Over the course of a bank holiday weekend in Cardiff, the weather ranged from blue skies to tempestuous clouds. These changing conditions, combined with a tight and challenging stadium racecourse, created some of the most exciting racing of the 2014 season so far. And the final race had it all…
Having raced consistently well throughout the course of the weekend, Alinghi had it all to play for as the fleet lined up for the finale, with the team vying with old rivals The Wave, Muscat and J.P. Morgan BAR for top spot. With all three crews able to secure top spot the racing was tense, competitive and, above all, dramatic. With the teams fighting each other all the way as they tried to gain the upper hand, racing took place at even closer quarters than normal, resulting in a three-way collision as all three teams leaned hard on each other in the tussle for the top.
It was The Wave who took advantage of the mayhem to secure Act 5, leaving Alinghi to do battle with Sir Ben Ainslie’s J.P. Morgan BAR for second place. Happily, the team were able to see off their opponents, claiming the runner’s up position that their performance over the weekend more than merited.
Commenting after the final race, Alinghi’s tactician Anna Tunnicliffe said:
“We were waiting for Leigh to tack and he drove us right into the boats rounding the mark and boats started coming at us head first. We ended up above the mark so we couldn’t bear away and at the same time, Ben (Ainslie) was coming round into the side of us and it all turned into a mess. All three boats were tangled on each other. It’s very frustrating, but hopefully we can learn from our mistakes, we’re still on top which is good – the damage could have been worse. We need to move on to Istanbul and refocus for that event.”
With Alinghi still leading the Series leaderboard – albeit by a slightly reduced margin – Act 6 (11-14 September) promises to be one not to miss…
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5 Cardiff, presented by Land Rover standings after Day 4, 33 races:
- 1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 210 points.
- 2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 205 points.
- 3rd J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Campbell-James, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell 203 points.
- 4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson 186 points.
- 5th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem 182 points.
- 6th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 175 points.
- 7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Jonas Hviid-Nielsen, Brad Farrand, Nicolai Sehested 174 points.
- 8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 154 points.
- 9th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Romain Motteau, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 154 points.
- 10th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Hugh Styles, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, James Wierzbowski 153 points.
- 11th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Ray Davies, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 151 points.
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 overall standings:
- 1st Alinghi (SUI) 47 points.
- 2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 45 points.
- 3rd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 34 points.
- 4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 33 points.
- 5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 25 points.
- 6th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 22 points.
- 7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 20 points.
- 8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 18 points.
- 9th Oman Air (OMA) 16 points.
- 10th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 15 points.
- 11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 5 points.