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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Alinghi Claim Russian Win - Act 4 Extreme Sailing Series™ in Saint Petersburg

After four days and 22 races, Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Saint Petersburg  came down to an edge-of-the-seat final race shoot out, with five teams gunning for the podium and no room for error. The game of Russian roulette between The Wave, Muscat and Alinghi continued until the final double pointer, but the Omani team needed seven boats between them to overhaul the Swiss.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
This proved too tall an order for Leigh McMillan, and Alinghi comfortably took their third Act win of the season. With the Series now at the halfway mark, helmsman Morgan Larson has already turned his attentions towards the bigger picture.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It’s nice to put a little stamp on our win and to let the guys know that we’re here to try and win the whole Series this time. The team is working well together and we finally feel confident that we can do it. Saying that, the heat is on, some teams are working really hard and we know that we’ll have to step up if we want to stay head,” Larson said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Hoping the Omani team would trip up and waiting in the wings to pounce for second place was Emirates Team New Zealand – and they almost did – until a last minute roll of the dice by Leigh McMillan and the team paid off. A fifth place in the final race was enough for the boat flying the colours of Oman to take second place. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“When you are in that position you need to do something and we needed to attack. We took the split at the gate, saw the opportunity, took it and it came good for us. You make a choice. You either follow or you make an attack and do something slightly different. We’re happy and pleased with the result. It’s been a tough regatta, but the standard of the fleet is really creeping up and the Emirates Team New Zealand boys did really well and obviously Alinghi were fantastic. The game is definitely raising,” said The Wave, Muscat tactician Sarah Ayton.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Emirates Team New Zealand welcomed world-class tactician Ray Davies to the team in Saint Petersburg, and the pairing of Davies with skipper Peter Burling at the back of the boat, quickly gelled. The Kiwi crew finished the day in style, winning the last race, consolidating their position both in Saint Petersburg and on the overall Series leaderboard, where the team are currently third. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“We had an up and down day so it’s kind of mixed emotions, we’re really happy to come away with another podium for the team, and for me to get another podium under my belt. We feel like we’re really improving the whole time, but not really being able to show that out on the racetrack was a little bit frustrating, but we were obviously really happy to come away with a win in that last race,” Burling said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Six short, sharp races were sailed on the final day and by the end the teams were jostling in 10 knots of breeze and 15 knot gusts, that swept over the top of the surrounding buildings on the Palace Embankment. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The starts were crucial as the teams moved through the gears. Get it right and reap the benefits, pull the trigger too early and get punished hard, as J.P. Morgan BAR found out in the final race. The team came hurtling into the line – skimming the committee boat and giving race management a fright en route – and were given a restart penalty, which saw their podium ambitions dashed. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It’s certainly a better result than the previous events, and we’re improving which is great. I think we’re slowly starting to understand a bit more about this type of racing, the demands and how to be successful. It will be great to sail on British waters. It’s not often I get to do that and get that opportunity so I’m really excited about that,” J.P. Morgan BAR Skipper Ben Ainslie said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Host Venue Partners in Saint Petersburg SAP will be pleased with their teams performance – not only winning the SAP Speed King Challenge clocking up a top speed of 21.6 knots – but with a sixth place enough to elevate the Danish entry from ninth to seventh on the overall Series leaderboard. After a strong start to the week, that saw Realteam in a podium position for the first two days, the Swiss team struggled under the bigger breeze, a final hour string of top three results wasn’t quite enough for the team to reach the podium, finishing the event in fifth place.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The scores on the second half of the leaderboard are even tighter, with the home entry Gazprom Team Russia leading the way in seventh place, just one point ahead of Oman Air, with Red Bull Sailing Team one point back in ninth. GAC Pindar saved their best for last, with their greatest result of the Act in the final double pointer in second place, to finish the Act in tenth, tied on points with Groupama sailing team. By his own admission Franck Cammas and the team on Groupama sailing team under performed in Russia, but the French finished strong, with two third places.

The invitational home team on RussianFirst certainly had the home support this week, and a race win on the final day saw the team finish on a high.Over four days Russia threw just about everything at the fleet, and is not an Act that will be easily forgotten.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4, Saint Petersburg presented by Land Rover standings after Day 4, 22 races (29.06.14)
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 160 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 148 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Peter Burling, Ray Davies, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 146 points.
4th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Phil Sparks, Matt Cornwell 120 points.
5th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Denis Girardet, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem 117 points.
6th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 113 points.
7th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 97 points.
8th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 96 points.
9th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson 95 points.
10th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, James Wierzbowski 88 points.
11th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Romain Motteau, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 88 points.
12th RussianFirst (RUS) Georgy Shayduko, Sergey Dzhienbaev, Pavel Kalinchev, Leonid Kazinets, Pavel Karachov 40 points.

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) 38 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 35 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 32 points.
4th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 28 points.
5th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 19 points.
6th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 17 points.
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 14 points.
8th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 13 points.
9th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 13 points.
10th Oman Air (OMA) 11 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 4 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Media

Bronenosec Claim Victory at RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup

Racing at the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup finished today with the tensest of conclusions, two boats tied going into the final race and the ultimate result of the regatta going right to the wire. Three races were held, once again in brilliant sunshine and a slowly building, but very very shifty westerly breeze blowing off the Andalucian coast.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es,
Artemis Racing has had ‘zero to hero’ tendencies this week and at the end of the regatta had scored the most race wins, three bullets from 11 races. Torbjörn Törnqvist’s crew, with British multiple Olympic medallist Iain Percy calling tactics, won today’s opening race, but then suffered a badly wrapped spinnaker in the second that caused them to finish in last place, dropping them off the podium. They ultimately finished fifth overall.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es,
Star performer of the day was unquestionably Valentin Zavadnikov and Leonid Lebedev’s Synergy Russian Sailing Team, with Lebedev behind the wheel today. Synergy won the last two races as the breeze increased to more than 20 knots for the final one.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es,
“There is a rhythm to what’s been happening out there and today we were able to use that because we had reasonably good starts,” said the team’s American tactician Ed Baird. “When we could get off the line clean and just play our own game, we could use the shift pattern. When you get behind right away then someone always controls where you go and that doesn’t work out as well.”
Photo: MartinezStudio.es,
Baird, the 32nd America’s Cup winning helmsman, called the substantial shifts to perfection making sure Synergy was not only in the right place but had room to manoeuvre when the change in wind occurred. “It worked out. The guys sailed the boat really well today.”
Photo: MartinezStudio.es,
However in the end in the shifty winds off Sotogrande it was not the star performer but the most consistent that won the regatta. In this respect the crew that shone was Bronenosec, skippered for this regatta by Slovenian RC44 grand master Igor Lah. Through 11 races in an 11 boat fleet, she never finished lower than sixth.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es,
“This was a win for Bronenosec,” said Lah. “The guys did a really great job. I just tried to help a little bit.” Lah, Bronenosec’s stand-in helmsman, is the reigning RC44 World Champion with his own boat Team CEEREF, but, aside from this regatta, is having a year out of the class.

As to the key to their success, Lah commented: “We just tried to keep it simple – nothing else and to avoid the crowd.It paid off. It was really nice conditions today. A little bit shifty, but not too much. I really love it when it is 20+ knots downwind. Flying downwind today was really cool.”

Sadly the team to lose out to the forceful Russians was John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum that had a strong start to the week. Having taken over the series leader’s ‘golden wheels’ going into this regatta, the local heroes were viewed as favourites on their home waters.

Going into the final race, Peninsula Petroleum and Bronenosec were tied on points and on the first beat it became evident that, rather than match race each other, they were going to sail their own races. Bassadone’s team headed out to the extreme left while Bronenosec took the extreme right. Ultimately Lah’s team came home third to the local boat’s sixth – enough to secure Bronenosec the regatta win.

“I don’t think that made the difference,” said Bassadone of the split. “At one point going up the first beat we were ahead of Synergy – and they won the race – but that’s how it has been. We watched where they [Bronenosec] were, but it was so shifty that you needed to go the right way.”

Bronenosec’s tactician Michele Ivaldi agreed: “The reality was during the race there were four lead changes. We kept pushing for every metre and until the last cross downwind we didn’t put it to bed. It was fantastic.”

Apart from the result, Bassadone said he was pleased with the way the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup had gone. “It has been brilliant. The organisers have done a very good job and it has been a real success. We are very happy and from what I hear everybody else has had a good time. Puerto Sotogrande would be happy to have us back -I hope soon, maybe in 2016.”

However the good news for Bassadone is that in the overall results, Peninsula Petroleum remains overall leaders in the RC44 Championship Tour fleet racing, now that the discards have kicked in after three regattas. She remains on three points joint with Chris Bake’s Team Aqua and with Synergy Russian Sailing Team on five.

RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup Ranking after 11 races

1. Bronenosec Sailing Team 6 5 3 3 5 1 5 6 4 4 3 – 45
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 8 2 2 6 7 5 9 2 5 1 1 – 48
3. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 1 3 5 11 1 4 2 4 6 5 6 – 48
4. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge
5 1 8 10 2 9 3 1 3 2 9 – 53
5. Artemis Racing 9 7 1 4 6 3 1 9 1 11 5 – 57
6. Team Aqua 3 9 6 2 8 6 8 3 8 8 4 – 65
7. Aleph Racing 2 4 11 7 3 8 10 10 2 3 8 – 68
8. Charisma 10 6 7 8 4 7 6 5 9 6 2 – 70
9. Team Nika 4 10 9 1 11 2 7 7 7 7 7 – 72
10. Katusha 7 8 4 5 9 10 4 8 11 9 11 – 86
11. MAG Racing 11 11 10 9 10 12 (OCS) 11 11 10 10 10 -115

RC44 Media

Day 3 Fleet Racing Highlights - RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup

Day 3 Fleet Racing Highlights - RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup

Hardesty Claims 2014 Etchell World Championship Title

Newport, Rhode Island

Consistency is king and Bill Hardesty and crew of Stephanie Roble, Taylor Canfield and Marcus Eagan have earned the 2014 Etchells World Championship by sticking to a steady plan for success.
Photo: © Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing
The plan was formulated six months ago, when Hardesty put together his young team consisting of Match Race World Champion Taylor Canfield and top women’s match racer Stephanie Roble, both 25 years old and keen to dedicate themselves to a worthy goal. Add top trimmer Marcus Eagan to the mix and the crew was complete.

After a tough series in Miami last winter, Hardesty made the decision to train in his home waters of San Diego where he had top talent and similar conditions to the worlds venue in Newport. 

“Tom Carruthers, Vince Brun and Bruce Nelson helped us up our game through sail testing and boat tuning,” Hardesty said. But they didn't focus solely on boat speed. “We worked on evaluating risk management to make good decisions, define it, buy into it and follow through; that all came together at this regatta and helped with our consistency,” Hardesty said.

"Having three elite match racers on board gave us an advantage at the start through our time and distance timing and laylines, which made starting easier and more comfortable. We only had one bad start, that was the race we finished 20th,” he added.

“This was one of the toughest to win and the level of sailing was at its highest. But it's very exciting and I love the class, I love the boat.”

Winning the last race was Peter Duncan, who has local ties and a crew that included included former world champion Jud Smith and Thomas Blackwell.

“We didn’t sail a particularly great series. Our expectations were certainly higher, so this was great to end on a high note, which is better than the alternative.” Duncan said.

Ante Razmilovic, Chris Larson and Stuart Flinn finished second overall, with 2013 world champion Marvin Beckman, Steve Hunt and Ezra Culver in third.

2014 Etchells World Championship hosted by the New York Yacht Club in association with Sail Newport
Final Top-10 Results, 

See here for full results >>>

Place, Sail Number, Boat Name, Skipper, Hometown, Race 1, Race 2, Race 3, Race 4, Race 5, Race 6, Race 7, Race 8, Race 9, Total (not including worst score)
1. USA 979, Line Honors, Bill Hardesty, San Diego, 2-2-20-1-4-5-13-15-96/DNC 62.0
2. HKG 1333, Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic, London, U.K., 3-6-8-44-14-19-3-31-13 97.0
3, USA 1378, The Martian, Marvin Beckmann, Houston, 8-3-11-5-15-46-32-7-19 100.0
4. USA 1308, KGB, Senet Bischoff & Ben Kinney, Larchmont, N.Y. 10-20-25-52-1-31-2-9-15 113.0
5. USA 1372, Aretas, Skip Dieball, Beaver Dam, Wis., 38-13-4-19-7-17-1-61-23 122.0
6. CAN 1396, Hank Lammens, Norwalk, Conn., 1-8-1-12-16-7-47-49-42 134.0
7. AUS 1383, Triad, John Bertrand, South Yarra, Australia, 4-10-5-28-27-23-53-43-2 142.0
8. USA 1376, Arethusa, Phil Lotz, Newport, R.I., 9-18-6-96/BFD-52-9-12-37-8 151.0
9. USA 1137, La Tormenta, Shannon Bush, Refugio, Texas, 26-16-31-37-6-21-6-16-66 159.0
10. USA 1404, Lifted, Jim Cunningham, San Francisco, 42-4-32-40-50-3-4-25-10 160.0

Etchell Worlds Media

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Carnage Amongst The Musical Chairs at Extreme Sailing Series St Petersburg - Day 3

A massive 10 races were sailed on the penultimate day of Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Saint Petersburg in ideal sailing conditions that saw six different race winners shake up the Act leaderboard.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Three race wins for Alinghi saw the Swiss clock up an astonishing 74 points, and regain control of the regatta, which helmsman Morgan Larson described as his “best day ever” in three years on the circuit. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
There was plenty of carnage with several teams running aground in the shallows of the beach, but the real story of the day were the movers and shakers among the pack. Huge gains were made by J.P. MorganBAR, SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Oman Air and Gazprom Team Russia and with eight teams now eying the podium, the final day will be epic.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Blue skies and 10 knots of breeze made for thrilling and exhausting racing. Despite a handful of results at the bottom of the fleet, Leigh McMillan and The Wave, Muscat, held off the onslaught from the ever encroaching pack to finish the day in second place. A win for Emirates Team New Zealand in the final hour secured the Kiwi team’s third place position. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It was a tough day, it was really puffy and just enough wind so that when you got a puff you got enough speed. It felt like we were getting a bit hard done by in a few of the races early on, so it was great to come away with a win in that last race and a bit of luck came our way,” said skipper Peter Burling.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Both Ben Ainslie and his British team on J.P. Morgan BAR, and the co-skippers on the Danish outfit SAP Extreme Sailing Team were able to clock a win-a-piece today, and are on the edge of the podium, in fourth and fifth places respectively with just two points in it. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It was a great day for sailing here and it was fantastic to see conditions like this. Race Director Phil Lawrence and the race management team did a really good job to get as many races in as they could now that the conditions are so good. Like everybody else we had a few ups and downs but in general it was a good day for us. Tomorrow we need to keep winning some races, I think we’ve improved a lot this season and we felt good about the way we were sailing today. So if we can keep doing that and improving as a team the results will come from there,” Ainslie said back at the dock.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
A string of consistent results for Oman Air upgraded the team’s overnight position from ninth, to sixth to see them the biggest climbers of the day. The home team Gazprom Team Russia had their best day of the season so far, managing to secure two race wins, and according to the SAP analytics, were one of the fastest boats off the startline second only to Alinghi. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
With less then 20 points separating the home nation team from third placed Emirates Team New Zealand, the Russian team’s helmsman Paul Campbell-James has his sights firmly set on the podium. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It was a day of highs and lows. As soon as the breeze comes up we’ve got good pace, we were fully in the mix today whereas yesterday I didn’t really feel that we were. Hopefully tomorrow there’s a good forecast with a bit more pressure again and we’ll be fighting – the podium is still on, and that’s the goal for tomorrow,” Campbell-James said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Red Bull Sailing Team, who struggled to gain traction on the Neva in the first two days, turned that on its head today, with a scattering of good results including two race wins to boost them two places up the leaderboard to ninth. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It was a much better day today. Yesterday we had a debrief, went through everything and changed the system a little bit on the boat, and it got much better. It was really tough, the conditions are tricky with gusts and shifting and the current is also in the game. It’s important for us to catch up on points, we need to make less mistakes and that’s the goal,” said Skipper Roman Hagara.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Realteam, who have been a picture of consistency all week, were unable to gain a footing and have slid further down the leaderboard from third to eighth place. Groupama  also lost a frustrating four places today, and are now seven points behind the Australian GAC Pindar, who under the guidance of Olympic champion Nathan Wilmot, were able to pick up a place on the leaderboard in tenth place.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The scene is set for a massive final showdown tomorrow, with a double-points final race shoot out still to come, which if todays racing is anything to go by, could see the tide turn again on the leaderboard.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4, Saint Petersburg presented by Land Rover standings after Day 3, 16 races (28.06.14) Position / Team / Points

1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 117 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 105 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Peter Burling, Ray Davies, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 93 points.
4th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Phil Sparks, Matt Cornwell 85 points.
5th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 83 points.
6th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 76 points.
7th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 75 points.
8th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Denis Girardet, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem 72 points.
9th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson 69 points.
10th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, James Wierzbowski 61 points.
11th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Romain Motteau, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 54 points.
12th RussianFirst (RUS) Georgy Shayduko, Sergey Dzhienbaev, Pavel Kalinchev, Leonid Kazinets, Pavel Karachov 19 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Media

Competition Heats Up at RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup - Day 4

Four races were held on the penultimate day of the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup in challenging conditions that were quirky and full of wind the shifts. By the final race the wind was gusting up to 20 knots with a sharp chop.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
The opening two races where held in a light southerly ‘wind from Gibraltar’ and it was appropriate that John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum team, heralding from the nearby ‘Rock’, came out on top in the first - a good comeback after finishing last yesterday.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“John opened the window somewhere. Today the most important thing was that we had very good starts, which didn’t happen yesterday when we were over the line early. It is very nice to show that we are able to recover after a bad day – that is very important for our futures,” said Peninsula Petroleum’s tactician Vasco Vascotto.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
The ‘Gibraltar’ breeze began to fade during race two when it was the turn of Bronenosec to take the win ahead of Team Nika.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“If the teamwork is perfect, then it is easy to steer. We made one or two bad starts today, which made it a little bit hard to get back. We were always trying to be fifth or better – that was our goal,” said Slovenian Igor Lah, Bronenosec's stand-in skipper.

After a break, conveniently around lunchtime, the wind died before filling in from the west, the same very shifty offshore breeze that dominated the first two days of the regatta.

“The third and the fourth race were in fast conditions. It is always nice to sail in 20 knots, because then the boat is just flying and downwind it was great. That is why we do it! It is sometimes hard to steer, because it is a pretty tight range where you can sail the optimum way, and sometimes it is on the edge,” Lah added.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
In the offshore breeze there were plenty of opportunities, particularly on the upwinds. The first to make use of this was Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing. 

“We were about third or fourth and we plugged out a bit further left. But it has been a very difficult day, the wind has been all over the place,at every point of the compass. When the wind came in from the west, it was fun racing and we got one right and one wrong,” said Artemius tactician Iain Percy

After their win, in race four Artemis Racing came home a lowly ninth, dropping them from third to fourth overall. “We had a tough last one. The breeze was up and the boats were flying. All the teams were getting pretty tired by the end, so people were making mistakes. We are pretty close, in the hunt,” concluded Percy.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
The final race was won by Kirill Podlsky’s Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge with a massive margin. 

“It was nice to get a big win. The second beat fell into our hands. We came around [the leeward gate] in a massive right shift and as we got to the layline we got a massive left one. That doesn’t happen often,” said tactician Cameron Dunn.

After a slow start, the new Dutch team, Charisma, with crew that includes London 2012 Olympic Laser gold medallist Tom Slingsby as tactician and British Finn World Champion Giles Scott, had a better day today and have pulled up to eighth place.

“We’ve had to change the rigging and we have more to do to the boat, but when we put those things in place, we are confident we will be able to catch up and get into the top five. We’re up against boats that have been here for years, with the best sailors. My boys have a good reputation, but we’re still a new team.” said Chrisma owner Nico Poons.

At the end of play, and with seven races sailed, remains close at the top. Peninsula Petroleum has managed to pull out a three point lead over Igor Lah’s team on board Bronenosec, with Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge now up to third, five points behind their compatriots.

Tomorrow racing is scheduled to start at 1100. 

RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup Ranking - after eight races

1. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 1 3 5 11 1 4 2 4 – 31
2. Bronenosec Sailing Team 6 5 3 3 5 1 5 6 – 34
3. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge 5 1 8 10 2 9 3 1 – 39
4. Artemis Racing 9 7 1 4 6 3 1 9 – 40
5. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 8 2 2 6 7 5 9 2 – 41
6. Team Aqua 3 9 6 2 8 6 8 3 – 45
7. Team Nika 4 10 9 1 11 2 7 7 – 51
8. Charisma 10 6 7 8 4 7 6 5 – 53
9. Aleph Racing 2 4 11 7 3 8 10 10 – 55
10. Katusha 7 8 4 5 9 10 4 8 – 55
11. MAG Racing 11 11 10 9 10 12 (OCS) 11 11 – 85

RC44 Media

Day 2 Fleet Racing - RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fickle Winds Challenge Extreme Sailing Fleet in St Petersburg - Day 2

The race conditions on the Neva River remained capricious in Saint Petersburg today for the 12-strong Extreme 40 fleet, against the backdrop of the Winter Palace and the gilded dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, where mastering the light breeze, overcoming the strong current and remaining consistent paid dividends.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The Wave, Muscat showed that despite the tough conditions it could be done, notching up a third place and a race win – but more importantly beating the clock – that saw others running out of time and losing out on points, including their long standing duelling partners, Alinghi. The Oman team now have a slim three-point advantage at the top of the leaderboard. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“That was our big gain really, and it’s the only time we’ve really been able to get some points over Alinghi in the six races that we’ve had. They’re very quick and very difficult to beat. It’s still a long way to go, we’ve had a good team effort, we’re really happy with our sailing but we can’t predict what’s going to happen next,” said The Wave Muscat Skipper Leigh McMillan
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Late in the day, Race Management did a good job to get two races in, before the breeze completely died forcing them to abandon the final race and much to the dismay of home nation team Russian First who were leading the race. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“Now we know we can sail at the top of the fleet, I’m sure we will be able to do the same for the rest of the regatta. I’m very happy that the Extreme Sailing Series has come to Saint Petersburg and Russia, because the level of competition is really high and we see some very good sailing. I hope many people will come out to watch the racing over the weekend. It’s fantastic to have such a high level sport taking place here in Russia,” Russian First skipper and four-times Olympian Georgy Shayduko said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Alinghi struggled to gain traction today, with a fifth in the first race before timing out in the second along with the two home teams. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“Today was a pretty tough day, the breeze was shifting around a lot and we had big holes, and unfortunately we found a couple of them. In days like this it’s always still about the pressure, even though there’s quite a large current running through the racecourse, it’s always the breeze that wins out, you’ve got to make sure you’re sailing in the pressure and that’s what makes the difference. Tomorrow we need to just stay in the wind, avoid the holes and that will make the difference,” said tactician Stuart Pollard, who replaces Olympic champion Anna Tunnicliffe for this Act.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
One man determined to give no quarter in Saint Petersburg is Jérôme Clerc with his talented crew on Realteam, and the Swiss lake champions clocked two fourth places, to hold onto third place, tied on points with Emirates Team New Zealand. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Lurking just behind them are the British on J.P. Morgan BAR, and a win in the first race of the day helped upgrade the team’s overnight position from sixth to fifth place.
Ben Ainslie Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It’s a tricky place to sail. But it’s beautiful and it’s very special to be racing on the Neva River – a pretty unique experience for all of us. The racing has been a real challenge but we are going OK so far. Hopefully we will keep moving forward and improving in the final two days," the team’s four-times Olympic champion skipper Ben Ainslie said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Four points further back in sixth place are the Danish match racing experts and co-skippers of SAP Extreme Sailing Team Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner, who are four points ahead of one of the most diverse sailors on the circuit, Franck Cammas and Groupama sailing team.
Franck Cammas Photo: © Lloyd Images
A seventh and an eighth place for GAC Pindar was enough for the Aussies to gain a place on the leaderboard. They are now one point ahead of Oman Air, skippered by Rob Greenhalgh, who had a mixed bag of results today with a tenth and a second place.
GAC Pindar Skipper, Nathan Wilmot Photo: © Lloyd Images
“The results are pretty mixed all over, we had a bad and a good race today, but with two races you can’t really look into it too much. It’s a great place here, it’s just a shame that the wind isn’t quite playing ball. You have to start well, look out for the puffs of wind and try and make the most of it,” Greenhalgh said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Gazprom Team Russia struggled to gain a foothold in the tough conditions, and were punished hard today, losing two places on the Act leaderboard, as were the Olympic champions on Red Bull Sailing Team, who have struggled to get to grips with the short-track stadium racecourse, currently in eleventh place.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4, Saint Petersburg presented by Land Rover standings after Day 2, 6 races (27.06.14) Position / Team / Points

1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 46 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 43 points.
3rd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Denis Girardet, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem 40 points.
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Peter Burling, Ray Davies, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 40 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Phil Sparks, Matt Cornwell 35 points.
6th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 31 points.
7th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Romain Motteau, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 27 points.
8th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, James Wierzbowski 22 points.
9th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 21 points.
10th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 17 points.
11th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson 12 points.
12th RussianFirst (RUS) Georgy Shayduko, Sergey Dzhienbaev, Pavel Kalinchev, Leonid Kazinets, Pavel Karachov 5 points.

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