Mark Lloyd / Extreme Sailing Series

Emirates Team New Zealand edge ahead

Third new leader at the Extreme Sailing Series Istanbul

Saturday May 28th 2011, Author: Lou Newlands, Location: Turkey

Artemis Racing led here for two days at the Extreme Sailing Series Istanbul until yesterday Groupe Edmond de Rothschild took control. Today the battle for dominance went to the southern hemisphere as Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand fought hard to lead by 4 points over Sweden’s Artemis Racing by the end of the day.

“You are in the fortunes of the guy up above and you have to deal with what you get,” said Barker. “I think we are sailing better and better but you never come off the water feeling like you had a great day, you just feel like you are surviving.”

The big move of the day though came from The Wave, Muscat, helmed by the youngest skipper on the circuit, Torvar Mirsky, moving into third place. Also deserving recognition is the Swiss Alinghi team, who got their campaign back on the road after yesterday’s dramatic crash.

A total of 10 races were staged on the penultimate day of the Extreme Sailing Series Istanbul – starting with one-on-one speed duals and finishing after eight closely-fought fleet races. The breeze started off at around 10 knots combined with stronger gusts – perfect conditions for the speed duals – then softened throughout the afternoon dictating a less frenetic pace than yesterday. Turkey’s national TV broadcaster, TRT, covered three of the races live on TV and the hour-long coverage was also streamed online.

Going into the tenth and final race, Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing were tied on 217 points, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild on 214. Barker led from start to finish, Terry Hutchinson’s team could only manage fifth and Pierre Pennec’s crew ninth, after a penalty on the first upwind leg, setting the stage for the final showdown. Max Sirena’s team on Luna Rossa also started the final race on equal points with The Wave, Muscat, but it went wrong from the start as they found themselves on the wrong side of the start line and The Wave, Muscat escaped finishing in third place to elevate them to third in the overall leaderboard.

Tomorrow will decide who will win here in Istanbul… Up to 100 points could be won and five teams are in contention for overall victory with just 13 points separating them: “Everything can change,” said Barker. “It’s nice to be leading going into the final day but you’re only as good as your next race. With another 7 to 8 races tomorrow anything can happen.”

And certainly still able to make the podium is Roman Hagara’s Red Bull Extreme Sailing on 187, Team Extreme with points for redress (compensation for their crash) on 177.6 (they get 5.2 points per race). Oman Air after a mixed day of good and bad races is on 170, with Alinghi on 161. Team GAC Pindar had some great moments and, at 160 points, has held off Niceforyou on 153 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Istanbul -  overall standings after Day 4

Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points

1st Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Glenn Ashby / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 228 points
2nd Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Rodney Ardern / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 224 points
3rd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Torvar Mirsky / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 218 points
4th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 217 points
5th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 215 points
6th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 187 points
7th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Nicholas Heintz 177.6 points
8th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 170 points
9th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 161 points
10th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Mischa Heemskerk / Jono Macbeth 160 points
11th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 153 points

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