The ever changing conditions on the second day of racing at the Extreme Sailing Series in Boston, resulted in a game of snakes and ladders for many of the 11 Extreme 40 teams and leaves Act 4 wide open going into the halfway stage tomorrow.
After another seven races today there have been a significant number of place changes on the overall leaderboard, although Terry Hutchinson’s crew on Artemis Racing extended their lead at the top ahead of The Wave, Muscat to 7 points. So no change for the top two, however Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand strong performance today moved the Kiwi team up to third place: “We were really happy with today,” commented Dean back on the dockside at Fan Pier. “We won four races and sailed in good shape for the rest. In the last race we copped a penalty and managed to fall back three places, so we were actually pretty happy with how we continued as it would have been easy to give up but we finished in 8th which is good, and an improvement on yesterday.”
The racing started out in really light and fluky winds. In the first race, won by Emirates Team New Zealand, three boats fell foul of the time limit rule for not finishing within six minutes of the winning boat. It wasn’t until the fourth race that the sea breeze really filled in and stabilised. Then the boat speeds picked up and the action moved up a few gears delighting the Boston crowd who turned out in force again today.
The Swiss team of Alinghi, skippered by Tanguy Cariou, after a mixed bag of results yesterday, came back strongly in the second half to climb from ninth to sixth place. Unfortunately, for Austrian skipper Roman Hagara, skipper of the popular Red Bull Extreme Sailing team here in Boston, a collision in the fifth race with Team GAC Pindar put them out of action with damage to their rudder system, and the team has dropped from third yesterday to eighth. Undoubtedly, Hagara’s team will be seeking points redress as the fault for the collision sits with Team GAC Pindar.
For many of the teams new to the circuit, the experience of three events already under their belts is starting to pay as they accelerate up the learning curve. Italy’s Niceforyou is in a great battle mid-leaderboard, only two points behind Alinghi, and skipper Alberto Barovier is clearly enjoying the experience: “The racing is pretty tricky,” he said. “We survived two days with a good consistency on results which is very good for us and an improvement on the other venues. We are looking forward to doing better tomorrow and the next day.”
The final race of the day was one of joy for Roland Gaebler’s Team Extreme who posted their first win of the regatta with American 470 Olympic silver medalist Bob Merrick on board, and one of huge disappointment for the Pierre Pennec’s French team on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. The team crossed the line first but touched the finish mark and was instantly penalized, forcing them to re-cross the finish line. Pennec was visibly unhappy with his sixth place, but the French team are still very much in the running having posted multiple second places today, and maintaining their fourth place overall.
A day of frustration for many and joy for others but there are still many more points up for grabs and no one is placing any bets on which teams will be standing on the podium come Monday. “It’s just all about getting to Monday with a chance to win,” explain Terry Hutchinson. “Everyone is so good but I am very hungry to win here.” And with more breeze forecast for the final two days, the action is going to get hotter and hotter.
Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino visited the Extreme Sailing Series Race Village at Fan Pier to see the action first-hand: “It’s very special to have the Extreme Sailing Series in Fan Pier,” said the Mayor. “Boston has a great harbour but to have these boats here is a very special time for us. We hope that the sailors have a great time and we hope that the event comes back in future. This could be the start of a great tradition in our city and I want to thank everyone involved in this for choosing Boston to be the place to come in America. In short this is awesome. There is no better place and time to be in America than on 4th of July on Boston harbour.”
The Extreme Sailing Series Race Village at Fan Pier was rocking until late last night culminating in a firework display and there is palpable party atmosphere in the build up to Monday’s Independence Day celebrations.
Current overall standings after 14 races, Day 2
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Sean Clarkson / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 114 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 107 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Adam Beashel / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 106 points
4th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 101 points
5th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 88 points
6th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 78 points
7th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 76 points
8th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 70 points
9th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 69 points
10th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Bob Merrick 57 points
11th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 44 points
Full results here