September 13, 2011
The Med is the place to be as Jean-Pierre Dick Announces Extreme 40 Team…
The Mediterranean is the focus for the Extreme Mailing Series™ over the next couple of weeks, with Act 6 starting tomorrow in Trapani on the island of Sicily quickly followed by Act 7 in Nice on the south coast of France.
At yesterday’s press conference in Nice, Christian Estrosi, Deputy Mayor of Nice and President of Nice Côte d’Azur welcomed the Extreme Sailing Series circuit to Nice for the first time: “We are very happy to welcome an event of such importance with such a peculiar concept. Sailing so close to the public will allow to transform the Promenade des Anglais in a true natural stage and to offer a great show to those new in sailing and the fans.”
At the same time IMOCA 60 offshore racer, Jean-Pierre Dick, confirmed he will race an Extreme 40 team under the colours of his home town. Dick will race with Transat Jacques Vabre co-skipper, Jérémie Beyou who recently won the 2011 Solitaire du Figaro for the second time, and Billy Besson and Arnaud Jarlegant.
However, all eyes for now are on Trapani as the teams prepare their 40-foot racing machines in temperatures over 30 degrees! The latest forecast from official weather providers to the Extreme Sailing Series, WetterWelt, reveal a frustratingly light and variable few days ahead. At this morning’s press conference, Girolano Turano, President of Province of Trapani, welcomed all teams to Trapani and said: "Trapani continues with its international promotion through significant events such as the Extreme Sailing Series, one of the top international sailing circuits. We hope that all visitors and tourists enjoy the competition in the next few days."
The crew lists for the Trapani event have been published today whilst Artemis Racing skipper Terry Hutchinson has confirmed the team will not be racing at the event due to the pressures of the build of their AC72 and the America’s Cup World Series. The team had fully intended to compete in Trapani and it was a difficult decision for Hutchinson to make at the 11th hour - Artemis Racing’s container was already unloaded on the dockside in Trapani and the team’s logistics in place – but, ultimately, a practical one: “We will, of course, be back for all the remaining events this year, and eager to climb back up the leaderboard."
Act 6, Trapani, Crew Lists (12.9.11):
Skipper/Tactician: Tanguy Cariou (FRA) / Helm: Yann Guichard (FRA) / Trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI) / Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI)
Emirates Team New Zealand
Skipper/Helm: Adam Beashel (AUS) / Tactician: Jeremy Lomas (NZL) / Trimmer: Richard Meacham (NZL) / Bowman: Rob Waddell (NZL)
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild
Skipper/Helm: Pierre Pennec (FRA) / Traveler: Christophe Espagnon (FRA) / Trimmer: Thierry Fouchier (FRA) / Bowman: Hervé Cunningham (FRA)
Skipper/Tactician: Max Sirena (ITA) / Helm: Paul Campbell-James (GBR) / Trimmer: Alister Richardson (GBR) / Bowman: Manuel Modena (ITA)
Skipper/Helm: Alberto Barovier (ITA) / Tactician: Stefano Rizzi (ITA) / Trimmer: Lorenzo Mazza (ITA) / Bowman: Simone de Mari (ITA)
Skipper/Helm: Ben Ainslie (GBR) / Tactician: Kinley Fowler (NZL) / Trimmer: David Carr (GBR) / Bowman: Nasser Al Mashari (OMA)
Red Bull Extreme Sailing
Skipper/Helm: Roman Hagara (AUT) / Tactician: Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT) Trimmer: Matt Adams (GBR) / Bowman: Craig Monk (GBR)
Team Extreme, ‘Sailing Seacily’
Skipper/Tactician: Sebbe Godefroid / Helm: Patrick Demesmaeker (BEL) / (BEL) / Trimmer: Jan Coppens (BEL) / Bowman: Vince Thery (BEL)
Team GAC Pindar
Skipper/Helm: Ian Williams (GBR) / Tactician: Pierluigi De Felice (ITA) / Trimmer: Andrew Walsh (GBR) / Bowman: Ed Smyth (NZL)
The Wave, Muscat
Skipper/Helm: Leigh McMillan (GBR) / Tactician: Kyle Langford (AUS) / Trimmer: Nick Hutton (GBR) / Bowman: Khamis Al Anbouri (OMA)
September 14, 2011
Act 6, Day 1: Good Start for Britain’s Ben Ainslie but Swiss Experience Wins Out
Britain’s multi-Olympic medalist Ben Ainslie had a great start to the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6 winning two races on the opening day in Trapani (Sicily). Driving Oman Air at his first ever Extreme 40 event, Ainslie and his team had put in a few days training but were managing expectations pre-start: “I'm really excited to be doing this and learning a new skill,” said Ainslie pre-start. “But we have to be realistic about where we're starting from and try to improve as we go." Hard to improve on first place, but Oman Air were then victims of two penalties for being over the line at the start in races 2 and 4: “It was a good day for us, although we were a bit inconsistent,” said Ainslie. “We have plenty we can improve on and a lot to talk about, but to be in third position is great. The guys on Oman Air are great sailors, its me who is the weak link and the quicker I can get a handle on these boats and work out what works and what doesn’t, the quicker we will start improving.”
At the end of the first day, it was the experienced Swiss team of Alinghi skippered by Tanguy Cariou who took pole position after the five ‘open water’ races staged today in somewhat light and shifty conditions: "It was a good day for us, good teamwork on board and good speed,” said Cariou on the dockside. “It was really tricky with plenty of shifts and big wind holes but we are happy. Last time we sailed it was in tough conditions but here on the open water we have a lot of space and light conditions so people can find the good angles. Tomorrow it will be more difficult as everybody will learn from today and we still have four days left and a long way to go with three days of stadium racing."
Three different teams scored race wins today including Team Extreme ‘Sailing Seacily’ sailing under the colours of Trapani with Sebbe Godefroid stepping up as skipper at this event in place of Roland Gaebler. The all-Belgian team had an up and down day (finishing 8th on the leaderboard) as did many of the teams, but The Wave, Muscat skippered by Leigh McMillan proved to be the most consistent, finishing no lower than 6th place: “Its about not getting stressed about the bad positions and stay calm as the good ones will come,” said McMillan. “The intensity in the light airs is different as your tactics and strategy changes - its slow to accelerate and getting into clean air with 10 boats is tricky and the dirty air can be a big problem." The Wave, Muscat now occupy 2nd place on the leaderboard, trailing Alinghi by 9 points.
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Red Bull Extreme Sailing both challenged at the front a couple of times, scoring a 2nd place each, but found themselves all to often buried in the middle. The Italian team of Luna Rossa seemed to be in their groove posting three 4th places and a 6th, then it went wrong: “It was a tough day,” said skipper Max Sirena. “It was really light, puffy and shifty. In the last race we made some mistakes on the reach downwind and we lost a couple of positions in the last couple of hundred meters. Alinghi and the other teams have all had a lot of up and down races which is good for us. We are looking forward to having a better day tomorrow.”
Find out what the competition thinks of Luna Rossa helmsman, Paul Campbell-James. ‘CJ’ to his friends, he won the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series as skipper of The Wave and the Luna Rossa team then won Act 2 of the 2011 season in China. They are on the hunt for a second Act win but will it be here?
Tomorrow (Thursday, 15th September) is another day of ‘open water’ racing with Act 6 switching to ‘stadium’ racing format on Friday, when the Race Village opens to the public.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 6 at Trapani supported by Telecom Italia
Overall standings after 5 races
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 48 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 39 points
3rd Oman Air (OMA), Ben Ainslie / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 35 points
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Jeremy Lomas / Richard Meacham / Rob Waddell 34 points
5th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 33 points
6th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 32 points
7th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Matt Adams / Craig Monk 31 points
8th Team Extreme ‘Sailing Seacily’ (EUR), Sebbe Godefroid / Patrick Demesmaeker / Jan Coppens / Vince Thery 29 points
9th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Pierluigi De Felice / Andrew Walsh / Ed Smyth 25 points
10th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Lorenzo Mazza / Simone de Mari 19 points
September 18, 2011
Act 6: Two wins in a row for The Wave, Muscat as Stadium Sailing action delights Italian fans
Leigh McMillan’s team on The Wave, Muscat made it two in a row winning Act 6 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Trapani on the back of their Act 5 win in Cowes, UK. It was an incredibly close finish to Act 6 – after 34 races in total, The Wave, Muscat took it with 283 points [11pts for a race win], just 9 points ahead of the French team Groupe Edmond de Rothschild on 274, and Oman Air, with Ben Ainslie at his first Extreme Sailing Series regatta, in third on 266.5. A mere 3.5 points behind were Max Sirena's Luna Rossa, and only three points behind them Hagara's Red Bull Extreme Sailing. The compensation for Sirena and British helmsman, Paul Campbell-James, is that Luna Rossa’s result here elevates them to the top of the 2011 Overall Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard, 1 point ahead of Groupe Edmond de Rothshild.
Today’s eight races delivered the best stadium action of Act 6 with 17+ knots of breeze and the Extreme 40 fleet finish box directly in front of the spectators, generating spontaneous applause from them with the action just metres away. The highlight came at the finish of the fourth race of the day when Red Bull Extreme Sailing, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Luna Rossa charged into the finish area under gennaker, hulls flying, neck and neck fighting for the lead at the ultimate gybe mark to the line. Roman Hagara’s Red Bull Extreme Sailing dived in on the inside and got a nose ahead, the three boats made the tight hand-brake turn launching themselves for the finish line set just 20m away. There was no room for a photo finish – the line was only wide enough for two boats but Hagara held his nerve and his miniscule lead to cross first ahead of Pierre Pennec’s team. This was the Stadium Sailing that the Extreme Sailing Series is known for at its very best.
Going into the final double-points race, four boats were still in with a chance to claim victory with just 8.5 points separating The Wave, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Oman Air – Luna Rossa was adrift by 14.5 points but mathematically it was still possible. In the end, Red Bull Extreme Sailing claimed the race win but Leigh McMillan’s team kept their nerve to finish 2nd and clinch victory: “It has been the toughest week we have had, well one of the toughest weeks I have ever had on the water,” said McMillan. “Everyday we have been grinding it out trying to get some good races, we are thrilled to have won in Trapani and somehow we have won two in a row. I thought it would go to Alinghi or Oman Air. Alinghi started off really well and Oman Air have been incredible all through the week, right on the pace. So to actually have managed to beat both of them as they were pushing us all the way is great.”
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild were struggling in the first half of the Act but slowly found their form: “I am happy, much better than in Cowes, as we did a good job. But still we have to improve,” said bowman Hervé Cunningham. “It would be easier for us if we started well and stayed in the top of the leaderboard from day 1 but it's not happening. We are all really happy we managed to sneak into second position on the leaderboard. We all said this morning that there was no pressure and we would stick to our plan, focus on ourselves and we would see how it goes, and it went well! The level of the fleet is still rising so we must focus and keep improving to sail the best we can.”
Ben Ainslie at the helm of Oman Air once again demonstrated how quickly he has got a handle on these boats and raced strongly throughout the afternoon, only a poor start in the final race was the team’s undoing: “I've have really enjoyed it,” said Ainslie. “We have a lot of improvements to make and I am just learning the ropes, the guys are fantastic and have pulled me through. It’s great to be in the top three for my first event.”
For the Italian team of Luna Rossa, the favourites of the crowd here and positioned as favourites to win Act 6 by many of the pundits, but Trapani didn’t go the way skipper, Max Sirena, had hoped: “It is what it is,” said a disappointed Sirena. “We are going to spend this week working out what went wrong so we can work out what we need to improve.” A bit harsh on himself perhaps considering how close it was going in to the final race.
In the penultimate race the Swiss team Alinghi, who had led Act 6 for the first two days and were performing well, was involved in a port/starboard collision with Team GAC Pindar resulting in serious damage to the transom, and requiring a swift haul-out by crane. Tanguy Cariou’s team was given redress and they retained their 6th place in the overall rankings.
The Sicilian town of Trapani has welcomed the Extreme Sailing Series with open arms for a second year in a row. An estimated 35,000 people enjoyed the top level sporting event on the water, with many more visiting the Extreme village for the evening entertainment. The event also showcased local kids racing in the Optimist Marinepool regatta and two Olympic 49er teams going head to head, the 5th man guests got the ride of their lives today and the Race Village was packed every night to watch the bands and dance acts on the main stage.
It has been a memorable Act here in Trapani, next stop is Nice for Act 7 between 28th September to 2nd October. Artemis Racing will be back and Team Extreme will be racing under the colours of the city of Nice with solo offshore ace Jean-Pierre Dick at the helm.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 6 at Trapani supported by Telecom Italia
Overall standings after 34 races (18.9.11)
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 283 points
2nd Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 274 points
3rd Oman Air (OMA), Ben Ainslie / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 266.5 points
4th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 263 points
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Matt Adams / Craig Monk 260 points
6th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 256.9 points
7th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Adam Beashel / Jeremy Lomas / Richard Meacham / Rob Waddell 206.5 points
8th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Pierluigi De Felice / Andrew Walsh / Ed Smyth 171 points
9th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Lorenzo Mazza / Simone de Mari 161 points
10th Team Extreme ‘Sailing Seacily’ (EUR), Sebbe Godefroid / Patrick Demesmaeker / Jan Coppens / Vince Thery 145 points
Extreme Sailing Series 2011
Overall standings after 6 Acts
Position / Team / Points
1st Luna Rossa 51 points
2nd Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 50 points
3rd The Wave, Muscat 49 points
4th Emirates Team New Zealand 49 points
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing 43 points
6th Alinghi 39 points
7th Artemis Racing 38 points
8th Oman Air 31 points
9th Team GAC Pindar 17 points
10th Niceforyou 15 points
11th Team Extreme 13 points
September 28, 2011
Light winds dominated the opening day of Act 7 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Nice. The beautiful resort in the heart of the French Riviera provided plenty of sunshine and sparkling Mediterranean waters for the 11 Extreme 40s to commence their battle for supremacy. Roman Hagara’s team on Red Bull Extreme Sailing dominated the day, but the surprise result came from Nice-born local hero, Jean-Pierre Dick. Before racing began, Dick who is helming Team Extreme Nice Côte d’Azur in the colours of his home city, said: “We haven't trained much and, to be honest, we will do our best but we are realistic about what we can do. I have a little bit of knowledge of racing multihulls but I am an ocean sailor. My 'stadium' is normally much bigger than this!” His humility was expected but not, as it turned out, was his team’s performance on the water…
The four Extreme 40 races were set in an ‘open water’ configuration today on the Bay of Angels to make the most of the conditions, but still close enough for the sunbathers basking on the beach to get a glimpse of these 40-foot catamarans as the Extreme Sailing Series makes it debut in Nice. Act 7 opens to the public on Friday through to Sunday which will see the fleet racing in ‘stadium’ format as close to the Promenade des Anglais as possible.
Jean-Pierre Dick and his crew consisting of 2011 Solitaire du Figaro winner Jérémie Beyou as tactician, trimmer Billy Besson and bowman Arnaud Jarlegant called the right tactics and found boat speed when needed to score a 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishing the end of day one in third place overall: “My first day on an Extreme 40 was great and with a good result,” said Dick. “We had a lot of fun and didn’t expect to do as well as we did. It’s great to be here in Nice, in my hometown, surrounded by these top skippers. I can’t wait to move into Stadium Racing and to race in front of the public.”
The regular all-French fixture on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild skippered by Pierre Pennec, sailed consistently to score two 3rd places and a 4th, their worst result a 7th, to claim 2nd place overall, on equal points with their French rivals on Team Extreme Nice Cote Azur.
But without doubt, the top boat of the day was Roman Hagara’s Red Bull Extreme Sailing. Hagara and his crew of Hans Peter Steinacher, the returning Will Howden and bowman Craig Monk won three out of the four races – clearly on form in the light and challenging conditions, and top the leaderboard going into the second day: “It was really hard today, we had almost no wind, a lot of sun and it was really hard to race these boats,” said Hagara. “But we went out really good at the start all the times, out of four starts we had one OCS but the other were really good. Then we were in the front of the fleet and it was easy for us. I like these wind conditions, always in the Tornado when it was light we were good.”
It wasn’t such a pretty story for Dean Barker returning to the helm of Emirates Team New Zealand. Their best result of the day was a 9th place leaving them firmly at the bottom of the rankings. And The Wave, Muscat, victors in Cowes and Trapani, also struggled in the light airs finishing the end of the day 10th place. McMillan was pragmatic both about the conditions and their chances: “It is going to be a really tough event especially because in lighter winds it becomes more of a lottery. We'll do our best to keep sailing well but certainly there will be some different teams who are in the mix here and we'll probably find out that there are some light air specialists here. Now we're in the mix for the Overalls - we've done the hard work but it does get harder from here because the guys will be paying a bit more attention to us now and we've probably got to be more aware of people gunning for us.”
With only two points separating Alinghi and Niceforyou from Oman Air and Luna Rossa, the opening day is just a shakedown of what is to come over the next four days here in Nice.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 7, Nice, France Overall standings after 4 races (28.9.11)
Position / Team / Points
1st Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 35 points
2nd Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 31 points
3rd Team Extreme Nice Côte d’Azur (FRA), Jean-Pierre Dick / Jérémie Beyou / Billy Besson / Arnaud Jarlegant 31 points
4th Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Sean Clarkson / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant, 29 points
5th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 24 points
6th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Stefano Rizzi / Daniele De Luca / Simone de Mari 24 points
7th Oman Air (OMA), Ben Ainslie / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 22 points
8th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 22 points
9th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mischa Heemrskerk / Andrew Walsh / Brian MacInnes 21 points
10th The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 17 points
11th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Adam Beashel / Jeremy Lomas / Chris McAsey 8 points
October 11, 2011
Act 8, Almeria Kicks Off Tomorrow
Under the protection of Almeria’s famous landmark, the Alcazaba fortress that nestles above the bustling Spanish city, the 11 Extreme 40 racing machines are ready to race in Act 8, the penultimate round of the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series™.
The WEBcam will be streaming coverage of the Stadium racing live during the event (see the schedule below).
Some of the teams have been out training today on the official practice day including the new multinational team, Team TILT, led by Swiss multihull specialist Alex Schneiter, three-time of the Bol d’Or. He may find some familiarity between his M2 multihull light-wind lake racing to the prevalent light winds in Almeria today. Also out training was Spanish Tornado Olympic medalist Antón Paz with Team Extreme. Paz won gold at the Beijing Olympics and will be a great asset to Roland Gaebler’s team, a fellow Tornado Olympic bronze medalist.
Almeria has been the setting for the final over the last two years and many of the sailors know the venue well: “This event has offered some pretty spectacular and very close racing particularly inside the harbour here,” said Leigh McMillan, skipper of The Wave, Muscat. “With any kind of wind it can be full-on boat on boat battling. I think it’s inevitable that we will get some full-on situations in the stadium racing.”
Tomorrow is a Spanish National Holiday and the Extreme 40 fleet will be racing inside the port of Almeria to give the local holidaying public a taste of the stadium action to come. Although there will not be stacks of breeze over the next couple of days, by the weekend a good gradiant breeze and some gusty conditions will have developed, squeezed out of a high pressure located over Central Europe and a low pressure system developing near Sicily and extending over Tunisia and eastern Algeria. Setting the stage for some great final ‘stadium’ racing over the weekend.
One boat that always gets noticed by the crowds is Red Bull Extreme Sailing, who finished 7th in Almeria in 2010, with the team displaying a stunning turn of speed in the breeze. For this Act, Matt Adams, coach to the team, returns as trimmer. A diverse sailing career spanning match racing, TP52s, Fastnet Race and Figaro racing, Adams knows the team well and will fit into their talents perfectly.
The French team of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild now lead the 2011 Overall Extreme Sailing Series, after the victory at the last round in Nice, just 2 points ahead of the Italian team Luna Rossa helmed by Paul Campbell-James who was at the helm of The Wave, Muscat when they claimed overall victory last year in Almeria. 2011 Leaderboard For the teams in contention for the overall 2011 title, the penultimate event is all about setting them up for the final battle in Singapore. For others, that dream may be over but the final rankings will still be hotly contested: “Having come back so well in the last three events in the overall standings, we might have thrown away realistically the chance of fighting for the overall win,” concluded McMillan. “That one event in Nice was pretty tough. But in reality, we have already far exceeded what we thought we could achieve this year and even if we can get back in contention with the leaders, it is really about racing well and that is all we have set ourselves to do here.”
Last edited by mpowlison; 10-12-2011 at 11:11 AM.