27/05/2017 - Bermuda (BDA) - 35th America's Cup 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers, Day 1,Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

27/05/2017 – Bermuda (BDA) – 35th America’s Cup 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, Day 1, Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

 

– ORACLE TEAM USA win two from two

– Land Rover BAR collide with SoftBank Team Japan

– Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan win one and lose one race each

– Groupama Team France only team not to register a day one race win

– ORACLE TEAM USA and Land Rover BAR are joint top of Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers leaderboard after day one

Sir Ben Ainslie was forced to explain a highly dramatic collision in the first day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on Bermuda’s Great Sound.

Having already seen some thrilling and action-packed racing in the first five of the six races that were run on day one, particularly from ORACLE TEAM USA who claimed back-to-back wins, the drama really unfolded in the final race of the day between Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan.

In what proved the biggest flashpoint of the afternoon, both teams were looking for the advantage going into the start box, before the two boats collided at speed, resulting in a penalty being given to Sir Ben Ainslie and the British team. Damage was sustained to both boats, with the Olympic legend’s boat taking on water after the incident.

In scenes similar to the final week of practice racing, in which Land Rover BAR hit Emirates Team New Zealand, Ainslie again found himself having to defend his actions when questioned after racing.

“To be honest, to me it appeared six of one and half a dozen of the other,” said the Land Rover Bar helmsman, whose team suffered defeat in their second race of the day having enjoyed a morale-boosting win over Artemis Racing earlier in the day in race four.

“The collision was obviously unfortunate but these things happen when you are racing these boats.

“You don’t go out there intending to cause damage and so on that front it is was unfortunate to see both boats with damage.

“Unfortunately I’m not a boat builder so I’m not sure about the extent of the damage just yet, but no doubt both shore teams will be working incredibly hard to make sure we are both ready for tomorrow.

“However, for me it was fantastic just to see us competing and up to speed with all of the others. I believe we have silenced a lot of our doubters and I am just incredibly proud of all of our team.”

Meanwhile, SoftBank Team Japan helmsman Dean Barker, whose team suffered defeat to Artemis Racing in their first race of the day, bounced back with victory in race six and was relieved that none of his team had sustained any injuries in the collision with Land Rover BAR.

“We were incredibly lucky that there were no injuries sustained by the guys,” said the New Zealand native. “Maybe they were still in a bit of shock when we started racing but the way they regrouped and got back into things was fantastic.

“Ben has apologised. Clearly it was their mistake because they caused it but it doesn’t stop the guys in the shore team having to have a big workload tonight to put things right.

“You know what is about to happen. You can see it coming in slow motion but there is nothing you can do to stop it.

“What would have been worse is if their boat came a little bit higher over our hull, that would have been really dangerous.

“Fortunately we were able to carry on with the race and limp our way home. The guys did brilliantly to regroup in reply to what happened and get on with the race.

“The first race against Artemis Racing was disappointing. We had good pace and obviously tried hard to keep ahead but ultimately we couldn’t.

“However, what was pleasing was how we bounced back and got that victory in the final race.”

Meanwhile, it proved a highly positive day for the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’, ORACLE TEAM USA, who comfortably beat Groupama Team France in the opening race of the afternoon, before coming from behind to overcome Emirates Team New Zealand in what proved the highlight race of the day.

However, despite seeing ORACLE TEAM USA sit joint top of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers standings with three points, alongside Land Rover BAR, skipper Jimmy Spithill was left far from content as he refused to rest on his laurels ahead of day two tomorrow.

“The lads aren’t happy tonight. We can definitely sharpen up a lot ahead of tomorrow,” said the two-time America’s Cup winner.

“Of course it is good to end the first day with two wins from two races but we have got to sharpen up on what we do out there.

“Consistency is the key in a competition like this and so there is a lot for us to improve on.

“However, as I said, it is pleasing that we managed to finish this first day of competition and come away with two race wins.”

Another helmsman who was left with mixed feelings was Artemis Racing’s Nathan Outteridge, having seen his side claim a victory against SoftBank Team Japan, before somewhat surprisingly losing out to Land Rover BAR in race 4.

“It proved a very tiring first day of racing,” said Outteridge.

“Our first race we started slowly but you could see how hard we pushed to get back into the race and when the opportunity came, we took full advantage.

“The second race against Land Rover BAR, we just didn’t get any opportunity to pass them. It was disappointing to lose the race but we will look at ourselves and see what we can do to improve.

“However to get that first win on the board is really important. We had some strong performances in practice racing and so it was great to be able to bring that forward to today and get a first point banked.

“It was also pleasing to win in in the manner in which we did. We kept chipping away, put pressure on SoftBank Team Japan, and then, to get something, that feeling was really good.”

Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling was left satisfied with his team’s showing on the first day, having also taken one win from the day, overcoming Groupama Team France, before losing out to ORACLE TEAM USA in their second race of the day.

“It is really great for us to have got a win on the board,” said the youngest helmsman competing.

“Having taken that win, we always knew it was going to be tough taking on ORACLE TEAM USA. We put up a strong challenge and matched them throughout the race but they just edged us in the end.

“Having lost it late on was a little frustrating but I’m really happy with our first day on the water.

“We’re now excited to get back into action tomorrow and no doubt we’ll be racing hard again.”

Meanwhile, it proved a difficult day for Groupama Team France, who suffered defeats in both their encounters, losing to both ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand.

However, having faced two of the highly-fancied teams on the first day, helmsman Franck Cammas is remaining hopeful of an improved showing from the French team in the days to come.

“Today to have our first two matches against teams like ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand was a hard way to start the America’s Cup,” said Cammas.

“We knew those teams were among the best teams but we wanted to be closer to them than we were in the end.

“We have to work hard and try and understand why we weren’t fast today. We also need some big improvements in the maneuvers and so there is a lot to work on for us.

“We will try for sure to improve as quickly as possible. Every day is different and so we will see what tomorrow brings.”

Race results

Race 1: ORACLE TEAM USA beat Groupama Team France
Race 2: Artemis Racing beat SoftBank Team Japan
Race 3: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Groupama Team France
Race 4: Land Rover BAR beat Artemis Racing
Race 5: ORACLE TEAM USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand
Race 6: SoftBank Team Japan beat Land Rover BAR

 

The first race took place in 1931 with 25 entries and it was indeed one of the smaller boats that won. The successful skipper, Peter Brett, competed in a 22 foot Cornish fishing boat Merry Conceit. He had bought it, in partnership with his friend Henry Trefusis, from the builders in Looe, for the sum of £45. (Photo by Kirk of Cowes)

It’s Friday! It’s pre-Race day!

 

The final part of the 2013 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race Video Series, ‘Top Tips from the Experts’, has been published on the Race website with winning tactical advice from some well-known names and faces associated with this iconic annual event. Watch the latest Winners Tips video here http://rtir.me/videos

 

Weather Briefing

All Race competitors are invited to the Island Sailing Club (ISC) at 1800hrs this evening for the all-important Raymarine Weather Briefing.  Competitors are given the latest weather and tidal information live, combined with expert tactical advice from professional meteorologist and Met Office-trained Chris Tibbs. In addition, competitors can evaluate the weather prior to the Race by viewing the course overview and tidal strategy video here:http://www.raymarine.co.uk/view/?id=7418.

The Weather Briefing is replayed on the RTI Race website from 2000hrs.

 

20 years …&, we hope, still going strong

We make special mention today of Yvonne Margerison and her long-term partner Mike Flint who are racing in their 20th Round the Island Race.

The couple entered their first Round the Island Race back in 1993 in their boat Charis and we believe they have entered every year, apart from one when the mast was broken awaiting repair, and another when they sold Charis and were waiting to buy their new boat Gernee (S31) which is entered this year.

 

The couple are passionate about sailing, have been very active members at Rutland Sailing Club – Mike is a Past Commodore – plus they are both Past Commodores at the Newparks Cruising Association Club. There’s been talk of retirement from racing – let’s hope that they won’t be retiring until after tomorrow’s Race and, meanwhile, the Race organisers wish them all the very best.

 

A tribute to Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson

The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race pre-Race Press Conference will take place at 12 noon today, hosted by the Island Sailing Club.  There is a terrific line up of guests including Dame Ellen MacArthur and Alex Thomson. There will be a short tribute to Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson whose memorial service and private funeral is also being held today. The ISC will fly the ensign at half-mast from 1150-1400hrs.

 

This is an invitation-only event but organisers have agreed to stream it live on the Race website http://rtir.me/pressconference and on Event TV throughout Cowes.

 

How to follow the Race Day action

Here are some useful links to the Official Race website to help keep spectators fully up to speed on the racing as it unfolds from 0500hrs.

 

The Blog rtir.me/liveblog

The Tracking rtir.me/livetracking

The Weather rtir.me/weather

The Latest News rtir.me/news

The Results rtir.me/results

 

The Race Facebook page will be maintained with news and the Race Twitter feed will be fully fed. For those wishing to contribute to the Twitter news as they sail around the Island, please use hashtags #RTIR and/or #raceforall to raise another £1 for the Official Charity, The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

 

Official Race website: 

 

AC 45's Practice Spar In Newport, RI (Photo by George Bekris)

AC 45's Practice Spar In Newport, RI (Photo by George Bekris)

 

The waters were crowded off Newport this weekend as AC World Series teams trained in postcard perfect conditions on Narragansett Bay, surrounded by all manner of sailing craft, from little dinghies to classics and old America’s Cup 12-meters.

Artemis AC45 in Newport (Photo by George Bekris)

Artemis AC45 in Newport (Photo by George Bekris)

Sail Newport held its annual Youth Challenge sailing regatta, putting over 150 kids in 118 boats on the water each day (an event record). By late afternoon, when the youth boats and AC45s were all returning to Newport, close encounters of a spectacular kind were inevitable and exciting for sailors on both sides of the equation.

“To see so many boats out there is brilliant,” said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker. “I just think about what it would have been like for me as a kid to see boats blasting around like these catamarans do. It’s just really cool. The AC45s perform really well in these conditions, they love a little bit of breeze and flat water, so it doesn’t get much better than this.

Newport ACWS Race Village (Photo by George Bekris)

Newport ACWS Race Village (Photo by George Bekris)

“It really is amazing here. Newport has such a rich history in the America’s Cup. When I was growing up you came to hear about Newport, primarily I think because of what Australia II did here, so to come here and sail on the same waters is really special.”

Brad Read, the executive director of Sail Newport reminded his charges at the Youth Challenge prize giving that the event is just starting.

“We’re going all week long. This is a true festival of sailing through next weekend and you guys kicked it off,” he said. “Anybody in this room who sailed probably won’t remember how they did in any of the races compared to what it was like when ORACLE TEAM USA blasted through your race course! I think that was the coolest thing you’re going to see while you’re racing.”

Artemis, Team Korea and Emirates New Zealand (Photo by George Bekris)

Artemis, Team Korea and Emirates New Zealand (Photo by George Bekris)

Cardiff  © Nick Treharne

Cardiff © Nick Treharne

 

The UK round of the award-winning Extreme Sailing Series™ now in its sixth year will be staged in Cardiff the capital of Wales between the 24-27 August, 2012. In a three-year deal, Cardiff won the bid to host the UK event of this global sailing circuit that is only one of four events with ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Special Event status, positioning the city alongside the other seven premium international sporting venues hosting an Extreme Sailing Series Act in 2012. The host venue agreement with Cardiff City is backed by a Welsh Government grant for 2012-2014.

The Extreme 40 catamarans, raced by many of the world’s best sailors, will race on Cardiff Bay over four days with the event open to the public between the 25-27 August as the Extreme 40 fleet race in the circuit’s action packed ‘stadium’ format.

Executive chairman of the organising company behind the series, Mark Turner of OC ThirdPole, said: “The circuit continues to represent perfectly the developments in the world at large, with its balance of east and west, different cultures and languages and variety of conditions.

“Year on year the commercial value to the host cities of securing this event for the host venues has steadily increased, and this is reflected in 2012 developments. A pro-active and innovative host venue is critical to the success of the event, and we are very excited in this respect by the partnership with Cardiff and the Welsh Government.”

Cardiff Council’s Executive Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure Cllr, Nigel Howells commented: “It’s great news that Cardiff has secured the Extreme Sailing series for the next three years, as a council we will do all that we can to support the event.

“Cardiff has proved time and time again that it can play host to a variety of world class sporting events. From top class football and rugby to newer events like Extreme Sailing. Since the opening of Cardiff International White Water (CIWW) in 2010 more and more watersport events are coming to Cardiff, which is helping to attract a new audience to Cardiff and Wales.”

The 2012 Extreme Sailing Series will be staged at 8 different international venues across three continents, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators. Alongside other significant media exposure, once again a dedicated TV series will be produced and broadcast on up to 40 channels around the world, including CNBC, Bloomberg, Channel 4 (UK), Sky (UK), Al Jazeera, Fox (Latin America, Australia Middle East), ESPN, Sport+ (France), RAI (Italy).

As we enter the final countdown to the first Act in Oman, the 2012 team line-up will be revealed this coming weekend at the Dusseldorf Boat Show.

2012 Calendar & Host Venues:
Act 1 : Muscat, Oman 28th February-2nd March
Act 2 : Qingdao, China 17th-20th April*
Act 3 : Istanbul, Turkey 7th-10th June
Act 4 : Porto, Portugal 5th-8th July
Act 5: Cardiff, UK 24th-27th August
Act 6 : Trapani, Italy 13th-16th September
Act 7 : Nice, France 18th-21st October
Act 8 : Brazil 29th November-2nd December

Due to official Chinese naval activities in the port of Qingdao, Act 2 will now be staged between 17th-20th April instead of the 19th-22nd April as previously communicated

 

Extreme Sailing Series Boston  Artemis and Red Bull (Photo © George Bekris)

Extreme Sailing Series Boston Artemis and Red Bull (Photo © George Bekris)

2011 - 2012 Development Squad* with Dee Caffari and John Thorn (Photo © Lloyd Images)

 

After a grueling 52-hour selection process, seven British sailors from the 16 participating in the Artemis Offshore Academy Selection Trials have now been recruited to join the Development Squad.  They are Ollie Bond (31, Hamble), Henry Bomby (20, Kingswear), Aaron Cooper (22, Southampton), Robert Gullan (25, Southampton), Lizzy Foreman (21, Worcester Park), Robin Elsey (19, Turo), Sam Matson (20, Ottery St Mary).
The annual Selection Trials were staged from 26th September to 2nd October, at Wokefield Park and the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.  Sixteen hopefuls were split into two groups for 52-hours of intense challenges to identify those who had the potential to be a first class short-handed sailor. “It was a difficult decision as we are not only looking for sailors with extraordinary talent, potential and commitment, but they also have to be at the right stage of their career to benefit from the Academy training programme,” explained Rod Carr, ex-CEO of the Royal Yachting Association, who leads the Artemis Offshore Academy Advisory Board. “The Artemis Offshore Academy has a similar structure to the successful RYA Olympic Sailing programmes and has started to show signs of success with 2011 graduates Phil Sharp finishing in 18th place in the Solitaire du Figaro, the highest placed finish for a British sailor in the history of the race, and Sam Goodchild who will be making his debut in the grueling double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic race.”

The judges, who included record-breaking round the world yachtswoman Dee Caffari, were looking for candidates with good racing skills and the ability to perform under pressure. Physical fitness, mental strength and their ability to manage their sleep and food intake were key factors in their assessment, as well as their overall potential to succeed in short-handed racing. It was a tough programme with the candidates, on average, only managing 4.5 hours sleep in total over the two and a half days. “I was really impressed with how hard these guys have worked,” said Caffari. “If I think back to when I started, I spent years acquiring all the facets of what it takes to make a solo offshore sailor and the Artemis Offshore Academy are offering it in one programme. It’s an amazing opportunity and I would have loved to have signed up back when I started!”

 

2011-2012 development squad
2011 – 2012 Development Squad* with John Thorn © Lloyd Images

Aaran Cooper, Ollie Bond and Henry Bomby will join the Development Squad from the end of the month. They begin their training at the specialist Figaro training facility, the Centre d’Entrainement Mediterranée in La Grande Motte, in France. Cooper is delighted to have been selected for the new Development Squad: “It was a real heart in mouth moment when I was told I was selected. I realised I was going to be part of the team and would have some fantastic opportunities ahead of me,” said Cooper. “It’s a real step on the ladder towards progressing my solo sailing towards the ultimate goal of racing in a Vendée Globe.”

Part of the Development Squad programme has been adapted for the new Squad members who are currently attending University: “To be given the opportunity to join the squad and train with the Artemis Offshore Academy around my studies means that I can finish my university degree whilst working towards my long-term goal which is a fantastic opportunity,” commented Lizzy Foreman.  Foreman, Robert Gullan, Robin Elsey and Sam Matson will be on an 18-month training programme with an aim to be ready to race in the Mini Class or Figaro Circuit in 2013.

2011-2012 development squad
The new Squad on Figaro 23 © Lloyd Images

The candidates who attended the Selection Trials ranged from a solo round-the-world sailor to dinghy sailors, match racers to crewed keelboat racers. The judges had to make the tough decision on who would make it through. John Thorn, Performance Director explains: “We saw a diverse group of sailors with very mixed backgrounds. Some sailors excelled in certain areas but still need to develop skills in weaker areas, and with feedback from us we hope those unsuccessful applicants will spend the next year furthering their knowledge with some guidance from us before re-applying next year.”

The Development Squad will be training this winter in the south of France. All the sailors will be training together as a team, as well as working on their own tailor-made programmes. The sailors will undergo training not only in racing but also meteorology, navigation, onboard systems, boat maintenance, sponsorship procurement, French language and fitness. Once individual needs have been assessed, a more detailed plan will be released, including details of the 2012 racing programme.

Meet the 2011-2012 Development Squad here.

Artemis and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild Crash (Photo by Lloyd Images)

In the fourth race on the second day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 from Cowes, France’s Groupe Edmond de Rothschild ploughed into Sweden’s Artemis Racing at the top mark resulting in severe damage to both boats – bad enough to end their racing for the day. A busy night in the pitlanes is expected to get them racing again tomorrow.

Groupe Edmond de Rothshild collide with Artemis Racing on Day 2, Act 5 Cowes © Giordana Pipornetti

The breezy conditions on the second day of Act 5, with 20-25 knots steady breeze with bigger gusts earlier in the day, the 12-boat fleet was split into two groups of 6 and raced with reefed mainsails and no gennakers. The first group raced three races and the action was pretty spectacular as the Extreme 40 crews manhandled their boats around the tight stadium racecourse off Egypt Point, Cowes.  It was in the first race for the second group that the collision happened between Artemis Racing and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.

Groupe Edmond de Rothshild’s damaged hull after their collision with Artemis Racing on Day 2, Act 5 Cowes © Lloyd Images

Artemis Racing, helmed by Santiago Lange, tacked in for the top mark on to starboard in front of Groupe Edmond to Rothschild, who were on port. Artemis Racing went through the tack and Pierre Pennec attempted to bear away around her stern, but the boats crashed – two of the French crew were thrown into the water.  The impact was heard by thousands of spectators along the shore – a record crowd in the history of the event – who have been experiencing amazing close up Stadium Racing all afternoon. As a matter of course, the jury will hold a hearing in the morning.

The Extreme 40 fleet racing on day 2, Act 5 Cowes © Lloyd Images

It is the two British helmsman of Paul Campbell-James (Luna Rossa) and Leigh McMillan (The Wave, Muscat) who are sitting pretty at the top of the overall leaderboard tonight, clearly using their knowledge of ‘home’ waters to the best of their abilities (check out video below).  Despite missing three races this afternoon, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild are still in third place.  The Swiss team of Alinghi, Roman Hagara’s Red Bull Extreme Sailing and Team GAC Pindar, skippered by Britain’s Ian Williams, are all tied on 42 points.

Tomorrow the forecast is still breezy – 17-21 knots, gusts peaking at 27-30 and the Extreme LiveTV continues tomorrow. A full multi-cameraman production and running commentary.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Cu
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points

1st Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 60 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 51 points
3rd Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 43 points
4th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 42 points
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Luke Cross 42 points
6th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemskerk / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 42 points
7th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 33 points
8th Artemis Racing (SWE), Santiago Lange / Andy Fethers / Michele Ivaldi / Phil Jameson 27 points
9th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Richard Meacham / Andrew McLean / Chris Ward 26 points
10th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Daniele de Luca / Simone de Mari 24 points
11th Aberdeen Asset Management (GBR) John Pink / Rick Peacock, Greg Homann / John Gimson 23 points
12th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Nahid Gaebler / Benedikt Wenk / Dan Morris 12 points

Team Pindar ( Photo by George Bekris )

Team Pindar ( Photo by George Bekris )

Today thousands of spectators filled the Extreme Sailing Series™ Race Village and were treated to a spectacle of 49er racing followed by eight first-class, action-packed Extreme 40 races. A good sea breeze allowed the Extreme 40s to showcase how this style of stadium racing really works, with live onboard commentary from US sailor Cam Lewis and Britain’s Andy Green.  The start/finish area located just a few meters off the shore gave the public a close-up view of all the action and the home crowd were truly behind Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing, cheering the team home every time. Fifth man guest Dennis Piretra was impressed by the public support: “We could see people up and down the docks watching with a lot of people really engaged. It’s not just a social event they are really enjoying the sport.”

Check out the video of Red Bull Air Force skydiver Jeff Provenzano landing at the Race Village before hitching a ride with the Extreme 40

A six-boat 49er fleet showcased the Olympic class that will compete in the Olympics for the third successive time in a row in 2012, with three teams from the USA and three from Canada (see below). As the Extreme 40 circuit returns to European waters in August, the European 49er class will form part of the circuit competing for the 49er Europe Cup at the Extreme Sailing Series.

The top five places on the overall leaderboard remain unchanged with Artemis Racing holding the top spot, although three races from the end of day the Swedish team momentarily lost their lead to The Wave, Muscat. Leigh McMillan had a wobbly start to the day posting a 9th and a 6th giving Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand to chance to overhaul the Oman team. But a last place in the fifth race of the day for the Kiwis, gave McMillan’s team the opportunity to get back. Check HERE to hear what his rivals and friends have to say about the British sailor who is currently riding the wave…

Max Sirena’s Luna Rossa team had a better day, leaving them just 4 points adrift of the French at the halfway stage. However, the ‘stand-out’ team of the day was the Swiss team Alinghi, posting three race wins: “It is the first time in the season that we have three race wins in one day, so we are very happy,” said Tanguy Cariou. “The beginning of the event was quite tough for us and we were disappointed with that but we have tried to close the gap. We have been more aggressive with our sailing and had some good starts.”

Britain’s Ian Williams, skipper of Team GAC Pindar, nearly scored their first race win of Act 4 and were leading round the final top mark in the fourth race of the day before a twist in the gennaker spoiled ruined that prospect. However, the team’s improved performance today allowed them to leap-frog Roland Gaebler’s Team Extreme on the overall leaderboard.

Going into the penultimate day 22 races have been staged so far and with a potential 12-14 races still on offer the teams have plenty of points to play for. What is clear now is that every point counts.

49er Teams at Act 4, Boston:
Trevor Parekh/Matt Dubreucq – CAN
Zach Brown/ Thomas Barrows– USA
Rob Frost/Tom Arbuckle – CAN
Mike Brodeur/Tom Carlton – CAN
Jon Goldsberry/Charlie Smythe – USA
Max Fraser/Dan Morris – USA

Extreme Sailing Series Act 4 at Fan Pier Boston, USA
Current overall standings after 22 races, Day 3 (2.7.11)

Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Sean Clarkson / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 169 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 159 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Adam Beashel / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 158 points
4th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 156 points
5th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 151 points
6th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 148.2* points
7th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 141 points
8th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 114 points
9th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 106 points
10th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 83 points
11th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Bob Merrick 72 points

Boston Extreme Sailing Series (Photo by George Bekris)

Boston Extreme Sailing Series (Photo by George Bekris)

The ever changing conditions on the second day of racing at the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4 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 by 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 3rd 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 6 minutes of the winning boat. It wasn’t until the fourth race that the sea breeze really filled in and stabilized. 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 9th to 6th 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 3rd yesterday to 8th. 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 2 points behind Alinghi, and skipper Alberto Barovier is clearly enjoying the experience: “The racing is pretty tricky,” said Alberto. “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 onboard, 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 6th place but the French team are still very much in the running having posted multiple 2nd 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,” said Terry. “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 fantastic firework display and there is palpable party atmosphere in the build up to Monday’s Independence Day celebrations.

There is plenty of action still to see at Boston Fan Pier all weekend long and on the Fourth of July.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 4 at Fan Pier Boston, USA
Current overall standings after 14 races, Day 2 (1.7.11)

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