Emirates Team NZ, helmed by Peter Burling, have moved into being a clear third on the leaderboard after three days of racing in the Extreme Sailing Series being sailed in the River Neve in Russia.
Emirates Team New Zealand crosses behind Alinghi during racing on day 3 of Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series in St Petersburg, Russia
Twice winner of the America's Cup, Alinghi, still lead the regatta and are also the overall series leader.
Conditions on the third day at St Petersburg were a complete turn around from the previous light-air days.
The breeze swung around 180 degrees to the west and filled in with some good but shifty pressure. Add the ever-present current and the day was set for some action on the race course.
Conditions were different but the game plan for the Emirates Team New Zealand crew was the same - consistency.
But it wasn’t easy, as tactician Ray Davies said, 'We started the day well, got a bit wobbly in the middle and then finished well. It didn’t feel like it was our best day but the result was good – still third overall.
Emirates Team New Zealand crew take an alternate route to the check out the race course & changing conditions on day 3 of Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series in St Petersburg, Russia
'There was just a little more breeze and it was from the other direction so the current was sweeping us upwind. Downwind legs were particularly challenging because we were pushing the current.
'The key was getting off the start in good shape and making a clean exit from the top mark into the current. If the exit wasn’t clean, which happened a couple of times, we were caught in the traffic. The flip side of that - we made some nice gains as well.'
After a long day of fighting for every point offered in each race, Emirates Team New Zealand saved the best until last for the large weekend crowds riverside, winning the final race of the day in style.
Emirates Team New Zealand crew take an alternate route to the race village past the Winter Palace on day 3 of Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series in St Petersburg, Russia
'The highlight of the day would have to be getting the gun smoke on the last race. It’s always good to finish well,' trimmer Blair Tuke said: 'We kept chipping away all day ..... split second decisions one after another. Get one wrong and you really paid, but most of the time we got it right.'
Going into the final day of racing Alinghi has a 12-point lead over The Wave which is 12 points ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand. Ben Ainslie Racing is eight points further back.
The wind for the final day is forecast to be up another notch again, so there will be plenty more action-packed racing to be had before the final double points race of the regatta.
Leader board after three days – 16 races
1st Alinghi, 117 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat 105 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand, 93 points
4th J.P Morgan BAR, 85 points
5th SAP Extreme Sailing Team, 83 points
6th Oman Air, 76 points
7th Gazprom Team Russia, 75 points
8th Realstone, 72 points
9th Red Bull Sailing Team, 69 points
10th GAC Pindar, 61 points
11th Groupama, 54 points
12th Russian First, 19 points
Helmsan Peter Burling, Tactitian Ray Davies & Trimmer Blair Tuke in action during racing on day 3 of Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series in St Petersburg, Russia
Emirates Team New Zealand crosses the finish line during racing on day 3 of Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series in St Petersburg, Russia