Leigh McMillan seemed unflappable on today at the Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 4 Porto, Portugal. McMillan followed up a race win in this morning’s offshore racing with an astonishing five wins within the stadium this afternoon. Whilst there were celebrations dockside this evening for McMillan’s men on The Wave, Muscat, it was utter frustration for Pierre Pennec on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild after careering into the rocks in the shallows by the sea wall in the final race of the day causing serious damage to their daggerboard and forcing them to retire form the final race, which ultimately saw the French fall to third place.
The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan / Ed Smyth / Pete Greenhalgh / Hashim Al Rashdi / Bleddyn Mon
An elated McMillan, who is normally not known for his performances in the light winds, overthrew that assumption today and was beaming dockside after racing. 'We had some luck, there was definitely some luck involved there. I mean it was really tight racing. We just seemed to get the strategy right, and when we weren't in good positions we were able to find a way through the fleet a couple of times and spot a nice little bit of pressure when we needed it. It was just one of those days where everything goes your way, and it doesn't happen very often. We do enjoy it when it does happen.'
Hagara was chipping away at the leaderboard all day narrowing the gap between him and his French rivals on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, and ultimately the misfortunes of Pennec were what saw Red Bull Sailing Team leapfrog them to go into the penultimate day tomorrow in second place.
Hagara’s attentions, however, are set one place higher, with thoughts now turning to how to overthrow McMillan: 'We had a lot of ups and downs today, but in the end we had some good races and finally the crew is happy to be in second place now. It is pretty hard to be consistent racing inside [the river], but Leigh showed the way today, and it is possible. We have to try hard in the next two days and see if we can be more consistent. McMillan is beatable, Oman Air showed us in Oman (when they won the Act on the final day). Everyone is beatable.'
The battle mid leader board is becoming just as tense as that at the top, with Alinghi leading the second half of the fleet, despite a mixed day on the water particularly in race 15 when the Swiss team were called over the start line and didn’t realize until they were 80 metres down the race course. Four points behind them is GAC Pindar under the guidance of new skipper Andrew Walsh with ZouLou with another new skipper Fred Le Peutrec 6 points adrift of them in seventh. The Danish flagged team SAP Extreme Sailing Team showed moments of brilliance today, including an impressive race win during the morning’s offshore racing, but ultimately they have to settle for eighth place at the end of day two.
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild will have a long night ahead of them, while they work hard to ensure they are back on the race course for tomorrow’s racing which begins at 1730 CEST (1630 local time). Visit the official event website for the latest action from the water, including live radio, a text blog and live video streaming from 1730 CEST.
Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 4 Porto, Portugal standings after Day 2 - 17 races
1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan / Ed Smyth / Pete Greenhalgh / Hashim Al Rashdi / Bleddyn Mon - 111 points
2. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Matthew Adams / Graeme Spence, Pierre Le Clainche - 89 points
3. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA) Pierre Pennec / Arnaud Psarofaghis/ Hervé Cunningham / Bernard Labro / Romain Petit - 84 points
4. Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson / Will Howden / Charlie Ogletree / Nasser Al Mashari / Andy Maloney - 84 points
5. Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli / Jean-Christophe Mourniac / Pierre Yves Jorand / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey - 69 points
6. GAC Pindar (GBR) Andrew Walsh / Nick Rogers/ Mark Bulkeley / Adam Piggot / Jono Macbeth - 65 points
7. ZouLou (FRA) Fred Le Peutrec / Philippe Mourniac / Jean-Sébastien Ponce / Bruno Jeanjean / Patrick Aucour - 59 points
8. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen / Rasmus Kostner / Pete Cumming / Mikkel Rossberg / Jonas Hviid - 50 points