In Act 2 of the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore, the eight world-class Extreme 40 teams competing under the shadow of some of the best modern architecture in the world on Marina Bay Reservoir felt the pressure -and the heat from the city- turn up a notch today, after a packed 11 race day.
After four early morning races, American Morgan Larson and his Swiss team Alinghi had overhauled Leigh McMillan’s The Wave, Muscat who led going into day two and that’s how it remained. But as Larson explained on this race course, that doesn’t mean a thing. 'It can be anybody's race at any time. The boundaries keep the fleet tight, and this is any team’s game.'
The day’s action began in the morning with the eight Extreme 40 teams sent out to race early to take advantage of the morning breeze before seven races were staged this afternoon. The fleet described the conditions as erratic and challenging, with the breeze funneling between the towering skyscrapers making the racing unpredictable allowing big gains, but also big loses, to be made if teams entered what co-commentator and one of the sports best known sailors Nick Moloney called ‘no man’s land’.
With some races lasting less than six minutes, the pre –start sequence became integral on the short stadium race course, and at some point throughout the day nearly all teams caved to the pressure jumping the gun and receiving a starting penalty.
Only the Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team kept their bows clean and tactician and co-skipper Rasmus Kostner explained the challenges the fleet face.
'Generally I think the wind conditions are changing every 30-40 seconds around the track so it’s really about trying to make the most out of the situations you're in and to try to think what's going to happen long-term, but it's just really, really difficult. We actually love it! (the short/tight course). It's full of action and I think the area we're in is just great, it's perfect as you can see a lot of people on the shore, so sailing close to the spectators it's just great.' Kostner and his Danish team finish the day in fifth place, and within striking distance of the podium.
Despite three races wins by defending Series champions The Wave, Muscat, by skipper Leigh McMillan’s standards it was a disappointing day, ending with a 12 point deficit to Alinghi. Red Bull Sailing Team were back on form after spluttering a little yesterday to wrap up the day in third place, 13 points behind McMillan.
The ever-improving invitational home team Team Aberdeen Singapore, with Extreme 40 veteran Rob Greenhalgh at the helm, upped their game today showing they can mix it up and challenge the full Series teams, consistently posting top three results including a race win. Greenhalgh, who won the first ever Extreme Sailing Series, was however realistic about their chances here racing against the more experienced and highly competitive top-level sailors. 'The racing here is extremely close and competitive. The small mistakes turn into big mistakes. We are gelling as a crew and of course there are challenges – certain things only come from sailing together as a team a lot. We are finding our feet and and we're starting to get better, and maybe tomorrow, you never know, we might be that little bit better again.'
The young team Kiwi skippers Will Tiller and Peter Burling were out to prove a point here in Singapore today and both are eying the podium in what is only their second ever Extreme 40 Act. Will Tiller’s GAC Pindar scored two bullets, leaving them tied on points with Red Bull Sailing Team, while Burling’s team were rewarded after a tough day on the water claiming honours in the Aberdeen Asset Management Challenge Trophy knock out series.
Tomorrow (Saturday 13th April) the NeilPryde Windsurf Racing Series starts as the main warm-up act with local windsurfers including Audrey Yong, 2010 bronze medallist from the Youth Olympics, taking to the waters of Marina Bay. One thing is for sure: there will be plenty of moves on the water, as well as on the leaderboard over the next two days.
Saturday and Sunday’s racing will be broadcast live on the official website at the amended time of 1700-1830 daily local time (1100-1230 European time) and live to homes around Singapore on national broadcaster Starhub Supersports Arena.
Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 2, Singapore standings after Day 2, 15 races (12.04.13)
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 122 points. 2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 110 points. 3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Pierre Le Clainche, Graeme Spence 97 points. 4th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Brad Farrand, Stewart Dodson, Harry Thurston, Matt Steven 97 points. 5th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 94 points. 6th Team Korea (KOR) Peter Burling, Blair Tuke, Mark Bulkeley, Sungwok Kim, Sung Ahn Jung 93 points. 7th Realteam (SUI) Jérome Clerc, Bruno Barbarin, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Cédric Schmidt, Bryan Mettraux 84 points. 8th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Scott Glen Sydney, Robert Greenhalgh, Andrew Walsh, Justin Wong, Rick Peacock 83 points