Part of the Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 the fleet at St. Barth   (Photo © Jouany Christophe)

Part of the Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 the fleet at St. Barth (Photo © Jouany Christophe)

 

Today’s single race for each of 10 classes sailing at Les Voiles de St. Barth determined overall winners and marked the fourth and final day of the regatta. The event has been growing steadily since its inception in 2010 and hosted 70 boats in this sixth edition, all with their own brand of famous sailors aboard from around the world. Boats competing ranged from speedy multihulls such as Lloyd Thornburg’s Mod 70 Phaedo 3 to technologically sophisticated new-builds such as George David’s Rambler 88 and Jim and Kristy Hinze-Clarke’s Comanche (at 100 feet, one of the largest boats here) to the more traditional grand prix racers in the 50-70 foot range and smaller racing/cruising boats. There was even a one design class for Melges 24s (the smallest boats competing) that are as fun, physical and demanding in teamwork and skill as their larger counterparts.
While teams in six classes had clinched their overall victories yesterday (some did not have to sail today’s last race but chose to do so anyway), four classes went down to the wire in 15-20 knot winds that were stronger than yesterday’s but not as strong as on the first two days of racing (Tuesday and Wednesday, April 14-15).
“It was a very interesting race course,” said Lupa of London’s winning skipper Jeremy Pilkington (UK) about his Maxi 2 class’s 28 nautical mile course. It started off Gustavia and went in the opposite direction from days before, wrapping around the western end of St. Barth before using buoys, rocks and islands as waypoints and turning marks on an oblong windward-leeward course set in the Atlantic Ocean. “There was much more going on today than there was on the courses that were set earlier in the week, so it kept us busy. We had a few little challenges and a few ups and downs going around, but we were very pleased with how we did. We had to finish top-three and were assuming that Selene was going to win on handicap, and we did a little bit better than that.” (On corrected time, Selene indeed won, and Lupa of London placed second today to secure the class victory overall.)
In the Spinnaker 2 class, which sailed a shorter version (23 nautical mile) of the 28 miler, Ramanessin, chartered by Germany’s Christian Zugel, had to watch itself against El Ocaso and Ventarron, since they were all one point apart going into today.
“Today it was very tight. We started with one point up, so if we had finished second today we would not have won,” said Zugel. “Right at the start line we were lined up very nicely, but one boat came from the left on the port side and hit us, so you can see some pretty big scratches on the front of our boat but luckily no further damage. We decided to keep going and managed to win.” This is Zugel’s third time at the event, and he has chartered a different boat each time.  Like many others here, his crew is quite international so it’s hard to really say the boat is a German entrant. “I’m German but live in the U.S., and I am crewing with a team of Irish and English sailors who have sailed all over the world, so it is a great experience for us all to be here.”
Claude Granel’s Martinique entry Martinique Premiere-Credit Mutuel won today’s race in Spinnaker 4 (sailing a 17 nautical mile course) to secure overall class victory after going into today with a slim lead. His closest competitor from yesterday, Maelia, slipped to third in the overall standings while Zarafa wound up second. “It was a very tough race, and at the end we just won the race by one second,” said Granel. “What was very difficult was that two team members could not race today, so we went from seven to five onboard, and it was windy – much windier than we thought it would be – but it turned out to be a great race for us.”
James Blakemore’s South African entry Music, in Spinnaker 3, posted another first today to add to his three others from the three previous racing days. “The race was great today – good steady breeze between 16 to 20 knots and great sea conditions,” said Blakemore. “My guys sailed the boat really well; we got off to a really great start, and from the first weather mark, I don’t think we lost the lead in our class from then on. Every day has been good for us.  Yesterday the conditions were a bit tough because we were dealing with the squalls coming through and very light breezes, but fortunately we got through just in time, before the boats really came to a halt. We’ve really thoroughly enjoyed ourselves this week. It’s fantastic coming here; it’s a fantastic regatta.”
Spinnaker 0’s winner Vesper (Jim Swartz, U.S.) finished the regatta with all first-place finishes in the five races it sailed over the four days of racing. “You go into these regattas where you’re in good shape going into the last day, but there is only one way to sail these boats and that is at 100 percent,” said Vesper‘s tactician Gavin Brady about the fact his team didn’t need to sail today in order to win. “Today we pushed as hard as every other day, which is the best thing for the boat and the best thing for the team.”
It was a different sort of day on the left side of the island, because more time was spent negotiating wind shifts in flat waves, making it more tactical than on the right-hand side where the fleets had sailed for the previous three race days.
Lloyd Thornburg’s U.S. entry in Multihull class, Phaedo 3, spent its regatta leaving the seven other Multihull class entries in its wake and won again today for a fourth time over four races. “It was a great event,” said Thornburg, who on Wednesday established the Multihull record for a newly introduced 43-mile course that will be repeated here each year. (Comanche and Odin established the records for Maxi 1 and Maxi 2 classes, respectively) “Today the wind came back, which was nice, whereas yesterday was a little bit light for us. For our boat, this was the most challenging course, so it was a lot of fun.”
Not so much fun was Gunboat G4 Timbalero III’s dramatic capsize today. No one was injured, and the brand-new foiling catamaran was righted within two hours.
Puerto Rican entrant Lazy Dog, skippered by Sergio Sagramoso, also added another victory to his score line of all firsts to win Spinnaker 1 class. “Racing was a lot of fun today, and the start was incredibly critical. There were four classes (on the line), around 40 boats, so it was probably the hairiest start I’ve ever done. The first start was a general recall; the second start, our main competitor (Hamachi) was hit, so it was pretty dramatic. But we had a great time, and the conditions suited us. It was beautiful like usual. We’ll be back next year; great racing and hands down the best organization we’ve ever seen.”
Bobby Velasquez (St. Martin), winner of Non-Spinnaker class  in L’esperance, agreed: It’s wonderful here in St. Barth, and it’s a wonderful organization. We’ll definitely be back for the regatta again next year.” L’esperance had nothing but bullets in its score line.In Melges 24s, the St. Martin team of Budget Marine GILL topped the leaderboard. Skipper Andrea Scarabelli said, “This is one of the events we love the most. Racing in one-design is always nice because you are racing at a similar pace. The goal is to keep building the Melges 24 class. This year we were only four boats, but we hope to get more.”
The event’s largest, fastest boats sailed in Maxi 1 class, and it was George David’s Rambler 88 that won the four-race series there. All eyes had been on Rambler 88 and the larger Comanche during the first two race days, since no one had yet seen the two boats sail against each other. The powerful Comanche showed blazingly fast speed, taking line honors in every race. It was Rambler 88, however, that prevailed with corrected-time performances that gave the team three first-place finishes in a row. By today, when Rambler 88 took second to Hap Fauth’s U.S. entry Bella Mente, the focus had returned to who was doing the best on ratings. Rambler 88 maintained its place at the top of the scoreboard, but Bella Mente was able to replace Lucky as runnerup. Bella Mente, Lucky and Comanche had all shared the same point score after today’s race, but Bella Mente’s performance handed the tiebreaker to their team.
“I’m very happy,” said David. “I think we sailed very well to rating, and we are just a click off Comanche. Of course, they have the big-boat edge and get in front, and that tends to help a little bit, but I am impressed by how fast we are. In fact, I’m very impressed. This boat is wicked quick and I think we’ll do even better in the future. I don’t count us out for records, including the Transatlantic Race 2015 this summer, which we hold already (with Rambler 100).”
At the prize giving, Principal Event Partner Richard Mille presented George David, who also was the overall winner of the Maxi division, with a Richard Mille Caliber RM 60-01 Regatta watch.FULL RESULTS: https://app.regattaguru.com/lesvoiles/100085/results 
2015 Entry List: www.lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com

Part of the Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 the fleet at St. Barth   (Photo © Jouany Christophe)

Part of the Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015 the fleet at St. Barth (Photo © Jouany Christophe)

 

 

 

Azzura leads in Porto Cervo by Max Ranchi

 

Azzurra made something close to the start they wanted at their home waters 52 SUPER SERIES regatta, the Audi Setteima del Boche, today.

They returned to the dock at Sardinia’s Yacht Club Costa Smeralda just as the drizzling rain started, wearing big smiles after they scored a comfortable win in the breezy first race of the regatta and then took a second place to lead the season’s final event by two clear points.

While the Azzurra team, which has yet to finish a 2013 European regatta better than third overall, could enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done, no one could mistake the frustration of Quantum Racing’s hard driven tactician Terry Hutchinson at their second and third place finishes today.

Quantum Racing in Porto Cervo (Photo by Max Ranchi)

The American crew, richly studded with America’s Cup winning talent, may be well ahead on the overall 52 SUPER SERIES standings but Hutchinson wants to finish their season unbeaten, winning all four trophy regattas, and with that perfect goal in mind, converting their two leading positions at both first windward marks into that second and third, was deeply frustrating for him.

“ I want to win the regatta.” Hutchinson emphasised, “ I want to put our stamp on the season.”

In the brisk Mistral conditions, the wind just north of west and between 14 and 25 kts, smooth, polished crew work was a premium asset. With rain showers moving through to the south of the island and dark clouds passing overhead, there were always changes in wind pressure and some bigger shifts to use to full effect.

In the first race, the breeziest of the two windward-leewards today, Quantum Racing made the best start and seemed to be cruising to a decent lead.

TP52 Super Series 2013 ( Photo by Max Ranchi)

But at the leeward gate second placed Azzurra picked the right hand gate mark and then worked the right side up the second upwind, earning a good lift to lead over Quantum Racing by the final windward mark which they held to the finish line.

Azzurra could not be faulted on their second start. Starting helmsman and strategist Francesco Bruni – racing his first 52 regatta this season – might this morning have claimed to be feeling a little ring rusty after his months in San Francisco on the Luna Rossa AC72, but Azzurra’s second start – on the pin with pace – was as sharp as any. But although they had a small early lead over Quantum Racing up the first minutes of the upwind, the circuit leaders did steadily ease out ahead to lead around the windward mark again.

This time it was on the second downwind that the big changes occurred, Rob Greenhalgh – tactician on Tony Langley’s Gladiator – chose to work left into better pressure and a nice shift. He admitted later that part of the reason was to stay clear of a cluster which had developed behind after Rán Racing blew up their gennaker, but they made a nice gain coming back with Azzurra to steal first and second across the line.

Gladiator at Porto Cervo (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Langley’s Gladiator – once more burying the perception that theirs is something of a light winds specialist – paired a useful fifth to their race win and so lie third overall only one point behind Quantum Racing.  The circuit leaders Quantum Racing did have to make a small reshuffle of their crew today, substituting for a sick bowman.

Wednesday sees the first of two coastal races planned this week.

52 SUPER SERIES

Audi Settimana del Bocche 2013, Porto Cervo, ITA.

Standings after two races:

1 Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers) (1,2) 3pts

2 Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug DeVos) (2,3) 5pts

3 Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley) (5,1) 6pts

4 Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström) (4,4) 8pts

5 Provezza, TUR, (Ergin Imre) (6,5) 11pts

6 Interlodge, USA, (Austin Fragomen) (3,9) 12pts

7 Rio, USA, (Manouch Moshayedi) (7,6) 13pts

8 B2, ITA, (Michele Galli) (8,8) 16pts

9 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin) (DNF, 7) 17pts

B2 in TP52 Super Series( Photo by Max Ranchi)

 

Terry Hutchinson (USA) tactician Quantum Racing (USA):

“We went 2,3 but I am pretty angry as we went 1,1 at the two top marks and we turned them into a 2,3 and that is not acceptable for me. I expect more from myself and out of the guys we are working with to not miss anything. So when you get passed it is like a file going up and down my back, like a big cheese grater. In saying that our bowman was down sick today and Matt Cassidy slipped forward in the boat. We have an awesome group of professional sailors and all credit to them for doing really good work in difficult conditions. The positives are that we executed the starts we wanted, but we have some meat on the bone that we have to get better tomorrow.”

Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA):

“ It feels better than Palma. We sailed very well this time. It is nice to have Cecco back on board it makes a difference. He has such great experience. He was trying to get us foiling (laughs).

Francesco Bruni (ITA) strategist and starting helm Azzurra (ITA):

 It was great racing today. I am always amazed how close it is in the 52 SUPER SERIES, there are just metres in it between new boats and old boats. We picked some good shifts. Vasco did some good work. Upwind we were not so sure about the right, we picked the nice shift to the left on the downwind and when you do that in this fleet it is always a nice jump forwards.

It is a great feeling to be back. It is great to be sailing here, it is like sailing with my second family, racing on these waters in the Mistral.”

TP52 Super Series 2013 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

 

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)

 

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

With three races conducted in strong winds, there was opportunity for boats to make a significant move in the standings on the second day of Quantum Key West 2012. Or in some cases it was a chance to further increase leads taken on Day 1. Pisces fit into the former category, moving into the overall lead in Melges 32 class by winning two of three races on Tuesday. Skipper Benjamin Schwartz and company showed superb boat speed and made some sound tactical decisions and now lead the 19-boat fleet by tiebreaker over John Kilroy and the Samba Pa Ti team. “We are a new program so it is a tremendous feeling to be doing well in a big-time regatta like Key West. Hopefully, we can keep it going,” said Schwartz, who joined the class last summer and promptly placed fourth at U.S. Nationals. Schwartz has America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird calling tactics and Quantum professional Scott Nixon trimming the jib and spinnaker. “You have to give Ed and Scott a lot of credit for getting our boat up to speed,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have a great crew. Today was very challenging because the wind velocity was up and down and the sea state was not very forgiving, but the guys never stopped working and we were able to change gears pretty well.” Race committees on all three courses completed three races in 8-14 knot easterly winds.

With five races in the bag, organizers with Premiere Racing are already halfway to the stated goal of holding 10 races during the five-day regatta. There was a lead change in the Farr 40 class as well with Charisma (Nico Poons, Monaco) and Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany) overtaking Groovederci (John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Cal.). Struntje Light has posted a pair of seconds and finished no lower than fourth in the seven-boat fleet, but Charisma holds the overall lead via tiebreaker by virtue of winning Race 5. “We had a very good day on the water and are happy with where we stand at the moment,” Schaefer said. “We have nice boat speed upwind and our crew work has been excellent. We have a very good tactician and he’s made some fantastic calls that have kept me in phase.” Renowned Italian professional and America’s Cup veteran Vasco Vascotta is calling tactics aboard Struntje Light, which has competed in Farr 40 class at Key West ever since 2002 with a top finish of third. “Wolfgang is doing a good job of driving and is getting better every day. The guys onboard have a great attitude and are ready to fight to the end. The good news is that we can still improve our performance.” PowerPlay lived up to its name by making a strong move in IRC 2 class with a strong line of 1-3-4 on Tuesday. Owner Peter Cunningham, a resident of Georgetown in the Cayman Islands, has a nice mix of amateur and professional crew with tactician Tony Rey, trimmer Dave Scott and bowman Geordie Shaver among the superstars aboard. “We’ve only had the boat for six months and we’ve made a lot of modifications during that time,” Cunningham said. “We’re pretty happy with our performance so far. We’re sailing fairly well and having a lot of fun.” Quantum Racing, skippered by Doug DeVos, continues to set the pace in the 52-foot class and leads PowerPlay by six points. Terry Hutchinson, helmsman for the Swedish syndicate Artemis Racing that is Challenge of Record for the America’s Cup, has made strong tactical calls in leading Quantum to victory in three races and second in the two others. “Today was far from straightforward. The wind was very shifty and there are some tricky current patches to deal with,” Hutchinson said. In other classes, the three-race day merely served as an opportunity for the early leaders to extend on the competition.

Red  (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Red (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Ran, a Judel-Vrolijk 72-footer, continues to sail impressively in the Mini Maxi class (IRC 1), winning all five races so far. Red, skippered by Joe Woods of Great Britain with Paul Goodison aboard as tactician, has accomplished the same feat in the inaugural Farr 400 class. “I guess we’ve just figured the boat out a little faster than the other teams,” said Woods, who has previously sailed a Melges 32 at Key West. “We’re winning, but not by much. The racing has been awfully close.” West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes has posted straight bullets in Melges 24 class and built a commanding 10-point lead over Alan Field and the WTF team. Detroit resident Bora Gulari is steering and getting tactical advice from Australian native and North Sails pro Jeremy Wilmot as West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes seeks to follow up on its 2011 national championship. Groovederci, skippered by Deneen Demourkas of Santa Barbara, Cal., has won all five races in Farr 30 class. Teamwork, a J/122 owned by Robin Team of Lexington, N.C., has posted two bullets and a pair of seconds in grabbing a narrow one-point lead over the 1D35 Tres Hombres in PHRF 1. “We’re having a great time because the conditions have been terrific and the competition has been spectacular,” said Team, who has his brother and two sons in the crew. “We’ve been mixing it up with Tres Hombres and finished overlapped with them in the first two races today. Rush is also tough so I think it will be a dogfight the whole way.” Rush, a J/109 skippered by Bill Sweetser of Annapolis, was named Lewmar / Navtec Boat of the Day after posting a superb score line of 3-2-1. Tom Babel is calling tactics while Quantum pro Tad Hutchins is calling tactics on Rush, which is currently third in PHRF 1 and second in the J/Boats Subclass. “The conditions were very good for us today. When the wind is 14 knots or less we can fly our big jib, which is kind of like our secret weapon,” Sweetser said. “We pay for that jib in our rating so it’s good whenever we can use it.” It’s been close but no cigar for Rush at Key West as Sweetser’s boat has finished first or second in class several times, but never come away as overall winner at week’s end. “One of these years we’re going to finally break through and it’s going to be wonderful,” he said. Regatta dates are January 15 – 20, 2012.

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

For more Key West Race Week photos by  Tim Wilkes check out Tim Wilkes Photography

Muscat The Wave In Front of Spectators (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Despite winds gusting into the 30s and a grim sky suggesting the onset of winter, so in the late afternoon the wind dropped below 20 knots and the turning tide flattened out the sea to allow racing to begin on the penultimate day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.  Perhaps the greatest surprise given the damp overcast weather was the huge turn-out of spectators crowding to Egypt Point, and the beach surrounding the Extreme Sailing Series Race Village.

 

Spectators watch the Fleet From the race village (Photo by Lloyd Images)

The Extreme 40 crews have been tested to the limit in the breezy conditions that have dominated Act 5, and it has been a case of ‘taming the 40-foot beast’ to the best of their abilities. Asked to compare their Extreme 40s to an animal, the skippers came up with some surprising answers!

By the time racing started later than usual at 1640 BST the wind had dropped to the teens. “It was quite windy, gusting to almost 20 knots so it wasn’t nearly as ‘extreme’ as we have had for the rest of this week: nice and flat water as well which made the tacking and boat handling a little easier, so you didn’t see too many rudders out of the water today, but still a windy day and a hard day to battle a boat around the course,” described Luna Rossa helmsman Paul Campbell-James.

Alinghi helmsman Tanguy Cariou said that in the conditions it was still hard work on board: “It was really physical, really tough for us especially at the end as you had to come in so close to the shore before tacking it was quite difficult, but I think we were quite solid and I think anything could happen tomorrow.”

 The 11 Extreme 40s were divided into groups as the conditions on the penultimate day were still on the limit to race the fleet in one group with reefed mainsails but gennakers permitted after the first two races much to the publics delight.  With half of the fleet racing at a time, the tactical objective for the crews was to get as far into the shore as possible on the beat to make the best of the favourable eddy off Eygpt Point and definitely out of the 2.5 knot counter current offshore. As Campbell-James put it: “There was one way to do it – to come off the line, hit the beach and push your luck on the rocks. Whoever nailed that strategy was the guy who usually came up in first at the windward mark.”

The most tense moments came on the first beat of each race when the Extreme 40s would get as close as possible into shore and occasionally not get enough room to tack. But despite some hair-raising moments none of the boats went aground.

In fact it was the strong tide that proved the major stumbling block with several crews underestimating the angle of the rope tethering the weather mark. As a result several snagged it on their rudders causing them to pop up, perhaps the most dramatic being when Luna Rossa careered off downwind seeming to gybe twice accidently before they got their Extreme 40 under control.

 Campbell-James described it: “We just skimmed the windward mark on the way round and that popped the leeward rudder up. It was pretty dangerous in the big breeze with the one rudder in and one out, so we got to the leeward marks and we stuck it head to wind, did our penalty while putting the rudder back down. It was all a bit of a drama, but we managed it. Alister [Richardson] hurt his back a little bit a bit in the process.”

Team Extreme suffered the same fate in the third race and crewman Benedikt Wenk cut his hand as he attempted to get the rudder back down. Wenk required a couple of stitches and Roland Gaebler’s team had to retire from racing for the day.

Star of today’s competition was ex-Tornado sailor Pierre Pennec and the crew of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild who won three of their four races. Their third race was the tightest of the day with Leigh McMillian at the helm of The Wave, Muscat first to the top mark with the French team on their transom. There were whoops from the crowd ashore as the French crew came close to rolling past their Omani rivals. However, the real coup for the French team came on the second run when The Wave, Muscat crew thought they had crossed the finish line only to find that the race had been extended to finish on the next upwind leg. This wavering allowed the French team to overhaul them and to take their third bullet of their day by a matter of centimetres.

 

Groupe Edmond de Rothschild skippered by Pierre Pennec tearaway and the bows dig in, spray everywhere © Lloyd Images

Alinghi won their third race of the day and Tanguy Cariou was satisfied with their performance. “Today it was quite good, quite solid team work and good manoeuvres. We fought well against the other opponents.” In contrast it wasn’t such a good day for the Italian team on Luna Rossa who prior to their rudder incident at the top mark had suffered a broken outhaul shortly after the start of the first race.

At the close of play The Wave, Muscat continues to lead with a margin of 10 points on Luna Rossa, Alinghi third with Groupe Edmond de Rothschild fourth, now just six point shy of the podium. But as Paul Campbell-James points out it could inevitably once again come to tomorrow’s double points-scoring final race.  “Leigh is in front of us as he had a really good day today, so we’ve just got to put in a solid day tomorrow and see what happens in the double points last race,” said Campbell-James. “Basically it will be man against man with Leigh which I have been doing since I was nine years old!”

The weather forecast for tomorrow is looking good – 11-15 knots and sunshine, which will mean the Extreme 40s can, once again, race as one fleet for the for the final day of Act 5.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Current overall standings, day 6 (11.8.11)

Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points

1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 138 points
2nd Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 128 points
3rd Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 117 points
4th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 111 points*
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Luke Cross 104 points
6th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 101 points
7th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemskerk / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 93 points*
8th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Daniele de Luca / Simone de Mari 81 points
9th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Richard Meacham / Andrew McLean / Chris Ward 73 points
10th Aberdeen Asset Management (GBR), John Pink / Rick Peacock / Greg Homann / John Gimson 69 points
11th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Nahid Gaebler / Benedikt Wenk / Dan Morris 51 points
12th Artemis Racing (SWE), Santiago Lange / Andy Fethers / Michele Ivaldi / Phil Jameson 23 points*
 

Team Extreme skippered by Roland Gaebler powering along. (Photo by Lloyd Images)

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

Emirates Team New Zealand (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Emirates Team New Zealand (Photo by Lloyd Images)

 

In the words of singer, Paolo Nutini, ‘What a day…!’ Four and a half hours of high-drama on the second day of the Act 2 at the Extreme Sailing Series™ Qingdao. The Austrian Red Bull Extreme Sailing team thought they had snatched the overall lead from Emirates Team New Zealand in the final race only to find their victory in tatters after Dean Barker’s team were given redress (a rare occasion on this circuit); the 11-boat close combat racing resulted in two collisions; and, to top it all, Roland Gaebler’s Team Extreme won their first race of the season with the Mayor of Qingdao on board in the 5th man spot, to the delight of the public!

Six ‘open water’ races were raced today outside the breakwater of Fushan Bay. The breeze was a up and down but predominantly strong enough to see the Extreme 40 fleet flying their hulls – when it dropped, the teams had to deploy a different set of tactics to find an advantage which split the fleet on numerous occasions as Hagara explains: “It was a pretty hard day today, especially on the start line as the wind was shifting a lot and there was a big difference in pressure. Quiet difficult to know where to go, which side of the start line is better, where the pressure is the most powerful.”

Team Extreme WIth The Mayor of Qingdao (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Team Extreme WIth The Mayor of Qingdao (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Dean Barker’s team was consistently good and finished inside the top four in the first five races, winning the penultimate race. It looked like the Kiwi team would retain their overall lead… But in classic Extreme style, the script appeared to be rewritten in the final race of the day… Barker’s team was called over the start line and Roman Hagara’s team were off leading the race all the way to the finish line. Emirates Team New Zealand needed to finish in 6th place or higher to keep their lead and fought all the way from the back, climbing into 7th place at the finish. It looked like they had lost their overall lead to Red Bull Extreme Sailing. But post-racing video footage proved that Emirates Team New Zealand were not in fact over the line and redress upgraded the team to 4th place – the overall lead at the halfway stage remains with the Kiwi team for now.

The Fleet On Day 2 Racing Close to city (Photo by Lloyd Images)

The Fleet On Day 2 Racing Close to city (Photo by Lloyd Images)