Act 2 of the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series has begun in Singapore under the gaze of the towering downtown city skyline where the Extreme Sailing Series Race Village is nestled in the heart of this bustling city. Marina Bay reservoir will provide a temporary residence for the eight Extreme 40s for the next three days of Stadium Racing, and if today’s racing is anything to go by, Act 2 could be anyone’s game.
Four races were staged as the local conditions tested the skills of the fleet with some big wind shifts making the game a little bit harder, and some teams ultimately suffered more than others as they tried to find the formula on the tight Singaporean race course. Morgan Larson, (who replaces Ernesto Bertarelli as skipper in Singapore), and his Swiss America’s Cup compatriots on Alinghi won the first and last races of the day, but it didn’t quite compare to Leigh McMillan’s consistent performance whose Omani team The Wave, Muscat took honours after day one.
Talking tactics, McMillan, who won Act 1 on home waters in Muscat Oman, explained: 'In light winds you've got a lot more time to actually talk about the situations and to react. You need to maintain your composure and be very, very patient with the conditions, and make sure you do things at the right time. It's great to be in Singapore and happy to be here racing within these buildings and with all the people around watching. With these conditions it’s quite tough but as the wind picks up I'm sure it will be full on and we won't have much time to react and think about what's happening, we will just have to sail as it comes.'
At the pre-event skippers’ press conference today, when asked about the influx of new talent for 2013, Roman Hagara, one of the most experienced Extreme 40 skippers from Red Bull Sailing Team, told the national and international press 'the young guns are going to push us all the way' and today he was spot on. Kiwi Will Tiller, skipper of GAC Pindar in his debut year on the Extreme Sailing Series, who is currently ranked world number five in the ISAF Match Racing rankings, showed he as talented a fleet racer as a match racer, putting in consistent performances including a win in race three to wrap up the day in third place, tied on points with Alinghi. Speaking after racing, an enthused Tiller said: 'It’s awesome to just be racing in such a cool spot in the middle of the city here, it’s pretty spectacular. We're really enjoying it and we feel more comfortable in these light wind conditions at the moment and we hope it stays this way, but it’s about getting consistent results which is how you do well in this fleet, so learning how to do that is what we're trying to do.'
Debutante Team Aberdeen Singapore, which has the youngest skipper, onboard, 22 year old Scott Glen Sydney, is hoping to get to grips with the Extreme 40 quickly. After a challenging first day, which sees the team finish in eighth, Scott was positive the team could improve on today’s performance. 'Boat handling and team work wise, we definitely improved from our training days, and the base is really set well for the next few days. It still very early in the Act and anyone can still win this. We’ve done well as a team today, all are very open with communication, just a little unlucky with the final shifts but that will improve in time and hopefully luck will shift our way tomorrow. Tomorrow we will get in to the right mindset and just be open to anything that might happen, you never know with Singapore and the forecast!'
It wasn’t just the Extreme 40s who got to test the waters of Marina Bay today, and Red Bull wakeboard teamrider Sasha Christian kept the media entertained as she took her board for a tow behind the team’s boat before racing kicked in!
Singapore is now a fixture on the global, eight-stop tour from 2013-2015, all due to the support rendered by Local Partner, Aberdeen Asset Management, the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore Sailing Federation. Aberdeen Asset Management’s association with sailing goes back to 2006 when they supported the British Dragon Association and have also been involved with Aderdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and the Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Championship in Australia.
'Singapore has put sport as one of its priorities, not just as a place to host sports but also a place to get people to be enthusiastic about sports, and we thought that’s perfect, so I’m delighted to have Scott and Justin on board Team Aberdeen Singapore. We hope Singaporeans can identify with us, with Scott and Justin on board, so come support our boat, most of all, it’s not just the race, the water, the vantage points, on land too we have a great race village for the public, said Patrick Corfe, Director of Marketing for Aberdeen Asset Management.
Racing will continue tomorrow from 8.30am to 10.30am and resume from 3.00pm onwards. Fans can catch the action at the Race Village from 11.00am daily or visit the official website, www.extremesailingseries.com to catch the live streaming from 12-14 April.
Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 2, Singapore standings after Day 1, 4 races (11.04.13)
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 32 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei,Yves Detrey 29 points.
3rd GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Brad Farrand, Stewart Dodson, Harry Thurston,Matt Steven 29 points.
4th Realteam (SUI) Jérome Clerc, Bruno Barbarin, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Cédric Schmidt, Bryan Mettraux 27 points.
5th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Pierre Le Clainche, Graeme Spence 26 points.
6th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 25 points.
7th Team Korea (KOR) Peter Burling, Blair Tuke, Mark Bulkeley, Sungwok Kim, Sung Ahn Jung 23 points.
8th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Scott Glen Sydney, Robert Greenhalgh, Andrew Walsh, Justin Wong, Rick Peacock 17 points.
Visit www.extremesailingseries.com/singapore for the full entertainment and activities programme.
by Extreme Sailing Series
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2:04 PM Thu 11 Apr 2013GMT
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