Groupe Edmond de Rothschild runaway leader
Yann Guichard and his crew on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild have won the third round of the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series in Kiel with a race to spare – an unusual occurrence on this circuit that normally sees every event go to the wire in the final double points race.
There was no stopping Guichard who took control of the German event yesterday, unseating Britain’s Mike Golding from the top of the leaderboard. Today the French team scored four first places and two fourth places in the six fleet races: “I think that's the best event we have ever done,” said Guichard. “We were in the match since the first day, our manoeuvres got better and better and the last two days were almost perfect. We enjoyed ourselves onboard and the results speak for themselves. Sometimes, like today, things just go well - we could have had 10 races today and I'm sure it would've been just as fine!”
The Extreme Sailing Series Kiel event, supported by Kiel Sailing City, delivered tough and tricky racing conditions for the nine competing teams, who rose to the challenges and entertained the 65,000 strong crowd that lined the Kiellinie shoreline over the four days.
Conditions were similar to yesterday – big rain squalls bringing big gusts, then decreasing wind – and there was plenty of action on the short race courses resulting in numerous penalties. There was a collision between Red Bull Extreme Sailing and The Wave, Muscat in the third race of the day in a port/starboard incident approaching the weather mark – the impact was so loud it was heard inside the VIP enclosure! Neither team incurred major damage and carried on racing with Roman Hagara’s team awarded a four point redress as they sat out the next race to affect repairs to their bow on the water.
The all-British team on Mike Golding's Ecover, having led for the first two days, had to settle for second place overall but that was not without a fight. At the start of the final day they were lying in third behind Oman Sail Masirah, skippered by Loick Peyron. But good tactics saw them move into second overall after two races, which they managed to cling on to: “It was a really good event for us and, more importantly, we are moving forward our expectations in the overall series which is great,” said Golding. “We had one slightly shaky day here but we see a continuous improvement which is important. There's no secret, it's all about team work and training, and it's paying now.”
The battle for third place then developed between the two Omani teams of Oman Sail Masirah and The Wave, Muscat. Paul Campbell-James, skipper of The Wave, finally got the upper hand in the penultimate race moving into third overall with 120 points, 1 point ahead of Masirah. In the final double points race, Loick Peyron had the advantage but ‘CJ’ fought back to finish ahead and take 3rd place on the podium.
Mid-leaderboard Mitch Booth on The Ocean Racing Club continued to dominate, finishing on equal points with Masirah, but awarded 5th place overall on countback. Red Bull Extreme Sailing, involved in so much of the action here today, finished in 6th place on 99 points, ahead of Groupama on 92 points, helmed by Tanguy Cariou with Franck Cammas away busy demolishing the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland race and course record on his Groupama VO70.
Meanwhile a ‘home’ team battle raged between the German ‘wild card’ entries of Team Wirsol Germany, with the young skipper Tino Mittelmeier at the helm, and the Audi Sailing Team Germany,which facilitates training for the 2012 Olympics. Going into the final day, only 1 point separated the two teams to Audi’s advantage, but a spectacular win in the second race of the day for Team Wirsol Germany – that sent the thousands of spectators ecstatic – helped them overhaul their compatriots.
Next stop for the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series is Trapani, Sicily over 24-26 September, the penultimate event of the circuit.
“I've never been to Trapani, we're going to race in the harbour so maybe it will be comparable to Almeria,” commented Guichard. “At this time of the year there should be some thermal breeze so conditions should be pleasant and we can expect a good fight.”
Guichard now has two wins under his belt (Séte and Kiel) and Paul Campbell-James one (Cowes). “I think we clearly demonstrated that we're a force to be reckoned with for the Overall Series victory,” said Guichard. “We're now more than halfway into the season, and with this second event win we take a psychological advantage as well as one in terms of points, so we're very happy.” From the performance here in Kiel it looks like Guichard’s campaign is gathering steam – can anyone stop the ‘express train’ now?
Extreme Sailing Series Kiel Overall Results
1st Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 167 points
2nd Ecover Sailing Team 142 points
3rd The Wave, Muscat 128 points
4th Oman Sail Masirah 125 points
5th The Ocean Racing Club 125 points
6th Red Bull Extreme Sailing 99 points
7th Groupama 40 92 points
8th Wirsol Team Germany 67 points
9th Audi Sailing Team Germany 61 points
Extreme Sailing Series 2010 Overall Standings
1st Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 22 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat 20 points
3rd Ecover Sailing Team 19 points
4th Oman Sail Masirah 17 points
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing 10 points
6th Groupama 40 9 points
7th The Ocean Racing Club 8 points
8th Team GAC Pindar* 3 points