Emirates Team NZ struggle to reach potential in Extreme 40's
by Warren Douglas on 18 Sep 2011
Emirates Team NZ reports form the Extreme 40, at Trapani Italy
Fleet racing just metres away from the Race Village on Day 3 of Act 6 in Trapani - Extreme Sailing Series 2011 Lloyd Images © http://lloydimagesgallery.photoshelter.com/
Fickle puffs of breeze opened a whole new chapter of lessons to Emirates Team New Zealand in the penultimate day of racing of Act 6 of the Extreme 40 Sailing Series in Trapani.
With light, wafting westerly winds that never lifted above seven knots, the full programme of nine inner-harbour races on Day 4 was contested with reaching starts – a different proposition for the new Emirates Team New Zealand crew.
For skipper Adam Beashel and his crew, this regatta has certainly provided a steep learning curve, and today was a day of ups and downs where choosing the correct end of the start line was more than often the winning of the race.
The team is still in seventh place overall going into the final day of racing tomorrow. The team’s game plan is to continue to make improvements in tactical decisions and iron out frustrating minor errors.
Beashel was happy with the opening races of the day, where the team got off the start line well to record two top-four finishes. But the third race was a turning point in the team’s fortunes.
'We were in second place and had a minor incident, and halfway up the leg we were given a penalty, turning an easy second into a sixth. We lost our momentum after that,' he said.
'With reaching starts all day, it makes it all about getting off the start line well and it’s follow the leader after that. I don’t think we had the full crew up to weather at all, we were was always all down on the leeward hulls.
'But it was a great day for spectators - you couldn’t get us much closer to the breakwater if you tried, so they got their money’s worth there.'
Tomorrow’s final day promises a different challenge again, with a Mistral threatening to deliver 20-25 knots, so the team is aware if may be a day of survival and keeping the boat in one piece.
Day 3: Small errors make for a frustrating day
With sailing moving inshore to the ‘stadium’ racing format Emirates Team New Zealand has shown potential on day 3 of Act 6 of the Extreme 40 Sailing Series in Trapani but been penalised by small errors.
The day’s racing was held inside Trapani’s harbour breakwater and presented the teams with tricky conditions dominated by a gusty north/north east breeze averaging 12/13 knots.
Races were even shorter than on previous days with many taking under ten minutes and with only four to five minute breaks between races.
The team at the end of day 3 remains in seventh place overall with a 10th, second, seventh, sixth, fourth and eighth placings.
Skipper Adam Beashel said it was a frustrating day for the team as small errors at critical times left them playing catch-up.
'I know that we can sail much better, but to be blunt it’s time we start converting our potential into results.
'This inner-harbour racing is a different ballgame from the offshore courses of previous days. Tomorrow is a new day and the guys are completely focused on clawing our way back into it and delivering a solid result.
'This regatta is delivering very close racing and with the lessons we’ve learnt over previous days we’re confident we can lift our game.'
Day 4 is another day of inner-harbour ‘stadium’ racing with lighter conditions forecast than today.
Day two of Act 6 of the Extreme 40 Sailing Series in Trapani, Sicily, delivered fast and furious racing in a steady breeze ranging between 15 and 20 knots.
The Emirates Team New Zealand crew, on only their second day racing together on the Extreme 40 catamarans, experienced the fast-paced action that a stronger breeze can produce.
Skipper Adam Beashel said the some valuable lessons were learned today.. 'Today’s racing was what these boats are all about and shows the sort of explosive action that they can deliver. It was frustrating that that we couldn’t produce the results and the consistency that we wanted.'
It was the second and last day of 'open water' racing. Tomorrow the regatta moves to its 'stadium racing' mode with tighter courses in confined waters.
The Extreme 40 Sailing Series is a tough one and the team face some very seasoned opponents.
'It’s a steep learning curve for us and today’s conditions presented a different set of challenges from the light airs of yesterday.
'We are showing some good potential especially in our up-wind performance and starts, but a number of small errors and missed opportunities are costing us.
'This series is so competitive that you can’t afford to make those small errors and we know that we can do better.
'We’ll take away a lot from today’s racing and the boys will reflect on this tonight and attempt to build on it tomorrow.
'I feel like we’re on the brink of a good result and tomorrow’s new format offers a good opportunity to deliver on that.'
Day 1: A day of improving fortunes at Trapani
Day1aEmirates Team New Zealand has had a day of improving fortunes as Act 6 of the Extreme 40 Sailing Series got underway in Trapani, Italy. The crew of Adam Beashel (skipper), Richard Meacham, Jeremy Lomas and Rob Waddell battled variable conditions off Scilly to be in fourth place at the end of day one with a ninth, sixth, third, third and fifth placing.
The team’s performance improved solidly throughout the day as they adapted to the very light breeze which averaged only five knots, and at times dropped away to almost nothing.
Skipper Adam Beashel said it was challenging sailing for the new crew line-up.
'Today’s conditions were light and shifty making for very tactical racing. There was also a strong tidal flow to take into account.
'It was great experience for us and I was really pleased to see our pace pick up as the day wore on.
'Our first race was a bit of a shocker and we made some basic mistakes, but after that we steadily improved.
'We’re still coming to grips with these boats and this type of racing, so it’s invaluable to gain understanding of the different dynamics that light breezes bring.
'Every race we do we learn more about multihulls and how to get the most out of them. Today’s results reflect that and we are constantly improving.
'I’m pleased with the boys work and the fact that we’re competitive in the light, but we have a lot of work to do and the challenge for us is applying the lessons learnt today in the remaining four days of racing.'
Even lighter conditions are forecast for tomorrow’s racing.
Today was the first day of racing in Act 6 of the Extreme Sailing Series Regatta. Emirates Team New Zealand is currently the overall leader of the series.
Emirates Team New Zealand is set for action as Day 1 of Act 6 of the Extreme 40 Sailing Series kicks off in Trapani, Italy.
ETNZ currently leads the series but going into racing today things are tight at the top of the leader board with Luna Rossa from Italy only one point behind.
The relatively new crew line up at Trapani of Skipper/helm: Adam Beashel, tactician: Richard Meacham, trimmer: Jeremy Lomas and bowman Rob Waddell can expect a very light and variable westerly breeze with temperatures above 30 degrees.
The Extreme Sailing Series Regattas - short, sharp fleet races in fast catamarans on tight courses – provide valuable experience for ETNZ crew members as part of the transition from a monohull to multihull racing team.
Racing will be broadcast live from today (Wednesday) to Sunday (14, 15, 16, 17 & 18 September) at www.extremesailingseries.com.