Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 - Qingdao played host to four days of races, with hardly a single one run in 'normal' sailing conditions. As such it proved to be a race zone where you had to have a bit of luck on your side, even when you go by the name of Alinghi, who secured the leg win and the top spot in the provisional overall ranking for the Extreme Sailing Series after the first three events.
Groupama - Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 3
Contacted by telephone after the last day of competition, Groupama sailing team's Sophie de Turckheim, in charge of observation of the race zone, gave us the low-down: 'To be honest, the race zone was simply incomprehensible. The gusts slipping between the buildings were random to say the least. It was impossible to put together any kind of strategy in that situation. It's said that you make your own luck and we certainly didn't excel on that score, despite our best efforts'.
Battling it out with Briton, Ben Ainslie, who ultimately finished a point ahead of them in the overall ranking, Franck Cammas hasn't managed to improve on his ranking in relation to Singapore and Oman.
At the front of the pack, the two Swiss crews, Alinghi and Realstone, once again demonstrated their talent for adapting to all types of race zone. Behind them though, Team New Zealand and The Wave Muscat are lying in wait, ready to pounce at the slightest sign of weakness from the Helvetian contingent.
The twelve competing teams now have a little less than two months to go before they head to St Petersburg, where they will have the chance to discover sailing on the Neva River at the foot of the Hermitage and the Summer Palace. The spectacle is sure to be as grandiose as it is unique.
In the meantime, Franck Cammas and Groupama sailing team will switch circuits to participate in the Grand Prix Guyader and Normandy sailing week aboard the M34, as well as the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup in Medemblik in the Netherlands aboard the Nacra 17. A packed schedule to say the least...
Overall ranking in Qingdao
1 Alinghi Alinghi RDG DNS RDG 178
2 Realteam Realteam by Realstone DNS DNS 6 168
3 Emirates NZ Emirates Team New Zealand DNS DNS 8 160
4 The Wave The Wave, Muscat 9 DNS 10 159
5 Team Russia Gazprom Team Russia DNS DNS 9 140
6 Oman Air Oman Air DNS DNS 7 133
7 J.P. Morgan J.P. Morgan BAR 10 7 DNS 129
8 Groupama Groupama sailing team 7 9 DNS 128
9 Red Bull Red Bull Sailing Team DNF DNS DNF 126
10 SAP SAP Extreme Sailing Team DNS 10 DNS 125
11 Invite Team Extreme Qingdao DNS 6 DNS 111
12 GAC Pindar GAC Pindar 8 8 DNS 98