by Jo Uffendell
Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 gets underway in Singapore between 11th and 14th April. The SAP Extreme Sailing Team are currently onsite preparing for Act 2. Ahead of the second stage of the circuit, co-skippers Rasmus Kostner and Jes-Gram Hansen have been busy analysing and reflecting on their performance during the first Act of the Extreme Sailing Series circuit.
SAP Extreme Sailing Team - 2013 Extreme Sailing Series Act 1
Speaking about their racing in Oman last month, Kostner said: 'Our post act briefings are a combination of gaining feedback from the individual members of the race team coupled with a study of the SAP analytics data so that we can make comparisons between what we all anticipated would happen in a race scenario and what actually occurred out there. It is a great tool as it allows us to re-live races with absolute accuracy.'
Co-skipper, Gram-Hansen added: 'We were pretty happy with the setup of the boat, race starts and timings in Oman so our take out from the racing there is around making small changes. The Singapore act will be about evolution, not revolution.'
As with Oman in Act 1, light airs are anticipated in Singapore and, since this is not an area any of the team has sailed before, they will be making the most of the training days in situ ahead of the racing so that they are able to adapt to the conditions and prepare for the tight race course.
The Extreme Sailing Series has a highly competitive and experienced fleet and the SAP Extreme Sailing Team look for every opportunity to make gains on their race rivals. One aspect that sets them apart from their peers is the unique structure of their team, with co-skippers heading up the race crew.
When asked if two heads really are better than one, co CEO and skipper, Gram-Hansen explains: 'Our team is quite unusual in the sense that we don’t have one team figurehead. That was a conscious decision on our part at formation stage as we wanted the focus to be on the whole team and not just one individual. Business is moving that way with more level management structures and SAP itself have co CEO’s at the helm, so we feel it is rather apt that we mirror that leadership model. The ethos we hope to instill is that everyone has an equally vital role to play and a voice that is listened to.'
When asked how this works in practice, Gram-Hansen added: 'Communication flow, both on and off the water, is vital and it is this constant flow of information from all team members that feeds into the decision making. On the water, Ras takes responsibility for tactics and I drive but of course we rely on information from the whole crew when having to make decisions.'