Extreme Sailing Series- Emirates Team NZ drops back in Singapore
by Warren Douglas on 23 Feb 2014
Day 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series saw more intense action as the breeze across the race course fluctuated from a gentle five knots to sudden gusts of 25. Six races were sailed on the tight Singapore course.
Emirates Team New Zealand. Day three of the Extreme Sailing Series regatta being sailed in Singapore. 22/2/2014 Chris Cameron/ETNZ© http://www.chriscameron.co.nz
The day was marked by a serious collision between Groupama and Aberdeen Singapore, as one of the strongest gusts of the day swept through the fleet.
No one was hurt, but Groupama’s rig came down as Aberdeen rode over the top of Groupama and the yachts were locked together.
Groupama’s skipper Franck Cammas described the moment as Aberdeen, approaching the finishing line as the gust hit, struggled to avoid the collision.
'We had a big gust and as we were finishing a gybe we saw Aberdeen come really fast from behind and that's the moment they came over us breaking the mast. Three crew members ended up in the water.
Other than the mast, damage can be repaired overnight: 'The mainsail, the jib and a hole on the trampoline. I think we will be able to race tomorrow with another mast,' Cammas said.
'What is tricky here is that the wind is quite strong and very gusty which is difficult to anticipate. It's not easy.'
A full starting grid of 12 Extreme 40s is expected for the final day’s racing in Singapore – although it will be a demanding night in pit lane as the shore crews rally to make the repairs. Four boats are out of the water but the teams are confident they’ll be ready for the last day of the regatta.
It was not a good day for Emirates Team New Zealand, slipping to fifth overall, although skipper Dean Barker says, 'We’re sailing well and still in the hunt for a podium finish. We need a good solid day and have a few breaks go our way.'
The four teams at the top of the leaderboard competed in the series last year. Alinghi, and The Wave, Muscat are first and second respectively. Realstone, which missed Day 3 racing, is third, after being awarded average points following yesterday’s collision with Oman Air.
With 117 points, Emirates Team New Zealand is within striking distance of a podium finish. Fourth Red Bull Racing Team is also on 117; Leader Alinghi is on 163, The Wave on 132 and Realstone on 130.
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 1, Singapore. Standings after Day 3, 21 races
1: Alinghi (SUI) 163 points.
2: The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 132 points.
3: Realstone (SUI) 130 points.
4: Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 117 points.
5: Emirates Team New Zealand 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.