Five points from the lead, one point from second at the end of the third day of the Muscat Extreme Sailing Series regatta. Dean Barker and his Emirates Team New Zealand crew had every reason to be happy with the day’s racing.
They think they should have done better.... but it could have been a lot, lot worse.
'It was a very trying, light-air day,' Barker said. 'The sea breeze came up earlier in the day but had fallen away by the time racing started. We never had much more than four knots all day.
'We had to battle for every point in every race. There were a lot of mixed results, not just for us, for everyone. That’s a fair indication of how tough it was racing here today.
'It felt like a very average day but we managed to come ashore in third place, only five points off the lead. It certainly didn’t feel like that on board.
'The day could have gone a lot better, and tomorrow is going to be a very busy day. Whoever sails reasonably smartly tomorrow will have a good chance of being successful.'
Today, the team finished in the top three in five of the eight races sailed. S-W:
Conditions were very light again in the open water off Muscat. Much of what applied in the early rounds applied today - get a good start in clean air and try and roll the fleet. The breeze was so light that it was not unusual to see the Extreme 40's completed stopped, particularly after a tack - unable to build speed.
Nevertheless Emirates Team NZ did well in the early races while others failed, and the team was on top of the points table midway through the race program today. As it stands they are one point off second place and in contact with the lead ahead of tomorrow's racing when racing counts for double points. Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Muscat standings after Day 3, 21 races
1st Alinghi (SUI) 132 points.
2nd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 128 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 127 points.
4th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 122 points.
5th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 118 points.
6th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 105 points.
7th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 102 points.
8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 99 points.
9th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 96 points.
10th Oman Air (OMA) 88 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 59 points.