Extreme Sailing Series- Emirates Team NZ down to the wire in Muscat
by Warren Douglas on 23 Mar 2014
Emirates Team NZ led by Dean Barker, performed well under pressure on the Final Day of the Extreme Sailing Series in Muscat, Oman, to place second overall.
Emirates Team New Zealand sailing on Day 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 in Muscat, Oman. Hamish Hooper/Emirates Team NZ http://www.etnzblog.com
Two race wins and a third place in the double-points final race was enough for them to claim second, bettering their fourth place finish from Act 1, Singapore.
Skipper Dean said: 'We wanted to improve on Singapore; we wanted to sail well and get on the podium. We’ve achieved that.
'There’s still a lot of room to improve but, in saying that, every team struggled with the conditions here. Our crew stayed very positive throughout, even when it didn’t feel like things were going our way.'
The breeze was up today; a steady 20 knots across the race course with gusts up to 26. It was a sharp contrast to the drifting conditions of the first three days. Eight races were held.
In really tough racing, Dean Barker and his crew managed to stay well in touch. Results were mixed but the same was true for all of the top four teams. With only a handful of points separating them – leaderboard positions changed race by race.
Heading into the final race, four teams were in the running to win the regatta – The Wave, Muscat, Emirates Team New Zealand, Alinghi and SAP Extreme Sailing Team. With only four points between them and 20 points for the win it was all on.
Dean Barker nailed one of the be tter starts and managed to get around the top mark in second place, but was surrounded by the other three boats in the running for the three podium spots.
The crew – Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas and Edwin Delaat - held their composure around the track and managed a third place, narrowly ahead of Alinghi.
That gave Barker his podium finish – eight points behind the winner The Wave and one point ahead of Alinghi, third. After two regattas of the 2014 season, Emirates Team New Zealand is third overall.
The next regatta is in Quingdao, China, from May 1-4. Peter Burling will take the helm for this regatta and Blair Tuke will trim.
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 2 Muscat standings after Day 4, 29 races
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 188 points.
2nd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 180 points.
3rd Alinghi (SUI) 179 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 176 points.
5th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 158 points.
6th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 153 points.
7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 145 points.
8th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 144 points.
9th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 137 points.
10th Oman Air (OMA 123 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 94 points.
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 19 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) 18 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 16 points.
4th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 13 points.
5th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 9 points.
6th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 9 points.
7th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 9 points.
8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 8 points.
9th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 6 points.
10th Oman Air (OMA) 3 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 2 points.
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