Mitch Booth hangs in there
In an intense penultimate day of racing under clear blue skies in the bay of Portoroz, the six Extreme 40 teams battled it out in another four races at their World Championship,sailed in eight to ten knots of wind.
Mitch Booth, skippering Slovenia's home team The Ocean Racing Club, clung to the top of the leaderboard with two firsts and two seconds. The Ocean Racing Club fought an all-day battle with challengers Red Bull Extreme Sailing, helmed by Tornado Olympic gold medallist, Roman Hagara.
Booth said: “It was fantastic racing today. There was a steadier breeze which meant getting a good start was vital. It was a real dogfight between us and the Red Bull Extreme Racing guys. We are going into the final day with just a few points separating us so it's going to be a fight to the end.
Team IWC/Holland, steered by Mitch Booth's Tornado crew Pim Nieuwenhuis, continued their ascent up the standings with another consistent set of results. Nieuwenhuis said: “It was another good day for us. We are currently in fourth position but we are challenging for third. It's all pretty close. We are only three points behind Team Petras France in third so tomorrow will be a big day.”
Shirley Robertson's Team Kempinski/Great Britain slipped to fifth in the leaderboard after a frustrating day's racing. “We have been sailing pretty well but we have been slow downwind,” Robertson said. “It's frustrating when everything else has been going well. A couple of the boats just seem to have a different engine to the rest of us – Red Bull Extreme Sailing is seriously fast! It's going to be a good battle tomorrow and we are going to give it our all.”
So it was another day of hard racing at the Extreme 40 World Championship - but the competition didn't end when the sailors came off the water. After a few hours of downtime all the the crews headed to the local karting track where the battle for first place on the race track continued.
Taking each team's fifth man spot for one of the races today were Slovenia's ambassadors to Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and Japan. Each got first hand experience of racing the high-performance Extreme 40 catamarans alongside some of the best sailors in the world.
Anunciada Fernandez de Cordova, Slovenia's ambassador to Spain, spent a race sailing with Shirley Robertson's Team Kempinski/Great Britain. “It was the most fantastic experience,” she said. “I have been sailing before but never on anything like this. It was so exciting. The boats are amazing and it is wonderful to have them sailing here in Portoroz. The Extreme 40 World Championship is such a good thing for Portoroz and for Slovenia.”
Three races are scheduled for tomorrow, the final day of racing.
Results after day four:
The Ocean Racing Club: 3-4-1-1-4-1-1-2-2-2-1-2-1 75
Red Bull Extreme Sailing: 1-1-3-4-1-2-4-4-1-1-2-1-2 73
Team Petras/France: 2-2-2-2-2-3-5-1-3-5-5-3-5 61
Team IWC/Holland: 5-5-5-6-3-4-2-3-4-3-4-5-3 44
Team Kempinski/Great Britain: 4-3-4-3-5-6-3-5-5-6-3-4-4 43
Team Nokia/Hungary: 6-6-6-5-6-6-6-6-6-4-6-6-6 19