Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 has now wrapped up the second day of competition in Almeria. It was a mixed affair comprised of four open water races that were staged outside the port of Almeria and a stadium race inside the harbour which led to some dream starts and some nightmare endings.
The wind gods were initially kind bringing six knots of sea breeze, although this died away to four knots, and as the 11 boat Extreme 40 fleet started the final stadium race it blew its last breath as the sailors did their best to complete the short course. The good news is that more breeze is on its way for tomorrow and Saturday which will bring alive the stadium action for the Spanish public.
For the Swiss team Alinghi, skippered by Tanguy Cariou, the start of the second day went like a dream winning three races in a row that temporarily elevated them to fourth in the rankings, from ninth yesterday: 'Everything was perfect in the first three races, from the starts to tactics and boat speed, we couldn’t really dream of a better scenario,' said Tanguy Cariou. 'Unfortunately, the stadium race didn’t work as well for us. It seems difficult to find the right way to work as a team, to find our rhythm.' Alinghi ran out of time to complete the final stadium race. But Cariou remains optimistic: 'In terms of wind, the worst is behind us. We should have good sailing conditions from tomorrow, which we are all looking forward to.'
Ben Ainslie’s team on Oman Air keep hold of the top spot after the five races today which is pretty impressive considering this is all pretty new for the three-time Olympic gold medalist: 'This is a massive learning curve for me,' said Ainslie. 'It’s the first time I have sailed multihulls so I am learning something new each day which is very rewarding.' Emirates Team New Zealand, helmed by Adam Beashel, managed to keep in the mix all day and their hard work was rewarded as they climbed into second place, only three points behind Oman Air.
Leigh McMillan’s crew on The Wave, Muscat, also had a rewarding day claiming the final stadium race, their first race win since Act 6 in Trapani, and climbed four places on the leaderboard: 'Finally, we got out of our rut that we have been in since the last event in Nice,' said McMillan.
'We just put things back together today, and we are back on the right side of the pressure and it went our way. So it’s really nice to actually finish the day with some good results and be in the race for this event.'
The Omani team is now in fourth place overall in the standings from eighth place yesterday, five points behind Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. Ian Williams’ Team GAC Pindar gained one place on the leaderboard with their fifth place in the last race ahead of Max Sirena’s Luna Rossa who dropped to sixth place in the standings, despite winning the penultimate race.
Roman Hagara’s team on Red Bull Extreme Sailing had a bit of a nightmare day on the water with a tenth, eighth and like Luna Rossa ran out of time in the final race, and the team now find themselves lying in eighth place overall ahead of Team Extreme in ninth, who enjoyed their best race result in the regatta so far with a third place: 'We will see how it goes with more wind, which is the forecast for tomorrow,' said Team Extreme Spanish trimmer Anton Paz.
'These boats are big and the effort is titanic so we have had a bit of a truce with light breeze over the last couple of days. With more wind it will be non-stop on board!' The new Team Tilt is bottom of the leaderboard, not surprising in their class debut, but enjoyed a rewarding second place race result in the third race of the day.
With three days remaining at Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Almeria and more breeze forecast, there is plenty of action to come.
The fourth programme of the 6-part Extreme Sailing Series TV series has been released and will first air on CNBC across Europe and Asia at 17h30 CET on Saturday, 15th October. The half-hour programme covers all the action from Boston, where ‘home-town boy’ Terry Hutchinson on Artemis lost in the final race to the Dean Barker’s Kiwi crew on Emirates Team Newland Zealand. Cowes delivered plenty of breeze and drama including a spectacular capsize by the Aberdeen Asset Management team, and then Trapani which saw Britain’s three-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie make a successful debut in the circuit.
Up to 20 broadcasters around the world are broadcasting the TV series this year including Eurosport, Channel 4 (UK), Sport+ (France), Bloomberg and TRT (Turkey). Transmissions dates for programme four are also available for Band Sports (Brazil), TVNZ (New Zealand) Canal+ (France), Nelonen (Finalnd) and TV2 (Denmark), visit the TV schedule page on the website for more details. Some broadcasters, like Channel 4 in the UK, are opting to show the 6-part programmes back to back and will broadcast the whole series towards the end of the year.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 8, Almeria, Andalucia (Spain) standings after nine races: (13.10.11) Position / Team / Points
1st Oman Air (OMA), Ben Ainslie / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 72 points
2nd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Ray Davies / Jeremy Lomas / Derek Seward 69 points
3rd Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 64 points
4th The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 60 points
5th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemrskerk / Andrew Walsh / Brad Webb 55 points
6th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 54 points