Extreme Sailing Series - Testing conditions for Ainslie and crew
by Sarah Alexander on 23 Feb 2014
Day three of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 1, Singapore and Ainslie and his British team mates endured the ultimate testing conditions on the water. Day two personified, the gusts were flukier and conditions even sketchier for all the elite teams, proving that the talent of the ESS competitors needs to be high, in order to manage and manoeuvre the 40 foot boats in such a tight spot.
J.P. Morgan BAR - Extreme Sailing Series, Act 1 © Lloyd Images
'It was a really tough day; we didn’t really sail very well and struggled to call the wind right. Every part of the course was a bit of a struggle for us but we still learnt throughout the day so whilst the results weren’t what we wanted we still worked out a few things to improve on our performance longer term.
But, that’s the nature of this competition for us, you just have to keep improving and while the results might not show it we are just working on things each day, to keep getting our overall performance better.' Reflected Ainslie.
Naturally the geographical location of the venue, in built up Marina Bay, makes it hard and challenging to call the shots. J.P. Morgan BAR tactician, gold medallist, Paul Goodison on reading the course;
'It’s pretty hard out there, you look out at the racecourse and you make your play, you know where you want to go and quite often you have a good start but it’s almost as similar as everyone else’s so you can’t get to where you want to. So, it is very tough and it didn’t quite go our way today.
'The team is coming together, but sometimes we have 15 knots and sometimes five and our roles and responsibly in a lighter breeze are very different to our roles in 15, so we are still a little bit lost about who is doing what, where and when in these transitions. We are such a new team but it will come together, it’s about learning from our mistakes.'
Race six, the penultimate of the day, offered the most dramatic of the event with two teams enduring an epic crash in a quest to the finish. J.P. Morgan BAR were ahead, missing the action, Ainslie commented;
'Quite a big gust came through and it was a very close race, all the boats were finishing at the same time - there just wasn’t enough room for the boats catching up effectively. When it’s that windy there’s no time for delayed reaction - that's when things can take a turn for the worst and it goes wrong, which I guess is one of the dangers of racing is this confined venue. All of the teams here are fantastic competitors, to control these boats in such a compact space the quality has to high, but even at this level mistakes do still happen.'
Overall results after day three
1. Alinghi (SUI), 163 points
2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), 132 points
3. Realstone (SUI), 130 points
4. Red Bull Racing Team (AUT), 117 points
5. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 117 points
6. Groupama Sailing Team (FRA), 104 points
7. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR), 103 points
8. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN), 95 points
9. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS), 89 points
10. Oman Air (OMA), 88 points
11. GAC Pindar (AUS) 49 points
12. Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN), 47 points JP Morgan BAR Website