Monday, October 6, 2014

Alinghi Wins Act 7 Extreme Sailing Series In Nice

Morgan Larson and the Swiss team Alinghi have snatched victory from the hands of their fellow countrymen Realteam in the final race to win Act 7 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Nice.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“We were confident at the start of the year that we had a little bit of an edge, but now the rest of the field are showing some real force. I think now you are seeing the future. More than half the fleet have the ability to win an event, and that’s exactly what we’re going to see going into Sydney. That event is going to be worth double points, and if we go out with a bad performance and The Wave, Muscat or Emirates Team New Zealand come in with a strong one – we’re going to lose. So we’ve got to go out and try and get back on the podium,” Larson said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Alinghi’s biggest Series rivals The Wave, Muscat needed to pull something special out of the bag today after starting in eleventh. The team showed early signs of recovery, winning two of the first four races, but Leigh McMillan and the team's hopes were dashed when a penalty took him from third to last in race five, from which they never recovered, to finish the regatta in eighth position. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“We said we would push hard, we did and we won some races. We’ve really learnt from these lessons. We’ve had a pretty good run for the last two and a half years and it’s only a matter of time before you slip up and make mistakes. You learn from those, and we’ll be going into Sydney very much looking to win,” McMillan said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Realteam, who led for the first two days in Nice, have been impressive on the French Riviera but couldn’t quite hold off the more experienced Alinghi. The Swiss team, who has improved Act by Act this year, took second overall, matching their season best from Act 3, Qingdao.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“We are really happy to finish second on this Act. We sailed very well today but unfortunately we did very badly on the last race which counts double and is key to win. But this is part of the game; we are a young team compared to Alinghi which has a strong experience on this kind of Stadium Racing. Everything remains open for the last Act of Sydney where points count for double, so I am sure it will be a fierce battle,” Skipper Jerome Clerc said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
J.P. Morgan BAR had their strategy sussed today using the same tactics in every race start to come off the pin end of the line and their persistence paid dividends. The Brits, led by four-times Olympic champion Ben Ainslie, scored two race wins and fifth place in the final race of the day was enough to finish in third overall for their second podium position of the year. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It was another really tough day here, as they all have been, with the winds changing a lot and the tough competition. But we seemed to find our feet a little bit more and get a good solid set of results together and finish on the podium so we are really happy with that. It’s been challenging for all the teams but for us it’s been really good in a number of ways, we have worked on a different areas and we are happy with how we developed through the week,” said Ainslie.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Seven races were sailed on the final day, with 29 in total over four days, and the threatening thunderstorm played havoc with the breeze, causing big shifts that meant mistakes were punished hard. The Austrians on Red Bull Sailing Team were unphased, and had great upwind speed today, which propelled them up the leaderboard from eighth at the start of the day to fourth overall, just missing out on their first podium position of the year by one point. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It’s very good for the team. We were improving over the last couple of days so I think it’s good motivation for the last event, and we know we can do it, which is really good. It was a tough start for us, we had our heads down on the first and second day and we just thought: this is not how we want to perform here. On the first day we struggled in the light winds, so we changed tactics each day and it just got better and better and in the end it worked out really well for us. It’s just little improvements but it really helps,” Skipper Roman Hagara said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Emirates Team New Zealand came home a respectable fifth place, which has secured them third in the overall Series rankings place heading to Sydney, while GAC Pindar secured their best result of the year, finishing in sixth place.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
In seventh was SAP Extreme Sailing Team, who steadily improved as the week progressed to finish in seventh place with the home favourite Groupama Sailing Team finishing in ninth tied with The Wave, Muscat. Rob Greenhalgh’s Oman Air finished in tenth place with Phil Robertson and Gazprom Team Russia in last place.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 7 Nice standings after Day 4, 29 races (5.10.14)
Position / Team / Points

1. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 183 points.
2. Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wasem 171 points.
3. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Campbell-James, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell 161 points.
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Thomas Cjakgak, Stewart Dodson 160 points.
5. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Peter Burling, Glenn Ashby, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 156 points.
6. GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Seve Jarvin, Hugh Styles, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski 146 points.
7. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Christian Kamp, Brad Farrand 145 points.
8. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 143 points.
9. Groupama Sailing Team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Tanguy Cariou, Valentin Bellet, Arnaud Jarlegan, Devan Le Bihan 143 points.
10. Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 138 points.
11. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 133 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Media

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