On the Extreme Sailing Series circuit the Swiss sailors on Realteam continue to progress at the heart of the world’s elite fleet. After an excellent start to the season, the crew on the catamaran skippered by Jerome Clerc and helmed by Arnaud Psarofaghis showed its true potential in Qingdao, China, finishing second at Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series behind top ranked boat, Alinghi.
Conditions on the Stadium racecourse were tricky throughout the day. The race committee ran the first few flights in light airs and Realteam’s ability to master the light breeze conditions stood out and was applauded by the commentary team ashore. The second half of the day proved to be harder still with an increase in pressure, but the Swiss team continued to progress taking three wins. Throughout the four days of racing, they finished in the top three eleven times out of the 32 races over four days. 'It’s a myth that the Swiss are only good in light airs,' joked Etienne David, team coach. 'The team did well in all conditions this week and they were particularly impressive today despite the pressure of having a podium place within their grasp.'
'Our consistency was the key to our success today,' said Jerome Clerc after racing. 'Our goal was to keep it tidy, with no excessive risk-taking, good starts and no ‘extremes’. In such tricky conditions this strategy paid off and we were able to get another podium finish which we are very happy about!'
Realteam finished ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand by 8 points on the Act 3 leaderboard and secured a comfortable lead over some of the greatest sailors on the planet such as Ben Ainslie (J.P Morgan BAR) in seventh place and Franck Cammas (Groupama) in eighth.
With such an excellent result in China, Realteam has consolidated its fourth place on the overall Extreme Sailing Series season ranking. 'Arnaud Psarofaghis did an excellent job on the helm as did Denis Girardet who was calling tactics in Qingdao,' said Etienne David. 'Their abilities are very complimentary and I think in general, the team has benefitted from its recent Decision 35 training sessions on Lake Geneva with coach Tanguy Le Glatin.
'This result is a real team effort which isn’t surprising when you know the ability of these sailors, but which is highlighted given the quality of the other teams competing in the Extreme Sailing Series.' Extreme Sailing Series, Act 3, Qingdao, results
Alinghi (SUI), 178 points
Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 168 points
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 160 points
The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 159 points
Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 140 points
Oman Air (OMA) 133 points
J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 129 points
Groupama sailing team (FRA) 128 points
Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 126 points
SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 125 points
Team Extreme Qingdao (CHN), 111 points
GAC Pindar (AUS) 98 points
Extreme Sailing Series overall ranking after Act 3
Alinghi (SUI) 28 points
The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 26 points
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 24 points
Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 22 points
Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 15 points
Groupama sailing team (FRA) 12 points
Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 11 points
J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 10 points
AP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 9 points
Oman Air (OMA) 8 points
GAC Pindar (AUS) 3 points
Realteam crew in Qingdao
Arnaud Psarofaghis – helmsman
Jerome Clerc – skipper/mainsail trimmer
Bryan Mettraux – headsail trimmer
Thierry Wasem – bowman
Denis Girardet – fifth man
Shore crew: Jeff Kerleguer and Sebastien Stephant
Coach: Etienne David