The first day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 in Istanbul, Turkey saw an action packed seven races for the 11 international teams, with Artemis Racing taking the top spot with 52 points, only a single point ahead of Act 2 winners Luna Rossa and Alinghi on 47. All three are past or present America's Cup teams
The racing conditions tested the teams today as the 44 sailors manhandled their Extreme 40 racing machines around short, sharp courses. There were plenty of gusts to potentially trip the up boats, shifts in wind direction and the race legs were so short it was a full-on physical work. 'It’s beautiful to sail here, the conditions are good with a tricky wind which is good for us,' said Maxi Sirena, skipper of Luna Rossa.
For six out of seven races today a different team crossed the finish line first, only Luna Rossa scored two bullets. Alinghi, Emirates Team New Zealand, The Wave Muscat, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Team GAC Pindar all secured a win apiece which kept everyone guessing right up to the last race as to which team would finish the day on top. Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing proved that securing steady results in the top half of the leaderboard throughout the day gave them the edge over the less inconsistent teams: 'I think one of the best things that we did was not get too flustered by some of the bad cards that were dealt to us, the last race was a perfect example of hanging in during the race and waiting until there was an opportunity presented to us to make our move,' explained Terry Hutchinson. 'When a nice little shift came down the course we went for it with an early gybe, I think we passed three boats in the one move which was really, really good.'
Team GAC Pindar had their first race win of the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series. Skipper Ian Williams was jubilant to get their first race win under their belts in such challenging conditions: 'It was challenging today, really shifty puffy conditions, quite strong winds at times and quite light winds at times which made it really tricky. Our first win was great today, it was a really close race with Team Extreme but in the end we just snuck it on the line with Team Extreme finishing in second.'
The race management maximized the length of the upwind/downwind leg using the widest part of the Halic estuary but the downwind leg was still short – with the Extreme 40s covering the 400m stretch in 90 seconds. Two laps round and each race was over in just 10-12 minutes.
With only 11 points separating the top eight teams there will be some tough competition tomorrow as the front runners try to establish a firm lead, and the race course will become narrower as it moves in front of the VIP set-up for the media day ahead of the Extreme Sailing Series Race Village opening to the public on Friday, 28th.
Extreme Sailing Series - Act 3, Istanbul Current overall standings after Day 1 (25.5.11)
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points 1st Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Rodney Ardern / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 52 points 2nd Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 51 points 3rd Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 47 points 4th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 46 points 5th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Glenn Ashby / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 45 points 6th The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Torvar Mirsky / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 44 points 7th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 44 points 8th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Nicholas Heintz 41 points 9th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 34 points 10th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Mischa Heemskerk / Jono Macbeth 29 points 11th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 29 points