To use a well-coined Americanism, Day 3 of Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Boston was ‘awesome’! Thousands of spectators filled the Race Village, and were treated to a spectacle of 49er racing followed by eight first-class, action-packed Extreme 40 races.
A good sea breeze allowed the Extreme 40s to showcase how this style of stadium racing really works, with live onboard commentary from US sailor Cam Lewis and Britain’s Andy Green. The start/finish area located just a few meters off the shore gave the public a close-up view of all the action and the home crowd were truly behind Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing, cheering the team home every time. Fifth man guest Dennis Piretra was impressed by the public support: 'We could see people up and down the docks watching with a lot of people really engaged. It’s not just a social event they are really enjoying the sport.'
A six-boat 49er fleet showcased the Olympic class that will compete in the Olympics for the third successive time in a row in 2012, with three teams from the USA and three from Canada (see below). As the Extreme 40 circuit returns to European waters in August, the European 49er class will form part of the circuit competing for the 49er Europe Cup at the Extreme Sailing Series.
The top five places on the overall leaderboard remain unchanged with Artemis Racing holding the top spot, although three races from the end of day the Swedish team momentarily lost their lead to The Wave, Muscat. Leigh McMillan had a wobbly start to the day posting a ninth and a sixth giving Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand to chance to overhaul the Oman team. But a last place in the fifth race of the day for the Kiwis, gave McMillan’s team the opportunity to get back. Pierre Pennec’s all-French team on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild had a mixed bag of results – their best a first place in the third race of the day, and their worst a ninth – but they are still only 2 points behind the Kiwis: 'Racing was good for us,' said tactician Hervé Cunningham. 'It could have been much better as we had a few penalties which was not ideal. We have the speed, we need to be a bit more aggressive on the starts. Tomorrow we will try to finish every race in the top three.'
Max Sirena’s Luna Rossa team had a better day, leaving them just 4 points adrift of the French at the halfway stage. However, the ‘stand-out’ team of the day was the Swiss team Alinghi, posting three race wins: 'It is the first time in the season that we have three race wins in one day, so we are very happy,' said Tanguy Cariou. 'The beginning of the event was quite tough for us and we were disappointed with that but we have tried to close the gap. We have been more aggressive with our sailing and had some good starts.'
Britain’s Ian Williams, skipper of Team GAC Pindar, nearly scored their first race win of Act 4 and were leading round the final top mark in the fourth race of the day before a twist in the gennaker spoiled ruined that prospect. However, the team’s improved performance today allowed them to leap-frog Roland Gaebler’s Team Extreme on the overall leaderboard.
Going into the penultimate day 22 races have been staged so far and with a potential 12-14 races still on offer the teams have plenty of points to play for. What is clear now is that every point counts.
Check out the video of Red Bull Air Force skydiver Jeff Provenzano landing at the Race Village before hitching a ride with the Extreme 40.
49er Teams at Act 4, Boston: Trevor Parekh/Matt Dubreucq – CAN Zach Brown/ Thomas Barrows– USA Rob Frost/Tom Arbuckle – CAN Mike Brodeur/Tom Carlton – CAN Jon Goldsberry/Charlie Smythe – USA Max Fraser/Dan Morris – USA
Extreme Sailing Series Act 4 at Fan Pier Boston, USA Current overall standings after 22 races, Day 3 (2.7.11)
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points 1st Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Sean Clarkson / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 169 points 2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 159 points 3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Adam Beashel / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 158 points 4th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 156 points 5th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 151 points 6th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 148.2* points 7th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 141 points 8th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 114 points 9th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 106 points 10th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 83 points 11th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Bob Merrick 72 points