sail-world.com -- Extreme Sailing Series - A final shakedown before battle commences
Extreme Sailing Series - A final shakedown before battle commences
Thu, 3 Oct 2013
The Extreme Sailing Series Act 7 fleet took to the sky blue waters of Nice, on the French Riviera in admiration of local onlookers today for one final shakedown before battle commences tomorrow (3rd October) from 14.00 CEST. With less then 24 hours to go on the EDOX countdown clock until the eight-boat fleet take to the starting blocks, every minute trialling the Nice racecourse has been crucial.
Today’s practice races played out in light winds that built as the day progressed, giving the crews a taster of what the French Riviera has in store over the next four days. The penultimate Act of the 2013 Series presented by Land Rover is set to provide a testing forecast to the convoy of elite sailors, ranging from rolling seas and gusts up to 30 knots, to light and fickle breeze perhaps more associated with Nice. SAP Extreme Sailing Team co-skipper Jes Gram-Hansen evaluated; 'The weather forecast is showing that we can expect everything this weekend, so we should see some varied conditions! It’s not only the wind conditions we need to watch, but also the movement of the waves, which is due to set a challenge'.
The team representing the home nation, the first club by ALL4ONE, will be hoping their local knowledge gives them the edge on the Stadium Racecourse, despite only sailing together for the first time today. Skipper Jean-Christophe Mourniac spoke about the union of the crew. 'We have a lot of multihull experience aboard, but this is still the first time we've sailed together. I think the light wind conditions will be better for us as we're still adapting as a team, although the guys onboard are very strong!'
Frenchman Pierre Pennec, the only skipper to have won the Nice Act on both occasions the Extreme 40 fleet have visited the Bay of Angels, will be looking to make it a hatrick over the course of the weekend. Pennec spoke about re-joining Realteam at the helm. 'Today was a good day for training. I pushed the team hard, and we had some really good communication onboard. We'll go away and have a good de-brief tonight and come back tomorrow with even more power!'
Tomorrow the winds looks set to ramp up to 13-16 knots with possible gusts of up to 25knots across the bay. Act 7, Nice is one of the most critical on the calendar as the scene is set ahead of the final showdown in Florianópolis mid-November.