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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Estate Master Triumphant at Farr 40 Pittwater One Design Trophy

Jeff Carter’s Edake and Martin Hill’s Estate Master staged a mighty final charge for supremacy in the deciding race of the Farr 40 Pittwater One Design Trophy, Estate Master’s fourth place to Edake’s sixth gifting them a narrow series victory.
Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
“Yesterday we felt we had a speed edge, today we couldn’t find it but in the end we won four of the eight races and we are happy with that result,” Hill said dockside at Newport’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.
Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
“It was really difficult to get consistency out there. We went into the final race knowing we’d hunt for Edake, basically cover them and make sure they never split from us, and keep it conservative. I’ve been sailing against Jeff for over 20 years and he did a great job, and it was terrific to see Good Form get boat of the day,” Hill added.
Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
Edake is pronounced ‘Ed-ache’, a play on the word headache, which is exactly what Carter, his new tactician this season, Steve Thomas, and the crew were to Estate Master as they set about dismantling the latter’s handy day one lead. Team Edake remained consistent as results swung wildly for many boats in the up and down pressure on an inshore course - until race eight when they too felt the pain of a high score and worse, finishing two places behind Estate Master which cost them the overall win.
Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
Carter admitted the result felt “good and bad. As of yesterday Estate Master was clearly in front and we pulled that back many points to get in front by race seven and set up a good finish. Hats off to Martin and his team. We are a Corinthian team so we are pretty happy we can match it with the pro boats. I’m sure at the next regattas they aren’t going to let us go anywhere.”

After races five and six in cool 8-12 knot sou’easterly winds the breeze went to the east then clocked back to the south, with plenty of flux in both strength and direction. The oscillations frustrated the RPAYC race committee trying to set a fair course between Morning Bay and the east of Scotland Island though they did create opportunities for the Farr 40 crews in the second half to get back in the game.

Third overall went to Rob Pitts’ Double Black from Victoria which suffered a mid-series crisis and was off the dais until their closing second and third results. Double Black, Good Form and Zen all finished on 32 points, instigating a countback to break the deadlock.

The combined talent aboard Joe de Kock’s Newcastle based Farr 40 Good Form hit their stride in race seven, beating the fleet around the short course followed by a second in race eight to be named boat of the day.

Steering Rob Reynolds’ Exile was multiple Laser world champion Glenn Bourke.

The next event for the Farr 40 fleet is the Newcastle One Design Trophy January 21-22, 2017 which leads into the NSW State Title in February and National Championships: John Calvert-Jones Trophy in March.


Lisa Ratcliff

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Esate Master Dominate Pittwater On Opening Day of Farr 40 One Design Trophy

Sydney's Pittwater, sometimes called ‘shift water’, exhibited its best and worst on day one of the Farr 40 One Design Trophy. The race management team managed to run four races in breeze ranging from three to 15 knots between Taylor’s Point at Clareville and the offshore community of Morning Bay which fronts the Kur-ing-gai Chase National Park.
Estate Master Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
Today Martin Hill’s Estate Master crew were smiling having more often than not picked the right shifts, but they could well appreciate the frustration felt by others.
Fleet downwind Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
“It was a typically tough Pittwater day, very shifty NW to SW and the whole team did a very good job staying patient. Our starts weren’t great so we were on the back foot but managed to pull ourselves to the front. Everyone had their moments, Double Black was up there, Joe de Kock looked good with Good Form and Mim (Massimo Belgiorno-Nettis) did really well for his first day of fleet racing driving Transfusion.” said Estate Master’s tactician David Chapman.
Bowmen Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
“Three firsts is very exciting. The NW going into a southerly with the hot westerly in between is always difficult, and racing in between Scotland Island and Taylor’s Point you’re asking for trouble," Martin Hill said.
Double Black Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
Jeff Carter’s Edake had the next best day and sits five points from the lowest point scorer going into day two and Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen holds third, similarly aided by two seconds.Newcomer to racing on the skinny inshore side of the Northern Beaches peninsula, Victorian skipper Rob Pitts and his Double Black crew were the only ones who managed to snaffle a win off Estate Master.

“It was a game of snakes and ladders and we managed to pull out a win. It was really good fun and a nice sunny day; the westerly made it pretty tricky.” Pitts said.

“With one gust of 15 knots, mostly 8-10 knots and dropping down to as low as three, it was light and all over the shop,” commented PRO Steve Merrington.

The fleet is due to go offshore tomorrow and Hill and Chapman are all for racing off Palm Beach, to gain as much experience as possible as they prepare for their Etchells national title next month.

The Farr 40 owners will meet with Merrington at the RPAYC Sunday morning to make the call on whether to head to the Broken Bay offshore zone for the last three races starting 1000hrs, or set up for another inshore day in calmer waters.

A southerly up to 30 knots is due to hit Sydney overnight and there are some concerns the resulting sea state could make it too hard for the race committee to set the course marks. Sunday’s SSE breeze is forecast to moderate to 13 knots by mid-afternoon.

For full results see>>>

Lisa Ratcliff

Sunday, December 11, 2016

What The Skippers Said - Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Sydney

Arnaud Psarofaghis, Alinghi: 

“We had a bad regatta in Cardiff, I didn’t sail well at all. I made some bad decisions but after then we started from the beginning again. I learned that I needed to be patient sometimes and not to put pressure on the team. I realised I just had to sit at the back and concentrate on steering, and the crew would do a fantastic job doing the rest. The GC32s are perfect. At the beginning of the season we thought it would be hard to compete on small courses in foiling boats but now the Extreme Sailing Series is even better than before.”
Morgan Larson, Oman Air: 
“We started out really well and were a step ahead but everyone caught up. We didn’t make that next step, and that’s what we need to do if we’re going to come back stronger next season. These boats are a challenge to race and the game gets tougher every day. We just didn’t execute the middle to the end of the season properly and that really put us under pressure in Sydney.”
Roman Hagara, Red Bull Sailing Team: 
“We were always hanging in there with Oman Air and Alinghi but especially in the stronger breeze Alinghi had an edge on the whole fleet so it was tough to beat them. We tried hard. Yesterday we came quite close but the boat handling is really important in these boats and today we struggled a bit - so it’s some little points but in the end the result is good.”

Jes Gram-Hansen, SAP Extreme Sailing Team: 
“It was fantastic day for us, we sailed the best we have all season. We’re delighted. It’s been a difficult season for us but all the time we’ve believed we could mix it up with the best teams and here in Sydney we’ve proved that. To finish second is amazing. We just kept pushing, talking to one another about everything, and we kept the faith in ourselves. We’re already looking forward to next year – we’re sure we can fight for the podium. The boats have been fantastic. The GC32s have been amazing for the circuit and I think all the teams have had a fantastic season.”

Neil Hunter, Land Rover BAR Academy: “Obviously at the start of the year we had a couple of senior team members onboard, we put in some pretty decent results, a podium in Muscat, Oman and a fourth place in China. Then we went to the full Academy team in Cardiff and obviously we had a lot on, being the youngest team in the fleet, but we’ve developed massively as a team over the last few events and we’re at the point where we’re winning races. I think this event has been outstanding for us and we’re really showing that we’re developing well as a team and we’re putting in some decent results.”

Sean Langman, Team Australia: 
“Here we are at the end of the event, we’ve learnt a lot, we’ve managed to squeeze one third place in today which was pretty exciting for our team and all the rest of the races we were actually fully racing today so we know we’re getting better but there’s just a lot of refinement to come. As the pressure grows and you’re starting to race then all the little mistakes start slipping in so then you slip back again. We’re looking forward to the challenge ahead of us now, we’ve just got to sort out how we get a boat and how we get ourselves on the circuit.”

Chris Steele, RNZYS Lautrec Racing: 
“I think we certainly improved from almost survival mode on day one to fighting and getting competitive yesterday and then another step further today being able to get a race win and a couple of podiums as well. Awesome effort from all the guys and we’re just really thankful to OC Sport for the opportunity to come and compete in the last stage of the 2016 season and a big thanks to everyone that’s helped out with getting us over here. Lautrec, mainly for the funding, also Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, without those guys it would be pretty hard to be competitive and also thanks to the full crew, I think everyone played a big part in getting us around the track. It was just an awesome fun week and we’re really happy to be able to come over here and hopefully it’s not the last time.”
Extreme Sailing Series Media

Alinghi Fly The Swiss Flag In Sydney andTake Out Third Extreme Sailing Series Title


The Swiss team Alinghi were crowned 2016 Extreme Sailing Series champions today after an epic final-day shoot-out at the season finale in Sydney.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
In a nail-biting showdown that went right down to the wire, Arnaud Psarofaghis' men saw off a last-ditch attempt from arch rivals Oman Air to complete their ascendancy to the top of the 2016 rankings.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
It's the third time Alinghi have won the Extreme Sailing Series following victories in 2008 and 2014 but the first time they've done so 'flying' on the new lightning fast GC32 catamarans.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Morgan Larson's Oman Air started the eighth and final Act of the season with the upper hand taking a narrow two-point lead overall onto the iconic waters of Sydney Harbour, but Alinghi knew that if they could defeat Larson's crew they would claim the Series crown for themselves.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Alinghi started the final day in charge with a 19-point buffer on Oman Air and opened their scorecards on trademark form with two seconds as Sydney Harbour delivered champagne sailing under bright blue skies and with winds of 13 to 20 knots.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
However, a wobble halfway through the afternoon gave hope to Oman Air and they answered by notching up a podium finish of their own to narrow the gap once more. Desperate to force Alinghi into making a mistake that could allow them back into contention, Larson pulled out every trick in his book but time and time again the Swiss crew clawed back into the action.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Alinghi's season victory was only guaranteed following the 24th and penultimate race of the Act, their fourth place ahead of Oman Air in fifth finally pushing glory beyond Larson's reach.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
"We're really happy, and pretty relieved too. It was a really intense day – we started really well then had a few bad starts. Then we got into a game with Oman Air that we didn't really want to play," co-skipper and helmsman Psarofaghis said.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
"Halfway through the day Oman Air were still able to come back but then we started to sail simply again. When we sailed our own race away from the pack we were really fast and that was the key for us."
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Oman Air's dominance over the first half of 2016 saw Alinghi playing catch-up but as the season went on the Swiss crew became known as the kings of consistency, winning just over a quarter of the 169 races held this year and the last four Acts outright.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Despite giving it everything Oman Air had to settle for third place in Act 8 behind Danish team SAP Extreme Sailing Team, and second on the overall standings.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
"It was a great day of sailing but unfortunately we had too big a deficit to make up, and Alinghi were two notches better. We threw a few things at them and gave them some penalties but they battled back as they do," Larson said.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
"We should have come to this event with Alinghi needing to put a couple of boats between us to win, but instead we came in basically tied and it should never have come to that really. But we can't be too disappointed – any time you're on the podium in this event it's a good thing."
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Red Bull Sailing Team dominated the penultimate day in Sydney but couldn't keep the momentum going, slipping off the Act podium but retaining third place overall. Land Rover BAR Academy recovered from a spectacular capsize on day one and a broken mainsail yesterday to score three podium finishes from eight races today, finishing fifth both in Act 8 and overall.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Kiwi wildcard crew RNZYS Lautrec Racing just pipped Visit Madeira into sixth with home crew Team Australia rounding off the leaderboard in eighth.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Act 8 marked the end of a momentous year for the Extreme Sailing Series as it celebrated its tenth year with a change from the Extreme 40 boat to the GC32 foiling catamaran.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 8, Sydney standings after Day 4, 25 races (11.12.16)
Position / Team / Points
1. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 238 points.
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi De Felice, Renato Conde 226 points.
3. Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 215 points.
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Brad Farrand 215 points.
5. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Neil Hunter, Chris Taylor, Will Alloway, Sam Batten, Adam Kay 193 points.
6. RNZYS Lautrec Racing (NZL) Chris Steele, Graeme Sutherland, Luca Hyatt Brown, Harry Hull, Logan Dunning Beck 178 points.
7. Visit Madeira (POR) Diogo Cayolla, Frederico Mello, Gilberto Conde, Luís Brito, Tom Buggy 177 points.
8. Team Australia (AUS) Sean Langman, Seve Jarvin, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Gerard Smith, Rhys Mara 132 points.

Extreme Sailing Series 2016 overall standings Position / Team / Points

1.Alinghi (SUI) 101 points.
2. Oman Air (OMA) 99 points.
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 91 points.
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 83 points.
5. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 70 points.
6. Visit Madeira (POR) 63 points.
7. CHINA One (CHN) 29 points.
8. Team Turx (TUR) 11 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Medoa

The Lawyers Rock The Boat - 18 Foot Skiffs - Sydney Harbour

18ft Skiffs: Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy
Sunday, 11 December, 2016 - Sydney Harbour
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The Thurlow Fisher Lawyers crew’s decision to go with their new big rig proved a winner in today’s Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy 3-Buoy 18ft Skiff race on Sydney Harbour. With a 12-15 knot East'nor'eastrly wind prevailing, only four of the 18-boat fleet elected to go with the bigger #1 rig and it was decisive in the Thurlow Fisher Lawyers win.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Thulow’s team of Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor and Trent Barnabas crossed the finish line 32s ahead of second-placed Line 7 (Jonathan Whitty, Aron Everett, Greg Dixon), with Ilve (Ollie Hartas, Mark Muirhead, Adam Bolton) a further 12s back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The race began sensationally with Appliancesonline.com.au (David Witt) and last week’s winner Triple M (James Ward) recalled for being over the line too early. Triple M’s crew returned while the Appliancesonline crew were unaware of the recall and continued to sail the course.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
For the rest of the fleet, the start was even and there was a close battle for supremacy on the long windward beat from the start off Clark Island to the 3-Buoys marks off the Beashel Buoy. Smeg (Lee Knapton) was first to the windward marks and led the fleet from The Kitchen Maker (Stephen Quigley), Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York), Asko Appliances (Jeronimo Harrison) and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Another group was led by Noakes Youth (Ash Rooklyn), Lumix (Bryce Edwards), Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and De’Longhi (Simon Nearn). Smeg led the fleet down the spinnaker run to the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island ans was 25s ahead of Compassmarkets.com and The Kitchen Maker as the fleet headed between Shark and Clark islands.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was in the next group behind the three leaders, and showed the benefit of the bigger sails when she grabbed third place at Clark Island. On the next windward beat Smeg continued to lead the fleet but it was apparent that Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was going to be a very strong challenger.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Powered by the big rig, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers dominated the spinnaker run back down the middle of the course from Beashel Buoy to Clark Island and led, unchallenged, for the entire final lap of the course.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Ilve recovered from a slow start and made a strong challenge midway through the race. The Ilve crew continued to show good pace over the last lap and headed for home just behind Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and just ahead of Line 7.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
There was little between Ilve and Line 7 on the spinnaker run to the finish with Line 7 finishing just 12 seconds ahead of Ilve. The early leader, Smeg finished fourth, ahead of The Kitchen Maker, De’Longhi, Lumix, Compassmarkets.com, Yandoo (John Winning) and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel. Only one minute and 13 seconds separated nine boats in a spectacular blanket finish.
Frank Quealey

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Spectacular Day For Alinghi - Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Sydney

The battle for the Extreme Sailing Series title took a new twist today as Red Bull Sailing Team squeezed in between Act 8 leaders Alinghi and overall table toppers Oman Air on the penultimate day of the 2016 season finale in Sydney.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Roman Hagara's Austrian crew had the pedal firmly to the metal as they notched up three impressive wins and three more podium finishes from the day's eight races, revelling in the fresh 13 to 20-knot easterly breeze.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
As Red Bull Sailing Team celebrated their trio of back-to-back victories it looked like they were on course to end the day in pole position until Swiss crew Alinghi upped the ante claiming honours in the last two races of the day, leaving Hagara's men just six points behind.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Meanwhile overall Series leaders Oman Air were relegated to third place in the Act 8 rankings, 19 points adrift of Alinghi, following a mixed bag of results in which they only managed two podium finishes.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Just two points split Oman Air and Alinghi on the overall scoreboard, meaning the 2016 title will go to whichever of the two teams finishes Act 8 ahead. However, Red Bull Sailing Team could still win overall if they were to finish two places ahead of Alinghi and three ahead of Oman Air.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
With the stage now set for a nail-biting showdown tomorrow, Hagara was pleased with his team's performance.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
"We nailed it today," said Hagara, no stranger to winning on Sydney Harbour after scooping the gold medal in the Tornado class at the 2000 Olympics on the same waters. "It was really great to have so many race wins. The conditions suited us; we definitely like the big breeze and our boat handling is working well.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
"Our goal now is to keep on winning races. We're right up at the top of the table, it's perfect. We're going for our first Act win of the season for sure," added the skipper, whose team has only ever previously won one Act in their time in the Series but has been on the podium at every Act this year.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Also finding their feet in the stronger winds were Danish team SAP Extreme Sailing Team, rocketing up the Act leaderboard into fourth place with four runners-up finishes. They now go into the final day just eight points behind Oman Air.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
"It was a nice comeback for us today," co-skipper Jes Gram-Hansen said. "We pushed a little harder in the starts but sailed the rest of the course better by being a little more conservative than we have been. Once you get that little jump on the fleet everything becomes a little easier, but when the racing is this close and this fast you can end up down the fleet if you make one mistake.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
"The Act 8 podium isn't out of reach for us but then it's been like that a lot this season. We will just push again tomorrow and see how it goes."
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
In a real show of their future potential Land Rover BAR Academy shot out of the blocks winning the opening race followed by a solid fourth place, but disaster struck in the third race of the day when part of their mainsail that holds it to the mast broke.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Alinghi, keen to see their British rivals back on the racecourse as soon as possible, came to the rescue offering up their spare mainsail. Neil Hunter's young crew missed the next two races while the new sail was retrieved and fitted but they came back guns blazing with a trio of podium positions. The missed races meant they dropped from fourth to a disappointing sixth on the Act leaderboard.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
"Big thanks go to the Alinghi guys for lending us their spare which allowed us to compete in the last three races," Hunter said. "It was really kind of them to get us back into the racing. It is annoying to have missed those three races. It puts us out of contention because we'd be right up there otherwise on the overall leaderboard."
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
The two wildcard teams, Team Australia and RNZYS Lautrec Racing, were put through their paces by the regular Series' crews and got a taste of some classic Stadium Racing.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
"It was really fun, it was basically ideal conditions; when it comes to that sort of racing you can't get much better. I'm sure it looked pretty good from the shore," said skipper of the Kiwi entry, Chris Steele.
Photo: Jesus Renedo / Lloyd Images
Extreme Sailing Series Act 8, Sydney standings after Day 3, 17 races (10.12.16)
Position / Team / Points

1. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 152 points.
2. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Brad Farrand 146 points.
3. Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 133 points.
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi De Felice, Renato Conde 125 points.
5. Visit Madeira (POR) Diogo Cayolla, Frederico Mello, Gilberto Conde, Luís Brito, Tom Buggy 111 points.
6. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Neil Hunter, Chris Taylor, Will Alloway, Sam Batten, Rob Bunce 109 points.
7. RNZYS Lautrec Racing (NZL) Chris Steele, Graeme Sutherland, Josh Salthouse, Tim Sneddon, Logan Dunning Beck 105 points.
8. Team Australia (AUS) Sean Langman, Seve Jarvin, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Gerard Smith, Rhys Mara 81 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Media

Friday, December 9, 2016

Alinghi and Oman Air Lock Horns - Extreme Sailing Series - Sydney

Just two points split Extreme Sailing Series title contenders Alinghi and Oman Air at the halfway stage of the final Act of the 2016 season as Sydney delivered another bout of epic racing today.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
Swiss crew Alinghi remain in pole position after two days of breathtaking action on the iconic waters of Sydney Harbour, but it couldn't be tighter at the top as the battle between the two Series frontrunners intensifies.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
Bright, blustery conditions greeted the eight-strong international fleet as the big breeze from yesterday's thrilling opener, which featured two capsizes, returned for another round. With unpredictable winds gusting from 15 to 30 knots whipping across the Stadium racecourse the decision was taken to split the fleet in two for the first four races to ensure the safety of the crews.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
The teams were then brought back together for two incredible full-fleet clashes right in front of the crowds watching from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, the hosts of the event. At the close of play Morgan Larson's Oman Air had edged one point closer to Alinghi thanks to podium finishes in the full-fleet races compared to the Swiss team's uncharacteristic fourth and fifth respectively.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
Vitally for Oman Air their solid results leave them within touching distance of Alinghi at the halfway mark of Act 8, as whichever of the teams score the best result here will win the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series title. Red Bull Sailing Team, the only other crew that could possibly claim the title, lie five points adrift of the top spot in third place.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
"Two points between us is better than we could have hoped for," Oman Air skipper Larson said. "We left a bit of a hole after the two first races yesterday and the first two today, but we pulled it back with the last two races.If we're within five points of Alinghi at this stage then we're happy. We've still got two days to go and there are some different conditions ahead. I think this team is just getting started."
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
Despite dropping a point to their arch-rivals, Alinghi co-skipper and helmsman Arnaud Psarofaghis insisted his team is under no pressure as they push for their third Extreme Sailing Series title.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
"At the moment we don't have any pressure on us – Oman Air are the ones that have everything to lose," Psarofaghis said, referring to the Omani-backed crew's season-long position at the top of the Series standings.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
"We had good start to the day today but we didn't start well in the last two races. We were not in a good lane upwind and then struggled in the traffic. Everything is good though – we learn from our small mistakes from today and we'll be fine tomorrow. We're just looking ahead and taking every race as a new one."
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
Both Land Rover BAR Academy and Visit Madeira made amends for capsizing yesterday by claiming impressive race wins, shooting up the Act 8 rankings into fourth and fifth respectively. Neil Hunter's young British crew convincingly won their opening race of the day then obliterated the competition in the penultimate race.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
Diogo Cayolla's Portuguese team rounded off the day in style taking the honours in the final race, their third race win of the 2016 season, crossing the line to cheers from the watching crowds.
Photo: Ricardo Pinto
"It feels really good to win," former Olympian Cayolla said. "It was our target from middle of the season, we managed to win a race here and what a race it was. It was very challenging but when you manage to win in these conditions you feel so good."
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/Lloyd Images
Extreme Sailing Series Act 8, Sydney standings after Day 2, 9 races (09.12.16)
Position / Team / Points

1. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 67 points.
2. Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 65 points.
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Brad Farrand 62 points.
4. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Neil Hunter, Chris Taylor, Will Alloway, Sam Batten, Rob Bunce 57 points.
5. Visit Madeira (POR) Diogo Cayolla, Frederico Mello, Gilberto Conde, Luís Brito, Tom Buggy 51 points.
6. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi De Felice, Renato Conde 49 points.
7. RNZYS Lautrec Racing (NZL) Chris Steele, Graeme Sutherland, Josh Salthouse, Tim Sneddon, Harry Hull 44 points.
8. Team Australia (AUS) Sean Langman, Seve Jarvin, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Gerard Smith, Rhys Mara 38 points.

Extreme Sailing Series