Archive | Extreme 40

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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OmanSail in 3 years عمان للإبحار في ٣ سنوات

Posted on 07 May 2012 by Valencia Sailing

OmanSail in 3 years عمان للإبحار في ٣ سنوات

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What is this?

Posted on 04 November 2010 by Valencia Sailing

We don’t have all the information yet on this Extreme 40 yacht training off the Malvarosa beach in Valencia, other than what can be easily observed in Port America’s Cup or on the water, courtesy of the iPhone of one of Valencia Sailing’s readers and friends.

The Italian yacht is docked in the Mascalzone Latino base but to the best of our knowledge it has no relation to the Challenger of Record of the 34th America’s Cup.

I know it’s taken from far away but can you tell what boat was sailing off the Malvarosa beach on Thursday?



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Extreme Sailing Series Almeria – Day 2: Big breeze and big action as Guichard retains top spot in the final…

Posted on 10 October 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] The second day of the final round of the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series in Almeria delivered exactly what it says on the tin… Extreme racing, on the limit of control, with an abundance of thrills and spills. The thousands of Spanish public who flocked to the race village today were enthralled as the boats flew past within touching distance of the stadium walls: “It was unbelievable, the crowds give you a real buzz, it’s fantastic,” said Dean Barker, Team Emirates New Zealand skipper.

A consistent 20+ knots of breeze saw the Extreme 40s ‘fly’ along at boat speeds in excess of 30mph (46kmph). Today was about staying in control, minimizing mistakes and staying out of trouble… The race management decided that in light of the forecast the fleet would race in groups with no more than four boats on the race course at one time, set inside the tight confines of the port. Each group was determined by the current rankings after yesterday’s racing.

Dean Barker is now in his second day of learning how to beat James Spithill, approximately three years from now. Almeria, 10 October 2010. Photo copyright Paul Wyeth/OC Events

In the end, it was Yann Guichard’s crew on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild who did it best, winning three out of their four races, and increasing their lead to 59 points at the top of the leaderboard: “The committee made a wise choice by splitting the fleet,” said Guichard. “We showed that we had to be reckoned with even in strong winds, I think yesterday Paul said these were his conditions, but we proved they were ours too. We’re in the match and I’m sure it will all go down to the last race of the last day, just like last year.”

The Ecover Sailing Team posted two first places, a second and a third and this consistent performance keeps them in hot contention, just 6 points from the top spot: “It was very difficult today, conditions were very puffy, although we kept control throughout there was definitely the potential for either a nasty crash or worst still a capsize,” said Ecover Sailing Team skipper, Mike Golding. “It is nice flat water here which helps to keep the boats on their feet, but I think what is extreme here is the space, or lack of space! You make a mistake, you’re going into a concrete wall so it’s good to be back on the dock all in one piece.”

Yesterday The Wave, Muscat skipper Paul Campbell-James was relishing the prospect of stronger breeze but today their aggressive sailing nearly ended in disaster on two occasions – one a near high-speed collision with a wall and another near collision with teammates Oman Sail Masirah skippered by Loick Peyron: “We were three up coming into the downwind mark [Masirah, The Wave and Rumbo Almeria] and we were pushing hard to get the overlap,” explained Campbell-James. “We didn’t quite get it but we were in a position that we couldn’t really do anything else but go in there […to the mark]. We managed just at the very last minute to miss Masirah’s stern basically with our rudders out of the water before spinning round the mark. I’m looking forward to seeing the footage!” His team stay in third place but remain confident: “We didn’t make the most of today, it was windy and we’re normally pretty good in that stuff but we just didn’t sail very well, it’s as simple as that. But we’re still within punching distance and that’s the main thing.”

Second day of racing for the Extreme 40′s. Almeria, 10 October 2010. Photo copyright Paul Wyeth/OC Events

The first three races were set over a windward/leeward course of three laps – even with the mainsails reefed and no gennakers, the Extreme 40s flew round the tight course, each race taking only 6-7 minutes, each leg approximately 60 seconds! Just watching was exhausting and nerve-wracking for the public; for the sailors the adrenalin was pumping and it proved hard to control their competitive drive as the crowds witnessed some aggressive tactics. Roman Hagara, Red Bull Extreme Sailing skipper: “The boats were really exciting today especially for the spectators. The guys love it too because there is so much action on the boat, so much speed.” In their penultimate race, Hagara and his crew caught the top buoy dragging it at least 200 meters off target – their competitors complied by rounding the ‘re-set’ mark on the final lap!

Franck Cammas seemed to relish the conditions today nailing two wins early in the day until a bad mark rounding and an OCS (on course side) upset their day: “It was intense, and a good thing to race four boats at a time otherwise the starts would have been a catastrophe for everyone. It was important to start well and to manage the moments of crisis, notably the bearaways which are always tricky on these boats. We are rather fast in those conditions, but today we made two mistakes, touching a mark and starting too early, which really doesn’t help on such short courses.”

The forecast for tomorrow is for less wind but that won’t take the heat off the skippers as they head into the penultimate day of the final round of the season.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Almeria Results after Day 2

1st Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, Yann Guichard, 59 points
2nd Ecover, Mike Golding, 53 points
3rd The Wave, Muscat, Paul Campbell-James, 48 points
4th Oman Sail Masirah, Loick Peyron, 48 points
5th Groupama 40, Franck Cammas, 39 points
6th Rumbo Almeria, Guillermo Altadill, 33 points
7th Red Bull Extreme Sailing, Roman Hagara, 28 points
8th Team Emirates New Zealand, Dean Barker, 24 points

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