Prangs and bangs
It was another intense day on the Halic estuary at the Extreme Sailing Series in Istanbul, with gusty conditions and tight race courses resulting in a few collisions and numerous close calls. Luna Rossa has been craned out tonight to check for damage after crunching into Team GAC’s aft cross beam and then another knock with Artemis Racing inflicting some damage to the aft port hull. However, Max Sirena’s team who have dropped from second overall to fourth place will be back racing tomorrow as will Ian Williams’ Team GAC Pindar.
The team that started the second day on top, Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing, has extended their lead even further from 1 point yesterday to 19 points today after another seven races. The other two event podium places are now currently occupied by Alinghi, skippered by Tanguy Cariou and helmed by Yann Guichard, in second: “The first two events were very difficult for us as we are a new team,” explained Guichard. “We need to get to know how to work together. We are improving every day, in every race so we are happy till now, everything is coming together well.” But they will have to keep raising there game in this fiercely contested field as the Swiss team are on equal points with Dean’s Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand going into the halfway stage tomorrow, as Guichard conceded: “The game is really tight out there. It's fun, very fun but you you're not allowed to make one mistake!”
Overall series leaders Groupe Edmond de Rothschild bounced back from a difficult start yesterday - 7th this morning - up to 5th by the end of play today. And Roman Hagara’s Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team also climbed two places: “It was a little mad on the water today,” said Hagara. “Lots of up and down, lots of close finishes and close marks roundings. You can see some teams leading on one race and finishing last on the next one. The general level of the fleet is going up and that's good to see five different winners out of seven races today. I'm really happy with my team, we're having fun and loving it here. That's the first time we are racing in Istanbul and it's absolutely fantastic.”
The conditions were similar to yesterday with 7-10 knots of breeze and some fierce gusts that quickly turned these the Extreme 40 catamaran into one big handful for the 44 sailors. The short two-lap races lasting just 10-12 minutes, saw the sailors grappling with their huge gennakers as they flew into the downwind mark and it required slick handling to avoid a major incident: “The racing is pretty brutal out there but we keep improving,” said Barker. “We had a couple of shockers, but you know, you need to deal with what you get and try do do things a little bit better each time, and make less mistakes. Of course there's a lot we can do better, but we jump on every opportunity we can and try to make the best out it.”
Alberto Barovier’s team Niceforyou scored two second places today lifting them from 11th place into 10th. The all-Italian team enjoyed their first race win in Muscat and it is sure another one is on the cards as the team gets to grips with the Extreme 40 under the tutelage of 2010 series winner crew member, Mark Bulkeley.
Tomorrow Act 3 moves up a gear into stadium sailing format as the doors open to the public here in Istanbul. For now the 44 sailors are resting, bruised boats being patched up, but the 11 Extreme 40s will all be back in front of the public tomorrow.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 Istanbul - Current overall standings after Day 2
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Rodney Ardern / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 116 points
2nd Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 97 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Glenn Ashby / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 97 points
4th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 95 points
5th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 95 points
6th The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Torvar Mirsky / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 87 points
7th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 78 points
8th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 76 points
9th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Nicholas Heintz 64 points
10th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 64 points
11th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Mischa Heemskerk / Jono Macbeth 55 points
Turkey’s national TV broadcaster, TRT, will be covering the Extreme Sailing Series live this weekend and TRT’s TV feed will be available on the Extreme Sailing Series website. TRT1 will broadcast live from Saturday between 1600-1650 CET and on Sunday 1700-1900 CET.
TRT1 TV channel covers all the major sporting events including football and Formula 1 and on Sunday TRT will cover the Monaco Formula 1 live before switching to the on-water racetrack here in Istanbul for the final day’s racing. TRT1 will broadcast live coverage from 1700-1900 CET on Sunday and 50 minutes coverage on Saturday between 1600-1650 CET. The coverage will obviously come with TRT’s Turkish commentary but follow the English race blog on the home page.
Terry Hutchinson video: