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)

 

Alinghi Team, skippered by Tanguy Cariou ,celebrate winning Act 8 in Almeria, Spain (Photo by Lloyd Images)

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It came down to the wire in the final double points race to determine the podium places of Act 8 in Almeria. Going into the final race the Swiss team of Alinghi were in a strong position to claim overall victory, only a major faux pas would have prevented what was rightfully theirs after such a strong performance over the last five days and 32 races. In the end, Tanguy Cariou’s team on Alinghi secured victory by one of the biggest points margins of 22 points over Italy’s Luna Rossa in 2nd place: “We are really happy to have at least one win this year,” said Alinghi skipper, Tanguy Cariou. “We tried to manage the risks today, we had good boat speed and good team work. It is great for us to have a win here, I am really happy for Yann and the whole crew. It is really good to show the teams that we can make it.”

However, the fight for second was by the closest of margins with Luna Rossa holding off Ben Ainslie’s Oman Air by just one point: “For me it was my first experience of multihull racing and I have learnt a huge amount, which for me is probably more important to me personally than the end result,” said Ainslie. “To finish on the podium for the second time in three events is a great team effort. It is a very high level of competition and when you look at the people on board the other boats, they are all extremely accomplished sailors. They are fighting for every inch and with the type of racing that we do it ends up being very tight as the races are so short, and invariably you end up with collisions and action creating some exciting racing! It’s been fantastic sailing with the team. Now it’s time for me to get focused on the Olympics.”

Almeria has for the last two years hosted the final of the Extreme Sailing Series championship. This year the Spanish round, attended by an estimated audience just shy of 70,000 spectators, has set the stage for the final in Singapore between the 7th-11th December. And it is Max Sirena’s team who now lead the overall 2011 rankings by just one point: “We now have a month before the boats get to Singapore and to be in the lead for that month is fantastic,” said Luna Rossa helmsman, Britain’s Paul Campbell-James. “It’s good to have the mental advantage of being in the lead going into the final Act.”

Ian Williams’ Team GAC Pindar scored their best ever result of 2011 with a 4th place here in Almeria, stealing it from Groupe Edmond de Rothschild on the final upwind beat in the final race. It was a tough day for the French team on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild who had been in contention for the podium throughout the event. But Pierre Pennec’s team is still in the game for the Extreme Sailing Series ultimate victory – on 68 points for the season with Luna Rossa on 69. Emirates Team New Zealand was given redress after yesterday’s crash and maintained 6th place ahead of double-Act winner The Wave, Muscat. Leigh McMillan’s team were struggling to find their form in the light air Acts. Red Bull Extreme Sailing also had a tough end of regatta – Roman Hagara’s crew still had everything to play for, lying in 8th overall, going into the final race but it was not to be.

The points have never been tighter and the final positions can be harsher looking than the reality of the competition. Whilst the frontrunners held their own private battle for the podium, it allowed others to shine through here on the final day. Alex Schneiter’s debut in the Extreme 40 circuit was rewarded with two race wins today, and they ended Act 8 in a respectable 9th place, four points ahead of Roland Gaebler’s Team Extreme and Alberto Barovier’s Niceforyou team on 135 points, his team enjoying a morale-boosting race win in the penultimate race.

But the applause goes to skipper Tanguy Cariou, helmsman Yann Guichard, trimmer Nils Frei and bowman Yves Detrey for Alinghi’s victory in Almeria – their first win of the season. Luna Rossa is now top the season’s leaderboard and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild will push them to the limit in Singapore. And there will be a very tight fight behind them for third place, with six teams able to fill that podium place for the 2011 season. Singapore will be a great battle!

Extreme Sailing Series Act 8, Almeria, Andalucia (Spain) standings after 32 races (16.10.11)
Position / Team / Points

1st Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 254 points
2nd Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 233 points
3rd Oman Air (OMA), Ben Ainslie / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 232 points
4th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemrskerk / Andrew Walsh / Brad Webb 218 points
5th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 216 points
6th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Ray Davies / Jeremy Lomas / Derek Seward 213.5 points
7th The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 209points
8th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Matt Adams / Craig Monk 202 points
9th Team TILT (SUI), Alex Schneiter / Boet Brinkgreve / Charles Favre / Nicolas Heintz 155 points
10th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Nahid Gaebler / Antón Paz / Tom Buggy 151 points
11th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Daniele De Luca / Simone de Mari 135 points

Extreme Sailing Series 2011
Overall standings after 8 Acts
Position / Team / Points

1st Luna Rossa 69 points
2nd Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 68 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand 60 points
4th Alinghi 59 points
5th The Wave, Muscat 57 points
6th Red Bull Extreme Sailing 53 points
7th Artemis Racing 48 points
8th Oman Air 47 points
9th Team GAC Pindar 29 points
10th Niceforyou 18 points
11th Team Extreme 18 points

Luna Rossa and Red Bull Sailing In Almeria, Spain (Photo by Lloyd Images)

GAC Pindar Leads Act 8 in Almeria, Sain (Photo by Lloyd Images)

ISAF World Match Racing Champion, Ian Williams, has helmed Team GAC Pindar to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of Act 8 in Almeria. This is the first time his team has ever led the overall standings in the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series global tour. The third day of the penultimate round in Spain, ahead of the final in Singapore, saw three different teams take the lead throughout the afternoon. Five races were completed today – two in open water and three inside the port of Almeria in stadium mode. Ben Ainslie helming Oman Air went into day 3 leading but nothing seemed to go there way today, and Emirates Team New Zealand pounced with Adam Beashel’s team taking the top spot after the first race held in open water in a reasonable sea breeze. The Kiwis fended their position, despite not scoring a race win and losing a crew overboard in the second race, whilst Alinghi and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild dominated at the front with two wins for the Swiss team and a victory for the French. But always in the background was Team GAC Pindar sailing strongly – a 4th, 5th, then a second, gaining their momentum until they were on equal points with Emirates Team New Zealand at the top. Tanguy Cariou’s team, driven by Yann Guichard, won the second stadium race in light airs and leap-frogged into the lead. Going into the final stadium race of the day, Alinghi and Team GAC Pindar were on 89 points each and further down the leaderboard the points situation could not have been closer with only 1 or 2 points separating the top 8 boats in a tactical game of snakes and ladders throughout the afternoon. The faltering sea breeze seemed to recognize the importance of the final day’s race and revived itself to allow the boats to show a good turn of speed on the short course. The Wave, Muscat and Team Tilt got a flying start ahead of Team GAC Pindar whilst Alinghi got stuck mid-fleet off the start, and that was that. Wiliams’ team was away and never looked back, 3rd place enough to take the lead going into the penultimate day of Act 8 tomorrow: “It was a really good day for us and we finished on the top half of every single race today,” said Williams. “For sure we will be fighting to try to retain the lead. Looking at the points it’s almost like a restart. We were 20 points behind last night and now we are 2 points ahead the second boat. It’s extremely tight, we will going down to the wire!” The weekend crowd is in for a treat as the forecast is showing a significant turning up of the wind speed dial for tomorrow and on Sunday the final battle will be played out to determine who wins in Almeria, and who will lead the 2011 Championship rankings going into the final Act. “Obviously with only two days to go we know by experience that anything can happen,” said Alinghi skipper, Tanguy Cariou. “We’re happy with that position tonight but we know that it will be even harder to keep it than to get it…” He is right about that – the all-French team of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, the Italians on Luna Rossa, the Kiwis on Emirates Team New Zealand and the Brits on Team GAC Pindar will be fighting them all the way…

Extreme Sailing Series Act 8, Almeria, Andalucia (Spain) standings after 14 races (14.10.11) Position / Team / Points

 1st Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemrskerk / Andrew Walsh / Brad Webb 98 points

2nd Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 95 points

3rd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 93 points

4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Ray Davies / Jeremy Lomas / Derek Seward 90 points

5th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 88 points

6th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 85 points

7th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Matt Adams / Craig Monk 84 points

8th Oman Air (OMA), Ben Ainslie / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 80 points

9th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Nahid Gaebler / Antón Paz / Tom Buggy 70 points

10th Team TILT (SUI), Alex Schneiter / Boet Brinkgreve / Charles Favre / Nicolas Heintz 62 points

11th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Daniele De Luca / Simone de Mari 59 points

The fleet on the start line in stadium mode In Almeria, Spain( Photo by Lloyd Images)

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)

Cowes Week 2011 Aberdeen Asset Management Pitchpoles (Photo by Extreme Sailing Series / Lloyd Images )
It was another action-packed, full pressure day at the Extreme Sailing Series. After yesterday’s collision between Artemis Racing and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild in the fourth race, the breezy conditions continued today (Monday, 8th August), and it was in the sixth race when the Extreme 40 ‘Aberdeen Asset Management’ cart-wheeled spectacularly in gusty 20-25 knot conditions that were pushing the fleet to their limits.

The British Extreme 40 team helmed by John Pink was charging downwind with reefed mainsail and gennaker, sandwiched between Italian team Niceforyou and Austria’s Red Bull Extreme Sailing. The bows dug in as a big gust hit all three boats, and with no room to manoeuvre, the boat cart-wheeled, flipped almost vertical, before capsizing: “We felt we were in control mainly and kept going a bit quicker today than we had on the other days,” said John Pink. “Coming down that run it just all got very close and the breeze kind of seemed to fill in behind so everyone bunched up a little bit and then we had no where to go!” The four crew (John Pink, Rick Peacock, Gregory Homann, John Gimson) hung on to the trampoline and all the crew were safe and unhurt. The experienced Olympic 49er sailors of Pink and Peacock have been putting in a great performance in the windy conditions over the last three days with two podium results today. “We were very happy, it was coming together and hopefully we can put the boat back together for tomorrow hopefully,” continued Pink. “We will work on it pretty hard tonight, sort everything out so it is back in shape and we’ll be back in the water tomorrow with a bit of luck.”
Once again, the Extreme 40 fleet had been split into groups to race on the tight stadium course off Egypt Point, but these excluded Artemis Racing who was unable to repair their significant damage from the crash yesterday and are out of Act 5. In the first race it was Leigh McMillan at the helm of The Wave, Muscat who led the way, the crew working slickly together in the testing conditions, and won the first race ahead of John Pink’s Aberdeen Asset Management. In the second race, it was Oman Air who came to the fore ahead of Ian Williams’ Team GAC Pindar after a close battle. By race 3, the French team Groupe Edmond de Rothschild were back racing – pretty impressive as the team only craned the boat back into the water just 2 hours before racing started – and Pierre Pennec nailed their first race ahead of the Italians on Niceforyou. Team GAC Pindar and Luna Rossa then both got a win in the following two races with Leigh McMillan getting his second win of the day in the final race. After three days and 16 races, and going into the midway point of Act 5, Luna Rossa tops the leaderboard with Groupe Edmond de Rothschild moving up to 2nd overall in the standings having been given redress for the races they missed.
Another busy night in the pitlane to get Aberdeen Asset Management back racing tomorrow but certainly feasible with a spare mast available.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Current overall standings: after 16 races, Day 3 (8.8.11)
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 74 points
2nd Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 73.4 points*
3rd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 68 points
4th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemskerk / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 57 points
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Luke Cross 52 points
6th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 51 points
7th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 46 points
8th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Daniele de Luca / Simone de Mari 35 points
9th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Richard Meacham / Andrew McLean / Chris Ward 35 points
10th Aberdeen Asset Management (GBR), John Pink / Rick Peacock / Greg Homann / John Gimson 31 points
11th Artemis Racing (SWE), Santiago Lange / Andy Fethers / Michele Ivaldi / Phil Jameson 21 points
12th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Nahid Gaebler / Benedikt Wenk / Dan Morris 16 points
*Redress given.

Red Bull Extreme Sailing, skippered by Roman Hagara (Photo by Lloyd Images )

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

Extreme Sailing Series Fleet (Photo by George Bekris)

Extreme Sailing Series Boston (Photo by George Bekris)

 

– 48 of the World’s very best sailors will be in Cowes for Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series™. Twelve teams and sailors from 15 nationalities will be on the startline in Cowes for the only UK stopover on the 2011 circuit during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.
– On-water entertainment each day from 3pm from Saturday 6th to Friday 12th August 2011.
– BBC Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank to close the seven days of competition with a ticket-only party, raising funds for official Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 charity Toe in the Water, supporting competitive sailing for injured servicemen.

Cowes, will once again play host to the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series™ circuit. Twelve teams with 48 sailors from 15 nationalities, will line up on the starting grid on Saturday 6th August for Act 5 at the only UK stopover on the global circuit at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

Watch the Cowes Week Promo Video here

The Extreme 40 fleet racing at Cowes Week 2010 © Lloyd Images

The Set-Up

The Extreme Village will once again be at Egypt Point. Open from 11am each day, it is the perfect spot to watch all the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week fleet starts before the Extreme 40s kick off in front of the Extreme Village at 3pm each afternoon.

In addition, a two storey VIP marquee will be in place, designed to give invited guests a panoramic view of the race course as they enjoy the experiential hospitality.

With live commentary, food concessions, including fish and chip specialists CATCH, the Extreme Bar, the Island’s renowned Minghellas ice cream stand and a Marinepool Extreme Sailing Series™ clothing concession, the Extreme Village is the perfect place to enjoy Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, without missing a moment of the action.

Professional Windsurfer Guy Cribb racing the Extreme 40s at Cowes Week 2010 © Lloyd Images

Racing Schedule

The Extreme Sailing Series™ is the home of ‘Stadium Sailing’ and each afternoon from 3pm the on-water action will kick off in style.

Saturday to Tuesday will see the Extreme 40s in action from 3pm right in front of the Extreme Village at Egypt Point. From Wednesday to Friday the Extreme Village will be a great vantage point to come and watch all the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week action and as soon as the last finishers are past Egypt Point, the Extreme 40s will be lining up for their first start.

But there will be plenty to do and see before the main action gets underway. British Championship Windsurfer Guy Cribb has challenged the Extreme 40s to some head-to-head combat and will be showing the crowds some of his fancy tricks at the weekend.

Every afternoon, at 6.15pm there will be a presentation to the top boat of the day : an opportunity to come and meet some of the top international sailing heroes.

Cowes venue map showing location of the race area and race village

Fireworks Night

BBC Radio 1 DJ and Curator of Bestival, Rob da Bank, will for the third year return to Cowes for a one-night ticket only set to close the Extreme Sailing Series™ on Fireworks Night, Friday 12 August. From 8pm, Rob, a long-time supporter of the circuit and sailing fan, will provide entertainment for the 500 guests.

Rob commented, “Every year that the Extreme Sailing Series comes to Cowes with their insane stadium sailing it gets me more excited about the possibilities of sailing really bloody fast boats as close as possible to the spectators! I love music and sailing about equally so to be invited to be part of the Extreme Fireworks party is a great honour once more!”

Tickets, priced £12, are on sale now from www.extremesailingseries.com/cowes and are strictly on a first come, first served basis with £1 from every ticket going to official charity Toe in the Water.

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