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Extreme Sailing Series: SAP Extreme Sailing Team en tête du classement

'Extreme Sailing Series'    © Lloyd Images/Extreme Sailing Series    Click Here to view large photo

Les 11 catamarans Extreme 40 de la flotte se retrouvaient aujourd’hui sur le plan d’eau de Mascate pour la première journée de l’Act 2 des Extreme Sailing Series™.

Cinq d’entre eux sont parvenus à s’imposer cet après-midi sur les sept manches disputées. Les Danois de SAP Extreme Sailing Team affichent ce soir un léger avantage, mais 16 points seulement séparent le leader du classement du huitième, et la compétition s’annonce encore plus serrée demain. 'Je crois que la semaine de course va être longue, mais nous sommes contents de nos performances aujourd’hui et j’espère que nous pourrons continuer ainsi', commente le co-skipper de SAP Extreme Sailing Tea Jes Gram Hansen, tout en revenant sur les principales qualités requises pour réussir sur ce plan d’eau. 'Quand vous réussissez à prendre la tête de la flotte, cela devient plus facile. Le vent n’est pas perturbé et vous pouvez continuer de creuser l’écart. Demain nous allons devoir rester concentrés'.

SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Emirates Team New Zealand et The Wave, Muscat ont tous les trois décroché une victoire, tandis qu’Alinghi et Groupama en ont remporté deux. Mais jusqu’à la fin de la dernière manche, impossible de deviner qui pointerait en tête du classement ce soir. La flotte a navigué sur un plan d’eau ouvert, et a pu ainsi prendre ses aises dans une légère brise de 5 à 7 noeuds sous le soleil radieux de la péninsule arabique, et sur des manches d’environ 15 minutes chacune composées de deux aller-retours.

Land Rover, Partenaire Principal des Series, a annoncé aujourd’hui un nouveau partenariat avec l’équipe autrichienne de Red Bull Sailing Team, pour devenir 'Partenaire Officiel Equipe et Véhicules', renforçant ainsi l’implication du premier constructeur automobile britannique dans le milieu de la voile sportive professionnelle. Sur l’eau, la journée fut par contre assez frustrante pour le bateau autrichien. Les double champions olympiques Roman Hagara et Hans-Peter Steinacher, qui étaient en tête du classement provisoire au départ de la dernière manche, ont malheureusement terminé 10e de cette course pour ainsi rétrograder à la sixième place du classement. 'Les équipes devront faire preuve d’une plus grande régularité demain. Il faut absolument prendre de bons départs car c’est très difficile de revenir quand vous partez en retrait. Toutes les équipes sont très fortes et c’est pour cela que le classement est si serré. Personne n’a le droit à l’erreur !'

Après un début de saison assez tranquille pour J.P. Morgan BAR et Gazprom Team Russia, respectivement menés par les stars britanniques de la voile Ben Ainslie, quadruple champion olympique, et Paul Campbell-James, double vainqueur de ce circuit, les deux équipes commencent à se montrer plus agressives. Elles terminent aujourd’hui plusieurs manches dans le top 3. 'Nous avons eu des bonnes et des mauvaises manches et malheureusement plus de mauvaises que de bonnes, donc c’était un peu peu frustrant, commente Paul Campbell-James. 'Mais il y a beaucoup de points positifs à tirer de cette journée. Notre vitesse au portant était bien meilleure que la dernière fois, notre vitesse au près n’est pas mal non plus et nos manoeuvres s’améliorent un peu plus chaque jour. Demain nous allons repartir sur des départs au reaching, ce qui devrait changer un peu la donne. Nous régatons près du rivage devant une foule d’Omanais plus enthousiastes que jamais, donc c’est très sympa !'

La journée fut plus difficile en revanche pour Realteam, qui n’est pas parvenu à surfer sur la vague du succès après sa troisième place à Singapour il y a trois semaines, et pour GAC Pindar, qui n’a pas su tirer profit de ses récents résultats en 18-foot Skiff. Les deux équipes sont respectivement 10e et 11e ce soir.

Lors de la conférence de presse ce matin, à laquelle ont assisté de nombreux journalistes nationaux et internationaux, le barreur d’Alinghi Morgan Larson annonçait la couleur : 'Cette épreuve sera un véritable test, et seule la meilleure équipe l’emportera'. Avec encore trois jours de Régates en Stade à venir, personne ne peut prédire qui sera sacré vainqueur à Mascate.

Classement Provisoire de l’Act 2 des Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 à Mascate, Oman, après la première journée de course, soit 7 manches courues (19.03.14)

Position / Team / Points

1er SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 48 points.
2e Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 45 points.
3e Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 45 points.
4e The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 44 points.
5e Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 43 points.
6e Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson 41 points.
7e Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 33 points.
8e J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 32 points.
9e Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 25 points.
10e Realteam (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri 22 points.
11e GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, David Gilmour 16 points.

Extreme Sailing Series


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2014 Extreme Sailing Series

Related News Stories:

20 Mar 2014  Extreme Sailing Series - Heat is on for SAP Extreme Sailing Team
20 Mar 2014  Extreme Sailing Series: Anna Tunnicliffe reports from Day 1 at Oman
20 Mar 2014  Extreme Sailing Series: Emirates Team NZ mid-fleet after Day 1 at Oman
20 Mar 2014  Extreme Sailing Series - Light an tricky first day for JP Morgan BAR
20 Mar 2014  Extreme Sailing Series - Multiple winners on first race day in Oman
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