Artemis falls in 37th race
Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand clinched victory at the Extreme Sailing Series in Boston with an epic showdown as the circuit made its very successful USA debut. As the country celebrated Independence Day, American Terry Hutchinson on board Artemis Racing went in to the 37th and last double points scoring race of the series with an 8 point lead after topping the leaderboard for most of the past five days – but lost in the final leg of the final race of the final day.
An enthralled US non-sailing public turned out en masse to watch up close what was probably one of the biggest ever on-site American audiences for a sailing event, estimated at 55,000 over the five days.
In a finale that could have been written by a Hollywood scriptwriter (but wasn’t!), Emirates Team New Zealand got off to a good start, taking the lead once from Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, only to lose it after painfully stalling in a tack on the final beat. Until this point, despite having to duck most of the fleet on the start line, Hutchinson had managed to stay inside the crucial four places behind Barker necessary to take overall victory. On the final beat, however, just one tactical choice decided it, with the right-hand side of the course for once not paying for the American, and as they approached the final top mark they were passed by four boats to finish eighth place. A rare occurrence for Hutchinson, destroying his dream of winning on his home turf with Emirates Team New Zealand taking overall victory by four points on a total of 293 after 37 races.
An emotional and disappointed Hutchinson shared his thoughts on the podium in front of his fans: “I said yesterday there is only one race you need to be in the lead for and its the most important one. We had a winning combination coming into the leeward mark going up the right-hand side and the breeze went hard left so we lost four boats up the last beat. All we can do is congratulate Emirates Team New Zealand. They hung tough for the whole regatta and sorry to the fans of Boston as it would have been great a good Independence Day finisher.”
For Emirates Team New Zealand the team were ecstatic to win their first ever Extreme Sailing Series event: “The sailing has been very challenging” said skipper Dean Barker. “Artemis Racing showed us the way the whole week but the racing here was so tight, with potentially four boats able to take the title going in to the final race. It’s never over until it’s over. We had a really tight finish with Artemis in Istanbul and its nice to come out on the right side of this one. Boston has been great, we love the city and have really enjoyed our time here.”
Leigh McMillan and the crew of The Wave, Muscat completed the podium in third place, exceeding their own expectations in McMillan’s recent return to the circuit: “I was jumping up and down and shouting when we crossed the finishing line,” said a jubilant Leigh. “It was a very good celebration amongst the team and it meant a lot for us. We never felt that we had a lot of breaks but we worked really hard through the week so it’s fair to say that the guys carried me through the week as I had my head down.”
Luna Rossa, the winner in Qingdao, China, got back into the frame over the last two days of the five-day event and were in contention for the podium but it was not be the Italian’s turn this time, finishing in fourth place overall ahead of the all-French team on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild by a mere two points.
Alinghi came back strongly in Boston to climb from ninth on the opening day to finish sixth overall just three points ahead of Red Bull Extreme Sailing. This was one of the tightest overall leaderboards in the history of the Extreme Sailing Series, with the top seven teams all vying for podium positions on the final day.
The Extreme Sailing Series event, held at Fan Pier in Boston, has been a huge success with the US crowds turning out in force to be enjoy the Extreme Sailing Series and 49er racing, won by Jonathan Goldsberry and Charlie Smythe, augmented by stunts from the Red Bull Air Force skydivers. Boston host venue partner, the Fallon Company CEO & President, Joe Fallon, pulled out all the stops: “I am thrilled about the response we have had from everyone,” said Joe. “So many people have told me – I hope everyone comes back for the action next year.” The official charity, Courageous Sailing, and the strong contingent of volunteers supported the event with huge enthusiasm.
An additional bonus for Emirates Team New Zealand is that they have also taken the 2011 overall series lead from Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.
Next stop on the international nine-stop Extreme Sailing Series circuit is the UK, at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week in just four weeks time.
The Kiwi team has a lot to celebrate tonight and the whole of Boston and the USA will be joining them!
Overall standings after 37 races:
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Adam Beashel / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 293 points
2nd Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Sean Clarkson / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 289 points
3rd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 269 points
4th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 262 points
5th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 260 points
6th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 251 points
7th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 248 points
8th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 198 points
9th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 172 points
10th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 137 points
11th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Bob Merrick 126 points
Artemis Racing trimmer, Morgan Trubovich reports: "Well, after 37 races over 5 days it came down to the very last leg of the very last race. Of course it did, because that is the hardest way to finish a really hard week!
2The last race of the day counted double. This is an attempt to keep the winner unknown until the last race. It worked this time!
"At the final leeward gate Emirates Team New Zealand didn't have enough boats between them and us to win the event. But a big puff came out of the left hand side on the final beat (to the finish) and 4 boats sailed past us to dash our hopes of winning.
"ETNZ won Boston, Artemis Racing second, with The Wave in third.
"How does it feel to lose on the last leg of the 37th race after leading on every day of the 5 day event? Disappointing to say the least! But we leave here knowing that we sailed really well. A bunch of monohull sailors trying to learn a new game and almost winning our second consecutive event on the Extreme Sailing Series - a premier catamaran circuit. We were bitten by a double points race and one big puff through the buildings of Boston. We can live with that and will come back even hungrier next time!
"Thanks for supporting us."