EXTREME SAILING – Programme two of the official 2014 TV series comes to you from the stunning Muscat, Oman, where the 11-strong Extreme 40 fleet raced from the 19-22 March. The Arabian waters threw very different challenges at the teams over four days, testing their skills and tactical ability, and after 29 races, it came down to a big breeze, final race shoot out for the winner to be decided. Here are the highlights from the spectacular Act.
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EXTREME SAILING SERIES - On the opening day of the multihull Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore it was the America’s Cup skipper, Dean Barker’s ETNZ who won the first race of Act 1, Singapore. The second race went to the Swiss helm Arnaud Psarofaghis on Realstone and race 3 to defending champions The Wave, Muscat. Great effort by Jes Gram-Hansen on SAP Extreme Sail as they win race 4.
In race 5 it was a race win for Ben Ainslie and his JPMorganBAR team, their first race win of the Series. And they followed that with another win in race 6. Franck Cammas and Cammas Groupama also secured their first win of the season in race 7 of day 1.
The much-anticipated opening Act of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series™ began today in Singapore under the gaze of the cities soaring skyscrapers, where eight races produced six different winners. The Swiss flagged Realtstone were the form team, executing a consistent strategy in the trying conditions, to finish the opening day of the global tour top of the leaderboard – their best result since joining the circuit last year. Some of the newer teams struggled to get to grips with the stadium racecourse, posting a mixed bag of results and a crash between defending champions The Wave, Muscat and GAC Pindar will leave the Aussies with a night of repairs ahead.
Realstone, who after yesterday’s practice racing described themselves as ‘the underdogs’ played a low risk game, setting up for manouvres and executing them precisely to give themselves some breathing space on the packed racecourse. Skipper Jerome Clerc:
“We rotated the team a lot in 2013 to finally be in a position to chose the best people for the best positions and get here with an optimal configuration. We have sailed well with good starts, Arnaud made the boat go fast and we have followed simple schemes with starts on the same side and regular tacks in each leg. We noticed this worked out well so we have kept this strategy. It’s the first day, all the teams are warming up so we are still the outsiders!”
Eight races were sailed – the first of up to 250 this year – and in the continually shifting breeze, which ranged from 4-10 knots with slightly bigger gusts, the teams tacticians had it all on. Groupama sailing team’s skipper Franck Cammas – who won the seventh race of the day, only to follow it up with a last place – explained how tough the conditions were:
“We have had more wind than expected so it was pretty hairy on the water. The wind flows in between the buildings and it all becomes very shifty. We had to take what we could. The teams who started well were not necessarily the teams who finished at the top. The key, in short, is a mix of a little bit of luck, be at the good spot, try to anticipate things and being opportunist.” The French team finish the day tied on points with second placed Alinghi.
On such a compact course, and with such short, intense races, the mark roundings were nail bitingly close, and those on shore found themselves holding their breathe as the Extreme 40s seemingly created space where there was none. In the sixth race of the day, The Wave, Muscat and GAC Pindar found out just how tight the course is, when the Omani boat t-boned into the back of the Aussies in a port-starboard incident, leaving a significant hole in their boat and the team with a night of repairs ahead in the pitlane, as Leigh McMillan explained:
“GAC Pindar put in a tack, and at the last minute they looked like they weren’t going to avoid us. I tried to smash it into a tack but there wasn’t anywhere to go – plus I lost grip of the tiller and tripped over, and unfortunately went into them. We’ve had plenty of bad days and we will have to go back, look at the videos and take some lessons out of today and come back stronger tomorrow.”
Many of the fleet struggled for consistency today, and none more so than newcomers Emirates Team New Zealand and J.P. Morgan BAR, who finished the day with two race wins a piece – but also a handful of last places. Olympic champion Ben Ainslie commented:
“We’re all having to learn pretty quickly, and certainly in this tight venue – even for the experienced guys it’s pretty tough. It’s a really strong fleet, it’s one of the toughest fields we’ve ever had and we’re obviously very new to this so we really learnt a lot today.”
There is little light on the leaderboard after day one, with just 18 points separating first placed Realstone from eighth placed Oman Air. The Wave, Muscat, Gazprom Team Russia, GAC Pindar and the local boat Team Aberdeen Singapore have a bit of catching up to do – and with up to 24 races still to come, there is plenty of opportunity to do it.
Marina Bay Reservoir will provide a temporary residence for the 12 Extreme 40s for the next three days of Stadium Racing, and if today’s racing is anything to go by, Act 1 with the support of Local Event main partner Aberdeen Asset Management, could be anyone’s game. The racing will be streamed live online tomorrow from 1600 -1730 local time / 0800-0930 GMT / 0900-1030 CET to fans around the world – watch it on the official event website, www.extremesailingseries.com.
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 1, Singapore standings after Day 1, 8 races (20.02.14)
Position / Team / Points
1st Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri 56 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 48 points.
3rd Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 48 points.
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 46 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 44 points.
6th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge 43 points.
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 39 points.
8th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 38 points.
9th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 29 points.
10th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 28 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South 20 points.
12th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong 17 points.
EXTREME SAILING – Programme four of the official 2013 TV series comes to you from the heart of the Welsh capital and the UK around of the 2013 global tour, presented by Land Rover. Hosted by the Cardiff Harbour festival, thousands came to watch eight teams with some of the worlds best sailors battle in the heart of Cardiff Bay, including two brand new teams, Team Wales Land Rover and ChinaSpirit.
Sailing in the heart of a city famous for its sport, even stars of Welsh rugby came to see what the fuss was about as British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton traded the pitch for the water for a ride on an Extreme 40. Watch the full 26 minute programme including exclusive behind the scenes features here.
EXTREME SAILING – After sailing a near faultless regatta, The Wave, Muscat were crowned champions of the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7 Nice, presented by Land Rover. The team, representing the Sultanate of Oman, has led the Act since the first race and haven’t looked back since.
“To come out the back of four days racing unscathed is pretty rare! We were able to put in a consistent performance and we try to keep it fun at the same time. It has been a great event, we pushed it and sailed extremely well,” enthused the team’s jubilant skipper Leigh McMillan.
Attentions are already shifting to the Series finale in Florianopolis, which significantly is worth double points. Mathematically five teams are still in the running for a podium position, and just two points separate the favourites The Wave, Muscat and Alinghi at the top of the leaderboard.
“It all starts again at each Act and Brazil will be a different game. Alinghi will keep pushing us hard, you cannot pin them down. We tried, it doesn’t work.”
McMillan and his crew of Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Musab Al Hadi and Hashim Al Rashdi had an unassailable lead going into the all important double points final race, but the battle for second was raging behind them. The Austrian Olympic champions on Red Bull Sailing Team had a one point advantage over the America’s Cup winners on Alinghi and the maths were simple; who ever did better would get second place. The Swiss and Austrians marked each other around the track, and ultimately a fourth place for Alinghi was enough for them to overhaul Red Bull Sailing Team, as helm Morgan Larson explained:
“We were behind so we didn’t feel like we had anything to lose, but we had everything to gain. It was all on. The Wave, Muscat were doing everything they could to make sure that Red Bull beat us, and also Realteam. So there was a lot happening and a lot of other races amongst that race, it was really exciting!”
Despite having second place snatched from his grasp, Roman Hagara was satisfied with the team’s performance. “The goal was to be on podium and we made it. It was close but a perfect end for us. We fought hard but it wasn’t easy today so we are really pleased with the results.” Waiting patiently in the wings to pounce was Realteam, but despite winning the final double points race, it wasn’t quite enough for the Swiss lake specialists, who narrowly missed out on third place by just three points.
ChinaSpirit came flawlessly out of the blocks today, picking up where they left off yesterday with a race win. The unit, who only came together a few weeks ago at the UK round in Cardiff, have quickly adapted to Stadium Racing and are already making a mark on the fleet finishing Act 7 Nice fifth.
Few of the teams have been able to pull together a consistent set of results this week which unfortunately was the story of the Danes on SAP Extreme Sailing. After expertly averting a pitchpole on the first day, the Danish-flagged team missed out on vital points to make repairs before returning to the fleet, where they found themselves embroiled in mid-fleet battles for most of the Act and ultimately have to settle for sixth.
The invitational team the first club by ALL4ONE and supported by Land Rover had the support of the local crowds and were impressive from the first start gun, holding their own against the more experienced fleet with a string of finishes in the top half of the fleet.
“It was a very good day for us. We were up there with the top end of the fleet at times! It was incredible to race in front of our home crowds in Nice, especially with two crew members from here – it was just a fantastic place for us to sail! We hope to come back next year, especially for the whole circuit,” skipper Jean-Christophe Mourniac.
Nice is not an Act the sailors will easily forget having thrown everything at the fleet this week – from 25 knots and two metre swell that at time times saw the Extreme 40s battle the elements to keep their 40ft catamarans upright, to the placid gentle breeze that played across the Bay of Angels over the weekend which saw the 29th and final race played out in 10 knots.
The Extreme Sailing Series has provided a unique spectator experience for the thousands who came to watch on the Promenade des Anglais, and two GC32s – Laurent Lenne’s SPAX Solution and Flavio Marazzi’s Marwin – and the NeilPryde Windsurf Racing Series have ensured a high-performance racing spectacle as the warm-up acts for the Extreme 40s. Read the final GC32 race report from thedailysail.com editor James Boyd, here.
Next stop on the global tour is Florianopolis, Brazil 14-17 November – an unknown Host Venue for the fleet where four days of racing and over 30 races will decide the 2013 champion. Five teams – The Wave, Muscat, Alinghi, Red Bull Sailing Team, SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Realteam – are all in contention for a podium position, and only one thing is for sure; it is going to go down to the wire!
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2013 Act 7, Nice presented by Land Rover standings after Day 4, 29 races (6.10.13)
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 237 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 217 points.
3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Kinley Fowler 216 points.
4th Realteam (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Pierre Pennec, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wasem 213 points.
5th ChinaSpirit (CHN) Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Llang Wu, Louis Viat, Nick Catley 183 points.
6th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 175 points.
7th the first club by ALL4ONE (FRA) Jean-Christophe Mourniac, Romain Petit, Stéphane Christidis, Arnaud Jarlegan, Julien Cressant 170 points.
8th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Matt Steven, Harry Thurston, Brad Farrand, Shaun Mason 130 points.
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2013 overall standings after Act 7, Nice presented by Land Rover
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 56 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) 54 points.
3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 45 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 41 points.
5th Realteam (SUI) 35 points.
6th GAC Pindar (NZL) 30 points.
7th Team X Invitational 26 points.
8th Team Korea (KOR) 16 points.
EXTREME SAILING – ‘Extreme’ ‘on the edge’ and ‘intense’ was how the fleet of elite Extreme 40 sailors described an action packed opening day of racing at the Extreme Sailing Series™, Act 7 Nice presented by Land Rover as 20 knots of breeze with gusts of 25 knots and rolling two metre seas saw the eight Extreme 40s hurtle around the Bay of Angels with hulls soaring, bows diving and water spraying.
The big breeze suited Leigh McMillan’s Omani team The Wave, Muscat who came out in empathetic style, winning four of the eight races to stamp an early authority on the Nice leaderboard. But everyone’s eyes were on the Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team today, who skilfully managed to bring their Extreme 40 back from the brink of a pitch pole, but suffered race-ending damage in the process.
In the third race of the day, SAP Extreme Sailing chose to “push it a bit harder” in the words of British mainsail trimmer Pete Cumming… but they pushed it a little too far. Whilst screaming downwind at 25knots, the bows dug in and their Extreme 40 stopped in its tracks elevating both rudders fully out of the water. The team did well to recover but the impact snapped the front of their bowsprit which ultimately forced them to retire from the following two races, as co-skipper Rasmus Kostner elaborated:
“We started really well today and were leading that third race before we nose dived. After we snapped the bowsprit there was nothing we could do. We managed to finish the race, but after we made the repairs just couldn’t find the rhythm again.”
The Danish team returned to the racetrack for race seven, but suffered further problems with their mainsail, heartbreakingly forcing them to miss the final race of the day and leaving them trailing in seventh place on the leaderboard.
The Danish were not the only team for who the French Riviera proved punishing today. GAC Pindar, who have not sailed together in the Series as a unit since Porto while the team has been competing at the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, lost their port rudder while lining up to start race seven after losing their holding pin, which unfortunately for the team of young Kiwis, meant game over for the day forcing them to limp back to the dock.
The Swiss teams Alinghi and Realteam both came out of the blocks quickly today, securing two race wins apiece. But while Morgan Larson and the team on Alinghi managed to maintain their form throughout and pushed The Wave, Muscat to finish the open water day in second, Jérome Clerc’s team seemed to lose their edge in the days final races. Their blistering start to the day was enough to put the team in third place heading into tomorrow’s stadium.
Jean-Christophe Mourniac showed he has lost none of his Extreme 40 prowess returning to the Series at the helm of invitational entry the first club ALL4ONE, expertly steering his vessel around the course to secure a string of top three finishes.
“We are very happy with our results. In conditions like these it’s really difficult to get the communication right onboard, but for our first day of racing, we’re really pleased with how it went. The fleet is really good this year, we will just have to do the same tomorrow, and just try and progress over the weekend,” commented Mourniac.
Another new outfit to the Series who impressed today in what is only their second Act as a team, was ChinaSpirit. Phil Robertson and his team upped the ante, after what was a baptism of fire at the UK Act just six weeks ago mixing it up at the front end of the fleet, to finish the day an impressive fourth – despite a narrowly avoiding a nose dive which had everyone on the edge of their seats.
“We had a great day today, we’re really happy with our speed around the course and the guys did a really good job of keeping the boat upright in these conditions. We had one hairy moment on the first race but that was a lot fun!”.
Tomorrow (Friday 4th October), the Extreme 40 fleet will go into Stadium mode, racing just metres from the shore on the Promenade des Anglais from 1400 CEST as part of Act 7 Nice presented by Land Rover. The teams are bracing themselves for another action packed day, with 25 knots on the forecast.
www.extremesailingseries.com for more photos.
Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 7, Nice presented by Land Rover standings after Day 1, 8 races (3.10.13)
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 71 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 61 points.
3rd Realteam (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Pierre Pennec, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem 58 points.
4th ChinaSpirit (CHN) Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Llang Wu, Louis Viat, Nick Catley 54 points.
5th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Kinley Fowler 54 points.
6th the first club by ALL4ONE (FRA) Jean-Christophe Mourniac, Romain Petit, Stéphane Christidis, Arnaud Jarlegan, Julien Cressant 45 points.
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 31 points.
8th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Matt Steven, Harry Thurston, Brad Farrand, Shaun Mason 26 points.
EXTREME SAILING SERIES – The Extreme 40s are getting ready to flex their seafaring muscles at the penultimate Act of the 2013 global Extreme Sailing Series™ in just one week presented by Land Rover.
Set against the backdrop of the world famous Promenade des Anglais, Nice on the French Riviera will provide the playground for the eight Extreme 40s including the home nation entry, the first club by ALL4ONE Racing Team from the 3-6 October.
This Act is all about putting valuable points on the leaderboard to set the teams up for the final clash in Florianópolis, Brazil. XS will be following this great event! To catch up on the teams and event CLICK HERE.
EXTREME SAILING SERIES – Swiss dominate on opening day with 2013 newcomers Realteam staking an early claim and circuit veterans Alinghi in second.
Swapping the tide for turf – Extreme 40 skippers rub shoulders with British and Irish Lions heroes Leigh Halfpenny and Alex Cuthbert.
Big breeze on the horizon for tomorrow – tune in LIVE from 1600 BST on the official website. Watch the preview here.
Quashing all fears of a shut down in Cardiff Bay on the opening day of the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6, Cardiff hosted by the Cardiff Harbour festival, the light airs that looked set to characterise the day’s racing revved up to a playful breeze across the bay just in time for three all important points scoring races – perhaps spurred on by a wind dance from Red Bull Sailing Teams trimmer Matthew Adams.
Out on the course the Swiss dominated, with 2013 newcomers Realteam leading the Act after day one and circuit veterans Alinghi exercising their new weapon and Olympic champion Anna Tunnicliffe, putting them in second. Never far from the podium top spot, Leigh McMillan’s The Wave, Muscat wait in the wings in third as day one of racing concludes.
To wrap up the opening days proceedings, the Extreme Sailing Series skippers tonight joined British and Irish lions heroes and two of international rugby’s best-known stars, Leigh halfpenny and Alex Cuthbert at the Cardiff Blues home ground to see for themselves what the Welsh do best.
EXTREME SAILING - The Extreme 40 fleet will return to the Welsh capital, Cardiff as the centerpiece to the Cardiff Harbour Festival where the 8 Extreme 40s will race on Europe’s largest waterfront development over the UK August bank holiday weekend.
Racing takes place in the heart of Cardiff Bay in the circuit’s action packed ‘stadium sailing’ format over four days of intense competition offering excellent spectators views of the race course from the waterfront public race village.
A number of high profile crew changes and two additional team entries still to be announced for the Extreme Sailing Series™ Cardiff presented by Land Rover, sees the Act shaping up to be one of the most closely contested of the Series to date, as the fleet prepare for four days of Stadium Racing hosted by the Cardiff Harbour Festival, over the UK Bank Holiday weekend, 23-26 August.
EXTREME SAILING SERIES – For four days the Extreme Sailing Series world tour entertained the crowds in Porto, battling in the heart of the city on one of the most challenging Stadium Racecourses the fleet have ever sailed on.
Eight teams including two wildcard entries ROFF Cascais Sailing Team and Team Tilt went head to head, and after 30 hard fought races it went right down to the final race to decide the winner. The Wave, Muscat accelerated off the start line while Alinghi found themselves stuck in the traffic jam and going nowhere – they could only watch as the Omani team sailed to victory. Watch the highlights here then go to the websight for all the details at extremesailingseries.com
EXTREME SAILING SERIES - Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Porto has delivered the ultimate challenge in Stadium Racing for the eight international teams competing this week, with a narrow river, high walls, strong tides, big rocks and gusty winds to contend with. After 30 races it came down to the wire between The Wave, Muscat and Alinghi in the final double pointer with just three points separating two of the most experienced teams on the circuit. Impeccable boat handling from McMillan and a win in the final race – their tenth of the Act – ultimately saw the Omani flagged team claim a deserved win who have been unflappable this week having led the charge since race eight.
Porto is third Act win this season for McMillan and his crew Peter Greenhalgh, Hashim al Rashidi, Musab al Hadi and Ed Smyth following victories in Oman and Qingdao which significantly leaves them tied on points with Alinghi at the top of the overall Series leaderboard. An ecstatic McMillan, whose celebratory cheers could be heard from the shore, talked through his race winning tactics: “Alinghi were right there behind us on the first lap. We had the conversation as to whether we should just cover them the whole race, but we saw the pressure was looking better, we let them split and it worked out better for us and we extended our lead, and from there on we didn’t have to worry about them for the rest of the race. We managed to get a good start, managed to get our noses out and that’s what it came down to in that last race.”
Morgan Larson, who has taken the helm from regular skipper and owner Ernesto Bertarelli this week, kept the pressure on The Wave, Muscat until the end, and although understandably disappointed not to have won the Act, Larson has already shifted his focus to the next stop of the global tour in Cardiff, Wales. “We like putting pressure on The Wave, Muscat and unfortunately it didn’t pay off for us here in Porto. It’s been a great place to sail and the team have worked really well together, I can’t ask any more from what the guys are doing. Alinghi are a great team and it’s really nice to be part of it. It really could have gone either way today. In Cardiff we will have to do a better job.”
Always in contention and pushing the top teams hard was Pierre Pennec, who returned to the Series at the helm of Realteam for this Act. Pennec – who is known to be one of the most daring sailors in the Series – has lost none of his edge, and pushed the Realteam Extreme 40 hard around the course to help the team to their first ever podium position. “Our objective for this event was to reach the podium, so it was a great result for the team! The most important factor is the crew engagement, good communication onboard and technically we progressed a lot over the week which is really good looking ahead to the future of the team. It’s great to be back racing in the circuit, and from today anything is possible!”.
The battle mid-fleet was equally as tense between SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Red Bull Sailing Team who went into the final double-pointer tied on points. The Danish managed to muster a third place in the final race where the Austrians couldn’t do better then eighth, leaving SAP Extreme Sailing Team in fourth overall, as Jes Gram Hansen, the team’s co-skipper and helm explained: “We have been more or less tied up with Red Bull Sailing Team all week. It’s tough to be consistent on this racecourse so we are happy that we can battle with Red Bull who are very experienced on this circuit and that we can beat them. It has been a really challenging week - you can have a game plan here in Porto but you need to be able to make some quick changes to it! We really like this racecourse.”
The fresh faces on the circuit ROFF Cascais Sailing Team and Team Tilt have had the ultimate Stadium Racing baptism of fire in Porto, with both teams steadily improving throughout the week and showing that at times they can mix it up with the more experienced players in the top half of the fleet. The local boys ROFF Cascais Sailing Team were spurred on by the home support today and have relished their first Extreme 40 foray, with skipper Antonio Mello saying after racing: “It was an amazing experience with really great racing and we just enjoyed it a lot. It will be difficult to go back to our normal sailing now! We are really happy with the performance we gave here. We had some very good starts throughout the whole day and although conditions were difficult at times, we still finished races in the top three and in the double points race we finished second which was very good for us and also for our home crowd.”
The Kiwi contingent on GAC Pindar took a while to find their feet in the challenging Portuguese stadium, but saved their best to last managing a win in the final day, wrapping up the Act in sixth place.
Porto has earned itself a reputation as a stadium like no other with challenging sailing, crowds and the competitors of the NeilPryde Racing Series keeping the on-water action coming. With four Acts complete and four Acts to go, the Series is at its halfway stage and next heads to the Welsh capital Cardiff over the August bank holiday weekend where they will be hosted by the Cardiff Harbour Festival, 23-26 August.
Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 5, Porto standings after Day 4, 30 races (28.7.13)
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 248 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Ben Lezin, Pierre Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 235 points.
3rd Realteam (SUI) Pierre Pennec, Bryan Mettraux, Nils Palmieri, Cédric Schmidt, Thierry Wassem 223 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 214 points.
5th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Graeme Spence 204 points.
6th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Brad Farrand, Stewart Dodson, Harry Thurston, Shaun Mason 173 points.
7th ROFF Cascais Sailing Team (POR) António Mello, Bernardo Freitas, João Mello, Ricardo Schedel, João Matos Rosa 156 points.
8th Team Tilt (SUI) Lucien Cujean, Jocelyn Keller, Jeremy Bachelin, Thomas Mermod, Lionel Vaucher 156 points.
Extreme Sailing Series 2013 overall standings after Act 5, Porto
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 36 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) 36 points.
3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 30 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 27 points.
5th Realteam (SUI) 22 points.
6th GAC Pindar (NZL) 21 points.
7th Team X Invitational 17 points.
8th Team Korea (KOR) 16 points.
THE VIDEO REPLAY IS POSTED BELOW IN OUR SUNDAY’S POSTS.
EXTREME SAILING – Watch the live coverage starting at 9 am PST then the replay at 10:15!
EXTREME SAILING – Watch it live on XS sailing today at 9am PST! Day 3 in Porto. If you miss it ‘live’ watch the replay soon after the event ends.
EXTREME SAILING SERIES – Watch it LIVE now! Or is you missed it LIVE, watch the Replay. Click on video above to watch Day 2 in Porta! Now in its seventh season in 2013, the award-winning and adrenaline-fueled global series has given the sport of sailing a healthy dusting-off.
Bringing the action to the public with Stadium Sailing, putting guests at the heart of the battle and dramatically increasing the pace on the water, the creators of the Extreme Sailing Series™ have set new standards, both in terms of high level competition and sporting entertainment. If you have not watched it before check it out above!
EXTREME SAILING – An epic nine races were sailed in open sea on the opening day of the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5 in Porto, with plenty of hull flying, close mark roundings and even a man overboard for the local boys on ROFF Cascais Sailing Team to keep the on water umpire team busy. Despite hydraulics problems for The Wave, Muscat before racing had even started the defending champions were on fire, winning the opening race before going on to a further three race wins staking an early lead in Porto.
Never letting them far from their sights however was Pierre Pennec who returns to the Series at the helm of Realteam, leading the Swiss entry to an impressive three race wins and showing everyone why he is one of the most formidable skippers in the fleet ahead of tomorrow’s Stadium Racing.
13 knots of breeze that built to 15 knots for the final race gave the teams a chance to stretch their sails and push their carbon fibre catamarans hard around the course, with each race lasting an average of 14 minutes, conditions McMillan relished.
“We had fantastic sailing today in great conditions so we’ve really been able to really push the boats. It’s been a tough day with tight competition and we sailed well.”
Pierre Pennec didn’t take long to find his Extreme 40 feet again, having last raced in the Series in 2012, and three race wins sees them just four points behind The Wave, Muscat. Analysing their performance dockside, Pennec commented,
“It has been a good day for Realteam. The team are good and highly motivated. We have progressed well both upwind and downwind today and also technically and with the communication between us, so it was a good first day. When we had good starts we were ahead and when we didn’t we still managed to do well, so the moral of the story is that you have to get good starts to do well in this kind of racing.”
A win in the final race of the day for current Series leaders Alinghi, with temporary helm Morgan Larson in charge here in Porto, sees the Swiss America’s Cup winners head into tomorrow’s stadium in third place.
The new faces to the Series onboard Team Tilt showed they can mix it up with the more experienced skippers on their first ever day of Extreme 40 racing, even posting a race win in the third race of the day before a string of top three results. Skipper Lucien Cujean commented, “It’s really cool! It’s very different as the races are short, but it is very impressive and there some of the best sailors are here. I think the strategy will be to make some good starts and keep doing what we’re doing.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing today and the local contingent on ROFF Cascais Sailing Team found just how challenging Extreme 40 racing can be, losing their bowman Paulo Manso overboard in the seventh race of the day. A quick recovery for the team meant they managed to finish the race but went on to suffer further gennaker problems, as skipper Antonio Mello explained; “We had a problem unfurling the gennacker so Paulo tried to get to the end of the bowsprit and he fell in the water. We managed to get him back onboard pretty quickly but couldn’t fix the problem which forced us to retire from the final race of the day.”
SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Red Bull Sailing Team both kept it clean today, posting a string of consistent results and head into the Stadium tied on points in fourth place, while GAC Pindar struggled in the open water, finishing the day in seventh.
The official Act 5 press conference took place today at Douro Marina where the eight international skippers were introduced to over 30 local, international, regional and local media, with more expected to attend the event over the remaining days including national Portuguese broadcaster RTP2, who will broadcast the Stadium Racing live from the race village on Friday and Saturday.
Ahead of today’s racing, Series orgainsers OC Sport also announced a global partnership with the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) as ‘Environmental Partner’ to OC Sport and its properties, including the Extreme Sailing Series. Historically and today, OC Sport’s projects have a strong link to water, whether they are taking place on the water or off water, and this new partnership is a natural fit for OC Sport and BLUE who are focused on the marine crisis facing our planet. Read more online.
Tomorrow and for the next three days it’s Stadium Racing for the fleet and there is plenty of anticipation dockside for what SAP Extreme Sailing Team co-skipper Jes Gram Hansen described as “one of the best racecourses I have ever sailed on” in this morning’s press conference. Follow the racing on the official event website www.extremesailingseries.com and watch it LIVE online from 1700 local time (1800 CEST) tomorrow.
Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 5, Porto standings after Day 1, 9 races (25.7.13)
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 78 points.
2nd Realteam (SUI) Pierre Pennec, Bryan Mettraux, Nils Palmieri, Cédric Schmidt, Thierry Wassem 74 points.
3rd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Ben Lezin, Pierre Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 66 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 58 points.
5th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Graeme Spence 58 points.
6th Team Tilt (SUI) Lucien Cujean, Jocelyn Keller, Jeremy Bachelin, Thomas Mermod, Jonas Schagen 51 points.
7th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Brad Farrand, Stewart Dodson, Harry Thurston, Shaun Mason 47 points.
8th ROFF Cascais Sailing Team (POR) António Mello, Bernardo Freitas, João Mello, Ricardo Schedel, João Matos Rosa 33 points.
EXTREME SAILING – The Extreme Sailing Series™ hits the halfway stage in just one week when eight Extreme 40 catamarans will go full throttle in one of the most compact and challenging Stadium Racecourses the Extreme 40s have ever raced on in Porto, Portugal. Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to line the banks of the river Douro on both the Porto and Gaia sides to watch the Extreme 40s in action as current Series leaders Alinghi set out to defend their position.
Watch the Stadium Racing from Porto live online 26-28 July 1700-1800 BST daily at http://extremesailingseries.com.
EXTREME SAILING – Swiss teams Team Tilt and Realteam embark on intensive training programme in preparation for tight stadium race course.
After Acts in Oman, Singapore and China the Extreme 40 fleet is headed to Porto, Portugal, a venue that in 2012 attracted the biggest crowds the Extreme Sailing Series™ has ever witnessed. Watch the highlights from 2012 for a taste of what to expect when the fleet return from the 25-28 July here. With just over four weeks to go, two of the three Swiss teams competing have drawn the lines against each other as sparring partners over three days of intensive training. Realteam, a new entry for 2013 built around the successful team who claimed the D35 championship in 2012, and Team Tilt, the Swiss Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team who have been granted wildcard entry for Porto, spent three days on Lake Geneva in their Décision 35s fine tuning their skills in preparation for the Stadium Racecourse.
Team Tilt’s 23-year-old skipper Lucien Cujean, and Realteam’s Jérôme Clerc both admit adjusting from the Swiss lakes to ‘Stadium Racing’ is the biggest challenge in switching classes. With three Acts now under his belt this year, Clerc reflected on Realteam’s learning curve. “The biggest challenge for us has been to get used to this format of regattas. It is very short, very exciting, high-pressure racing. We have had to get used to this, I think we are on the way.” Cujean mirrored Clerc’s thoughts, predicting that for Team Tilt, “The toughest aspect will be to take quick decisions, avoid contact and navigate properly among a very competitive fleet. The Extreme Sailing Series has its own format of short and fast races that will be a change to what we are used to.”
The narrow starts and ultra-short course of the Extreme 40 stadium racecourse dictated the teams training regime, which is of particular value for Team Tilt who will only have 10 days sailing on an Extreme 40 under their belts before the Act in Porto (three days from the Pirelli Regatta and seven days training in Porto). Clerc gave a run down of what the training entailed: “Over the three days, we set up a lot of short races and practiced a lot of reaching starts to try and replicate the Extreme 40 racecourse. We were on different boats – the D35 – and we sailed with five crew instead of the usual six to try and match the Extreme 40. It was very demanding, but a good session to help us improve in this format.”
For Team Tilt the main benefit of the two-boat training was to fast track their learning, as Cujean explained, “Realteam is a very competitive crew and a great sparring partner. We were very lucky weather wise and did have optimum wind conditions for some great training on the water with our two coaches Laurent Voiron and Arnaud Psarofaghis, (who competed in 2012 aboard Groupe Edmond de Rothschild finishing third overall and with Realteam this year). So, all in all, it was very beneficial… but we will see in Porto how we will perform!”
Going on to talk about their objectives in Porto, Cujean continued, “Our objective is to be competitive enough to stay in the game. This is our first competition at the Extreme 40 level so we have no ambitions on the final results but we will fight hard on each race! Good starts will be crucial as well as mark approaches. This is also our last opportunity of high-level competition before our departure to San Francisco to start training on the AC45. We are also looking forward to competing in Porto with some of the other Youth teams.” The Kiwi Youth America’s Cup contingent on GAC Pindar compete as a full Series team, while the Portuguese outfit on ROFF Cascais Sailing Team will participate as the home nation team at the Portuguese Act.
And for Realteam? Well, with three Acts under their belt, the team is hoping they can up their game in the European Acts. “Our main aim? Don’t sail into the river wall! Seriously, we want to improve. We had some good results in China but we need to raise the bar of our average results. They have been mixed so far.”
Once again eight Extreme 40s will be on the starting grid in Porto, including current Series leader and fellow Swiss countrymen Alinghi led by Ernesto Bertarelli, the only team to have finished on the podium at every Act so far this year. Act 4, Istanbul has been postponed with an ongoing review of rescheduling later in the year by Series organisers OC Sport. For the latest information check the official website, www.extremesailingseries.com.
EXTREME BOATS - SpeedDream teams up with the Extreme Sailing Series - SpeedDream to be publicly exhibited for the first time at the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4 in Istanbul, June 2013.
SpeedDream, the quest to build the world’s fastest monohull, has formed two strategic alliances to achieve this ambitious goal. First, recognizing that record setting is as much about radical design ideas as it is about pushing technology barriers, the SpeedDream team have strengthened their technological partnership with the Russian hi-tech giant Yandex and will be utilizing their enormous computing power to further refine the design concept.
Record setting is also about attracting the very best sailors and many of them compete at the highest levels of international competition in the Extreme Sailing Series, the original and global stadium racing circuit. To bring all forces together Yandex- SpeedDream will be exhibiting as part of Act 4 of the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series in Istanbul, Turkey from June 20-23, 2013.
Having expanded its presence to Turkey in 2011, Yandex is Russia’s leading internet company whose search portal alone attracts over 55 million unique users. “As a company on the leading edge of technology we look forward to associating with innovative projects that push the boundaries and hosting SpeedDream here in Istanbul” said Yandex. Turkey Chairman Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ. “We will all benefit from an exchange of ideas with the common goal of being the best and fastest in the world; SpeedDream on the water, Yandex in search and browsing the web.”
Last October the SpeedDream team launched and tested a 27-foot prototype of what will form the basis of a larger record setter. While continuing to test the first prototype, the SpeedDream team have already started research and development for a second stage 50–footer that will enable them to test their design ideas in real ocean conditions. A core of this program is Computative Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Research and Finite Element Analysis, which will be performed as a cooperative effort between SpeedDream designers and Yandex engineers.
“This is a giant step forward for the project,” said Vlad Murnikov, Lead Designer and project coordinator. “There is nothing like being able to simulate a design in a multitude of conditions and our team plans extensive CFD and FEA analysis using the incredible computing power and expertise that Yandex and their engineers can offer. We will take the empirical data collected from our prototype, extrapolate it into a larger design, and then run a variety of simulations over the next few months.”
The Extreme Sailing Series is now in it’s seventh season and has set new standards, both in terms of high-level competition and sporting entertainment. The award-winning Series has attracted some of the very best sailors from around the world and has been on the cutting edge of corporate sporting hospitality and sailing innovation. “Part of the Extreme Sailing Series philosophy is to welcome other interesting and innovative concepts in to our Stadium – the SpeedDream project will create some interest for sure, and if they develop a class of these in the future we could imagine having them as one of the additional classes racing at the event,” commented Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of OC Sport, the Series organisers. “So we agreed to test it out in Istanbul, the meeting point for Asian and European cultures, and now the meeting point for innovation in sailing!”
Yandex-SpeedDream will remain in Europe for the summer with plans to exhibit the boat in various locations where high performance, along with style and innovation are appreciated and celebrated.
Check out SpeedDream at http://www.speeddream27.com/main.html
EXTREME SAILING SERIES – Qingdao saved its best for last on the final day of Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series ™ and the pressure was understandably on from the first start gun with no quarter given on the water as the teams used classic match racing tactics to try and outwit their nearest rivals. Watch how the final races of the Act played out here.