The Extreme Sailing Series Act 4 second day of racing got underway in Porto today, Friday 6th July. The Extreme 40s sailed three races in open water in the early afternoon with Atlantic swells and light breeze making it difficult for even the most experienced teams to post consistent results. While Leigh McMillan is unwavering at the top of the leaderboard, the tricky conditions saw some of the less experienced teams shine, and newcomers to the Series SAP Extreme Sailing Team were the real story of the morning, as the Danish team claimed their first race win on Portuguese waters.
SAP Extreme Sailing Team claimed their first race win on Portuguese waters during morning offshore racing on day 2 in Porto - Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 4
There is more racing to come this afternoon for the eight-strong fleet and the breeze is steadily building on the river Douro with plenty more action to come. Watch all the action as it unfolds in this extraordinary stadium on the river Douro live on the event website from 1745 CEST (1645 local time), and read the full race report online from approximately 2100 local time.
Lights airs of only 5-6 knots and big swells on the offshore race course meant it took intense concentration and shrewd tactics by the Extreme 40s to find chances to break away from the fleet and to keep the boats moving in the big waves. As double Olympic gold medallist Roman Hagara from Austria found out the starts were crucial, after his team Red Bull Sailing Team were penalized in the first race of the day for being over the start line, as Hagara explained: 'You have to start well there is no question, and then keep clear of all the other boats. That is going to be even more important inside here (the river) because it is so narrow. The main thing is to stay out of trouble. I think this afternoon there is a good chance to close the gap to the leading boat but we will see. I think it will be a little bit tricky in the afternoon, but hopefully it comes out good for us.' Hagara goes into this afternoons racing in third place.
The leaderboard remains relatively unchanged after this mornings racing. Only Morgan Larson and Oman Air were able to make gains and have moved up to fifth place, to the detriment of Alinghi who slip to sixth place. Pierre Pennec was able to make some in-roads into Leigh McMillan’s position at the top of the leaderboard, narrowing the gap to six points, but the Omani flagged team still leads the way after 10 races in total.
After what SAP Extreme Sailing Series co-skipper Rasmus Kostner described as a 'disappointing start to the Act' yesterday, the Danish flagged team made everyone sit up and take note today as they sailed to victory in the final race offshore race, leaving the more practiced teams in their wake. The win in the final race will surely be a big morale boost for the Danish apprentices who are new to the circuit this year as attentions turn to this afternoons racing. Kostner elaborated: 'It was a great feeling. We’ve been struggling so far in this Act in Porto, but we managed to turn it around in the last race this morning. It’s tough racing. It is going to be quite different this afternoon where we are going to be racing in a very small area. We don’t know really what to expect, but for sure we are hoping to keep some of the momentum. We are here to improve, but we want to be up in the front again.'
The Extreme 40s finished the morning’s session with a short downwind sprint to the afternoon’s race area passing by the incredible cityscape on their way. The sailors will now refuel before moving into stadium mode this afternoon giving the public of Gaia and Porto the chance to see the Extreme 40s in race mode for the first time. The breeze is up in on the Douro River and the sun is shining, whilst shore side anticipation is building for what Oman Air skipper Morgan Larson says 'is shaping up to be a great afternoon with some extremely close racing.'
Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 4 Porto, Portugal standings after Day 2
Open water racing, 10 races (06.7.12)?
Position / Team / Points?
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan / Ed Smyth / Pete Greenhalgh / Hashim Al Rashdi / Bleddyn Mon 61 points
2nd Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA) Pierre Pennec / Arnaud Psarofaghis/ Hervé Cunningham / Bernard Labro / Romain Petit 55 points
3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Matthew Adams / Graeme Spence, Pierre Le Clainche 52 points
4th GAC Pindar (GBR) Andrew Walsh / Nick Rogers/ Mark Bulkeley / Adam Piggot / Jono Macbeth 45 points
5th Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson / Will Howden / Charlie Ogletree / Nasser Al Mashari / Andy Maloney 44 points
6th Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli / Jean-Christophe Mourniac / Pierre Yves Jorand / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 40 points
7th ZouLou (FRA) Fred Le Peutrec / Philippe Mourniac / Jean-Sébastien Ponce / Bruno Jeanjean / Patrick Aucour 37 points
8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram?Hansen / Rasmus Kostner / Pete Cumming / Mikkel Rossberg / Jonas Hviid 26 points
Extreme Sailing Series website