by Jo Uffendell
During the weekend, an intensely fought battle played out in Singapore as eight sailing teams wrestled with light and shifty winds and intense heat on Marina Bay in the heart of the financial district. Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series turned out to be a game changer for the SAP Extreme Sailing Team who walked away with their first podium finish at the end of the four days racing. Their best performance in the series to date was rewarded with a leap from seventh to fourth place in the overall series rankings.
The Extreme Sailing Series 2013. Act2. Singapore 0 SAP Extreme Sailing Team
Commenting on the team’s performance, Co Skipper Jes Gram-Hansen said: 'We came to Singapore with a determination to act on learning’s from the previous act, keep our cool under pressure and illustrate just what the SAP Extreme Sailing Team is capable of. The lack of wind was tough for all the competitors out on the water and we had to capitalize on even the slightest zephyrs to stay in the game.'
Gram-Hansen continued: 'Our strategy was to pick up more speed towards the later part of the start and line up away from the other boats. We were less concerned about where we were on the line and more concerned with gaining maximum speed and not getting caught up in traffic. Keeping our distance from the pack, finding the fastest way to the first mark and minimizing the loss on maneuvers was definitely key to our success in Singapore. We were constantly making alterations to keep pace with the shift in winds and with more precise roles and responsibilities on board this made for some smooth sailing. With specific and defined roles, everyone knew exactly what was required of them and I think we really achieved the flow that makes for fantastic team work.
To finish on the podium and be just two points shy of the Red Bull Racing Team is fantastic. Having been competing on the circuit since 2007 those guys are very experienced on Extreme 40’s and to be nipping at their heels is a great feeling for us.'
The SAP Extreme Sailing Team made consecutive gains over the first two days of racing and went into the final day with everything to play for, sitting in joint third place with The Wave, Muscat. Due to the light airs, only one race was sailed yesterday but it was a nail biting finish to the day with any of the teams capable of claiming a podium position. SAP Analytics revealed that four teams including Alinghi (SUI), Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), SAP Extreme Sailing (DEN) and Realteam (SUI) were all in podium positions at some point during the intense battle out on the water.
Co-Skipper and tactician Rasmus Kostner said: 'We have been working hard towards this for a long time so to come away in third is fantastic. Very early on we knew the strategy was working and the consistently good results improved confidence and spurred us on to push that little bit harder. We could not have wished for more from the team and we have come away extremely buoyant and looking forward to the next act in Qingdao, China which is coming up in just two weeks. We raced there last year so know what to expect and will pushing hard to improve on our position.'
The SAP Extreme Sailing Team will compete in Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series between 2 - 5 May 2013.
Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 2, Singapore results after Day 4, 23 races
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) 198 points
2nd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 163 points
3rd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 161 points
4th Realteam (SUI) 159 points
5th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 153 points
6th Team Korea (KOR) 144 points
7th GAC Pindar (NZL) 143 points
8th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) 127 points
Extreme Sailing Series 2013 overall ranking after Act 2, Singapore
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) 18 points
2nd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 18 points
3rd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 16 points
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 12 points
5th Team Korea (KOR) 11 points
6th Team X Invitational 10 points
7th Realteam (SUI) 10 points
8th GAC Pindar (NZL) 9 points