Big wind gusts blasted across the race course on the final day of the Extreme Sailing Series Qingdao regatta.
The city lived up to its reputation as a tricky, unpredictable race course, giving crews a tough time even with the fleet reduced to two divisions of six boats to minimise the risk of collision.
With rapid and frequent wind shifts (from 90 to 180 deg not uncommon) the stage was set for another day of mayhem on the water. The almost inevitable big crash occurred when Red Bull Sailing Team hit the series leader Alinghi as it was lining up at the start. That was an early end to Alinghi’s regatta.
Emirates Team New Zealand finished the regatta third overall – and retained third place in the 2014 series championship.
It was a great result for the team. It was Peter Burling and Blair Tuke’s first regatta in team colours and they had never sailed before with Glenn Ashby, Jeremy Lomas and Edwin Delaat.
Burling and Tuke’s previous Extreme Sailing Series regatta was more than a year ago and they made a fast transition from their 49er Olympic campaign. They were happy to achieve a podium finish for the team.
The next regatta is at St Petersburg, Russia, starting June 26. Burling will again be at the helm. Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 Qingdao
Standings after Day 4, 32 races
1st Alinghi (SUI) 178 points.
2nd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 168 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand 160 points.
4th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 159 points.
5th Gazprom Team Russia 140 points.
6th Oman Air 133 points.
7th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 129 points.
8th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 128 points.
9th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 126 points.
10th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 125 points.
11th Team Extreme Qingdao (CHN) 111 points.
12th GAC Pindar (AUS) 98 points. Extreme Sailing Series 2014 overall standings
1st Alinghi (SUI) 28 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 26 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand 24 points.
4th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 22 points.
5th Gazprom Team Russia 15 points.
6th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 12 points.
7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 11 points.
8th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 10 points.
9th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 9 points.
10th Oman Air 8 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 3 points.
Emirates Team New Zealand sailors, Glenn Ashby, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin De Latt and Peter Burling on stage at the prize giving to receive the third place trophy for the Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series regatta in Qingdao, China. 4/5/2014 - Chris Cameron-ETNZ© Click Here to view large photo