Saturday, December 10, 2011

Title Up For Grabs at Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore

Eleven short, sharp and punishing races were held in gusty conditions on Singapore's Marina Bay  today as the 10 Extreme 40 teams enter the final showdown for the 2011 Series Championship.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
With the wind speed entering double digits for the first time this week the teams pushed hard and took more risks. In race eight, Red Bull Sailing Team's efforts to avoid a collision backfired and despite having  right of way, slammed into the back of Team GAC Pindar with enough force to throw bowman Craig Monk into the drink.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Luna Rossa look to be on an unstoppable roll – leading their French rivals Groupe Edmond de Rothschild by 56 points, a gap almost unseen this year between these teams after a consistent performance from the Italians and a string of disappointing scores by the French. 

Roman Hagara’s Red Bull Sailing Team would desperately love to finish on the podium here at the final event – they were last on the podium at the first Act 11 months ago – first, they have to fix their Extreme 40.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“The collision was a classic port-starboard and I tried to avoid Ian Williams but it was too late,” Hagara said. “We got a gust and we hit him on the back beam so our bow is destroyed with water coming in, but we managed to fix it for the races later on and luckily when Craig went overboard he wasn’t hurt and that’s the most important thing.” 

The Austrian team will have to work all night to repair their bow and fend off the challenges tomorrow from several teams who are only separated by a few points. Oman Air put in a strong performance today to move into 3rd place, Emirates Team New Zealand are sitting in 4th, Alinghi 5th and The Wave, Muscat is in 6th place. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It would be great to be able to finish on the podium at the final event,” said Oman Air skipper, and 2009 Extreme Sailing Series Champion, Chris Draper. “I think we can do that and we are going to trust our guts a little more as we probably have been thinking about it too hard.”

A brutal battle is expected for the third place on the 2011 overall podium with just three points separating Emirates Team New Zealand, Alinghi and The Wave, Muscat.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The only certainty tomorrow is that either Luna Rossa or Groupe Edmond de Rothschild will win the 2011 Championship – the rest will unfold on the final day of the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series tomorrow.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 9 Final, Singapore standings after 25 races (9.12.11)
Position / Team / Points

1st Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 186 points
2nd Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Matt Adams / Craig Monk 151 points
3rd Oman Air (OMA), Chris Draper / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 149 points
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Glenn Ashby / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 146 points
5th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 141.5 points
6th The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 140 points
7th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 128 points
8th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Bulkeley / Andrew Walsh / Matt Cornwell 119 points
9th Team Extreme – the first club™ (FRA), Sébastien Col / Jean-Christophe Mourniac / Franck Citeau / Christophe André 108 points
10th Team TILT (SUI), Alex Schneiter / Charles Favre / Arnaud Psarofaghis / Nicolas Heintz 103 points

Lulu Roseman

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