Groupe Edmond de Rothschild into pole
Day 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series Istanbul produced the biggest pile up since the Ecover crash in Almeria in 2009.
In gusty conditions, approaching the top mark, Alinghi piled into Team Extreme in the fourth race of a big nine race day. It was a classic port/starboard incident, as Alinghi tried to bear away behind Team Extreme but rather than make it, instead accelerated in to the stern of Roland Gaebler’s Team Extreme. The noise of the impact was heard clearly over 500 metres away in the race village, and a crewman from each of the boats was hurled into the water: “It was a massive and very loud crash,” said Gaebler. “It was scary, its 1.2 tons of boat crashing into each other. It’s so loud you cannot imagine. It’s like driving a car going from 200km/h to zero, the boat stopped in a second.”
Yves Detrey, was taken off Alinghi just after the crash with an injury to his left, arm but this was soon confirmed as not serious. “We started the day under pressure, after two bad races,” said skipper Tanguy Cariou. “We tried to bear away. We lost control of the boat and had big collision. I fell in the water and the bowman hit the winch. We are of course disappointed and sorry for Team Extreme, we had a big crash, but its part of the game.” With a long night in the pitlane, both boats still hope to make tomorrow’s start line.
With a large hole in the back of the port hull, Team Extreme was kept afloat by a support RIB. They were towed to the technical area and craned out immediately. Both Alinghi, with bowsprit damage, and Team Extreme were out of the game for the rest of the day. The pitlane will be buzzing tonight as the support teams battle to get the boats back racing tomorrow.
The Extreme 40 fleet contested more races today than ever before – there will be some tired pro sailors tonight. The demanding conditions and intense competition in the stadium sailing format, produced plenty of scrapes and bumps. Alinghi were hit at the start of the first race by Emirates Team New Zealand (not their fault) and again by Artemis Racing (this time, their fault) and the umpires were kept busy refereeing the 11-boat fleet. Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing were leading this morning, but after losing and regaining the lead several times, they have now been relegated to second place overall by France’s Groupe Edmond de Rothschild as Pierre Pennec’s team put in a strong performance with two first places and two seconds. There is just one point in it though, and very close behind in third, just 8 points back, is Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand: “Each day is like a regatta, if you’re in the top four at the end of the day then you have a chance of winning,” said Ray Davies, coaching Emirates Team New Zealand here in Istanbul. Luna Rossa now lie in 4th place after 22 races as The Wave, Muscat and Red Bull Extreme Sailing climb one place each. The top six boats all still have a real chance of climbing on the podium on Sunday night – with as many as 200 points potentially still up for grabs.
Its been the best regatta so far this year for Team GAC Pindar, with a well earned 7th place, as Ian Williams team continue to find their groove, followed by Oman Air and Niceforyou tied on 112 points. Alinghi are now on 111 points and Team Extreme on 88, but with possible redress to come after being taken out by Alinghi in the big crash of the day.
Extreme Sailing Series, Istanbul - current overall standings after Day 3 (27.5.11)
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 171 points
2nd Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Rodney Ardern / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 170 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Glenn Ashby / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 163 points
4th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 156 points
5th The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Torvar Mirsky / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 153 points
6th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 140 points
7th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Mischa Heemskerk / Jono Macbeth 121 points
8th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 112 points
9th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 112 points
10th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 111 points
11th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Nicholas Heintz 88 points