that. The sailors did a great job.”

The defending champions of the Series, The Wave, Muscat have held onto the advantage they had coming into the day, despite picking up no points in race six for not completing a starting penalty for which they team are hoping for a redress. Breathing down their necks after two races wins is Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand, but Barker hinted they would like to go one better: “It was a great experience to do the Bosphorus race this morning and to take a look around there, then we moved into the stadium. We had a good day, and if we’d have said at the beginning of the week that we would be two-points behind the leaders going into the last day, we would have taken that. So we’re happy with the way it’s going, but you’ll always love to do better.”

Act 6, Istanbul 2014 - Day Three - 13 Sep 2014. Credit: Lloyd Images

Act 6, Istanbul 2014 – Day Three – 13 Sep 2014. Credit: Lloyd Images

Oman Air are continuing to ride on their season high, holding onto third place, but giving them a run for their money is a revitalised Alinghi, who had fire in their bellies and mistakes to be remedied today. The team, helmed by Morgan Larson, made every point count, as tactician Stuart Pollard explained: “Yesterday it wasn’t so good for us in the starts, but today we sorted that out. We sailed consistently around the race track and ended up getting us some points on the board which is good because we needed it after yesterday. Tomorrow we will need more of today, sailing consistently, sailing clean and sailing fast.”

The fleet couldn’t have asked for better conditions for this afternoon’s racing, with 20 knots on the course that saw the crews muscle their overpowered Extreme 40s around the track – at times on the edge of control. Keeping it clean, staying out of the scraps at the marks and timing the starts perfectly was key, and a team who had that sussed today was Groupama sailing team. The French started the day in twelfth place, but two race wins and being the fastest average boat on the water – matched only by J.P. Morgan BAR to 13.77 knots according to the SAP analytics – saw the French begin to make their march, to put themselves in a solid fifth place at close of play. The team are now tied on points with Red Bull Sailing Team, leading the mid leaderboard battle, and after racing skipper Tanguy Cariou commented: “We really had a great day. François Morvan (helm in Istanbul) has done a wonderful job on the starts, he has really analysed the different race configurations and his understanding of the specificities of the Stadium Racing is improving day by day. Today’s results are really rewarding both for François and the entire team and it is really gratifying to know that we are back on track.”

Act 6, Istanbul 2014 - Day Three - 13 Sep 2014. Credit: Lloyd Images

Act 6, Istanbul 2014 – Day Three – 13 Sep 2014. Credit: Lloyd Images

J.P. Morgan BAR also had a better day today, relishing the bigger breeze and the chance to really stretch their legs. The team, who between them has five Olympic gold medals, took maximum points in two races, to finish the day in seventh place and on 110 points. The Brits most experienced Extreme 40 sailor is former Series winner Nick Hutton, who commented: “We are really enjoying the racing here in Istanbul. Everyday we have had good conditions with a nice breeze. It is a bit gusty at times, but we are starting to read it now, paired with the flat water and open racetrack it makes for some of the best sailing we have had. We are pleased with our boat handling and form today and it’s all to play for tomorrow.”

After yesterday’s impressive showing, the young Australian team on GAC Pindar struggled to get out of the scrum and into the top half of the pack under the intensity of the day’s racing. Their day went from bad too worse, when their final race was cut short following a collision with Gazprom Team Russia, which knocked the Aussies out of racing, leaving them with a night of repairs. Skipper Nathan Wilmot talked through what happened: “We were coming down to the bottom mark and Team Russia were behind with no over-lap. We went to go around the mark, they got a gust and hit us. They went through our port bow, and we’re not quite sure how bad it all is yet so we will wait and see, but it has been draining water out for the last 15 minutes. We were our own worst enemy out there today, and we were a little out of sync. We just missed a few things, battled hard and it didn’t go our way. Unfortunately it was probably our best race when the crash happened, so it was just one of those days.”

The battles at the top and mid leaderboard are raging, with three hours of racing left in Istanbul, and a final double points shoot out still to come, there will be no quarter given. Tune into the final day’s racing from 1530 local time (GMT+3) to watch the final races, and the winners be crowned.

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12 teams to race in Istanbul including first-ever Turkish Extreme 40 team

Posted on 04 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] The first-ever Turkish Extreme 40 syndicate, TeamTurx, has been confirmed to compete at the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6 Istanbul as an invitational entry, bringing the tally of boats on the startline up to 12. The event will be further bolstered by support from co-Host Venue partners Yandex, one of Europe’s largest technology and internet companies, and Palmarina, a world class marina located in Bodrum, south Turkey.

The Turkish squad supported by ARKAS Sport Club of shipping company ARKAS Holding, is made up of Olympic level sailors including founder Edhem Dirvana, who have been busy training over the last few months with Extreme 40 veteran and class co-designer, Mitch Booth. Mitch and Edhem – a world-class multihull sailor who has been instrumental in the formation of TeamTurx – will share skipper duties, with local sailors Selim Kakış, Ateş Çınar, Deniz Çınar, Cem Gözen, Cem Selçuk and Can Bayülken rotating positions onboard. Edhem commented on the team’s long-term vision to develop the sport of sailing in Turkey: “Our coastline offers supreme conditions for water sports which provides an important opportunity to enhance our maritime culture. We are combining our Extreme 40 sailing skills as Bozburun Yacht Club with the administrative skills of ARKAS Sport Club, which is well known for its support for the improvement of water sports, to help further develop the sport of sailing in Turkey. Multihull sailing is at a very early stage in the country so we hope to raise public awareness of this type of action packed, professional level of sailing and sailing in general in Turkey.”

For Yandex Turkey, their sponsorship of the Istanbul Act adds to their growing sailing sponsorship portfolio, as Chairman and CEO Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ explained: “As a company developing high-end technologies, Yandex operates in a wide range of fields. Last year we announced our support for SpeedDream – a project aiming to create the fastest monohull sailboat of the world – with the expertise of our engineers and our processing power. This year, with the same enthusiasm, we are happy to be the local hosts of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 6 in Istanbul, bringing together the high-tech Extreme 40 catamarans and some of the best skippers in the world. We’re inviting all sailing fans to this unique racing event and believe that we will be co-hosting a historical happening, together with Palmarina.”

The Palmarina Bodrum Management echoed Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ’s words and spoke of their objective of developing the sport in Turkey:“As Palmarina Bodrum we plan our actions with the aim of developing the maritime heritage of Turkey parallel to the international standards and also raising the traffic of the super and mega yachts into our national coasts by our business ventures. We are very pleased when observing the influence on the younger generations recently and feel proud of supporting marine sports races, as being sponsor of Extreme Sailing Series in Istanbul with Yandex and welcoming these high-speed catamarans and the best sailors of the world here to Istanbul. We are inviting all the marine sports enthusiasts to join us watching these extraordinary races together to feel the excitement with all of us.”

The action in Turkey will begin on the 11 September, and excitement is building in Istanbul for the return of the Extreme 40 stadium style racing on Turkish waters for the first time since 2012. The Extreme 40s will also face the challenge of racing on the notorious Bosphorus Strait, a crucial shipping channel between the Asian and European sides of Istanbul, when traffic will shut down allowing the colourful sails of the Extreme 40s to replace the ferries and tankers for a few hours, on the morning of Saturday 13 September.

Team Turx crew list:
Co-skipper/Helm: Mitch Booth
Co-skipper /Floater: Edhem Dirvana
Mainsheet Trimmer: Selim Kakış /Deniz Çinar reserve
Headsail Trimmer: Ateş Çinar / Cem Selçuk reserve
Bowman: Anıl Berk Baki /Can bayülken reserve
Reserve: Cem Gözen

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The Wave holds on to lead in Extreme Sailing Series event in Porto

Posted on 28 July 2013 by Valencia Sailing

To the say that Saturday was a challenging day on the waters of river Douro would be an understatement. Unfortunately, the forecast turned out to be true and already at noon it was becoming clear, Friday’s nice westerly breeze would’t materialize. Instead, a patchy southerly breeze complicated the situation even further as it blew across the river that runs from east to west. That is, unfortunately, the other side of the coin of stadium sailing. When the breeze is from the “wrong” direction, things get complicated.

Nevertheless, the Extreme 40 catamarans can sail even with the lightest of breezes to the delight of the thousands of people that crowded both banks of the river, even if at times it was difficult to understand what the race course was. In fact, one of the most frequent questions one could hear during the afternoon was “Daddy, who is winning?” and the reply was unequivocally “I don’t know”. Still, it’s not often than one can have a race right in the downtown area of a major city.

It was interesting also to observe that the vast majority of the spectators weren’t simple passers-by that briefly paused, had a look and left. They were sitting, many of them for hours, taking photos and cheering the Portuguese team. This, once again shows that a national team, crewed by nationals will always be cheered by the crowds even if they don’t understand much about the sport. In fact, Extreme Sailing Series organizers invite such a team in every event and Portugal, the local team is ROOF Cascais, a team of young Portuguese sailors that will also compete in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in September. Another young team present in Porto is Switzerland’s TILT and they will represent their country as well in the Youth America’s Cup in San Francisco.

Both young teams struggled under Saturday’s tricky conditions. The breeze would come in puffs of 10 knots that would send a boat flying while a mere 100 meters away the rest of the fleet would remain stuck in no wind. That was even more pronounced at the starting line where the pin end had breeze and the committee boat none whatsoever. Nevertheless, The Wave and Alinghi avoided committing any suicidal errors and stayed at the top, closely followed by Realteam. The podium however is wide open and if Saturday’s unstable conditions continue into Sunday none of these three teams have their spot guaranteed.

Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 5, Porto standings after Day 3, 22 races
1. The Wave, Muscat 179 points
2. Alinghi 169 points
3. Realteam 165 points
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team 150 points
5. Red Bull Sailing Team 150 points
6. GAC Pindar 116 points
7. Team Tilt 108 points
8. ROFF Cascais Sailing Team 104 points

Second day of Extreme Sailing Series stadium racing. Porto, 27 July 2013. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Second day of Extreme Sailing Series stadium racing. Porto, 27 July 2013. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Second day of Extreme Sailing Series stadium racing. Porto, 27 July 2013. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Second day of Extreme Sailing Series stadium racing. Porto, 27 July 2013. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Second day of Extreme Sailing Series stadium racing. Porto, 27 July 2013. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Second day of Extreme Sailing Series stadium racing. Porto, 27 July 2013. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Second day of Extreme Sailing Series stadium racing. Porto, 27 July 2013. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Second day of Extreme Sailing Series stadium racing. Porto, 27 July 2013. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Second day of Extreme Sailing Series stadium racing. Porto, 27 July 2013. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Second day of Extreme Sailing Series stadium racing. Porto, 27 July 2013. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

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