In a thrilling end to Act IV of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series Alinghi sealed victory in Saint Petersburg – the team’s third win of the season, which has cemented their place at the top of the overall leaderboard at the halfway mark of the competition.
Though the triumph was not secured until the final double-pointer race on Day 4, in truth it was Alinghi’s awesome performance on Day 3 that was the key to victory. Three race wins on this penultimate day saw the team notch an astonishing 74 points to move to the top of the rankings. It was a day and a performance that helmsman Morgan Larson said was his best ever in his three years on the circuit.
Six short, action-packed races were sailed on the final day, which provided the best conditions of the week – 10 knots of breeze and 15 knot gusts making for exciting sailing. This meant that the starts were particularly important, with those that got it right able to take full advantage. As has been the case for some time now Alinghi’s biggest rival for top-spot was The Wave. Despite their best efforts, however, the Omani team could not close the overnight points gap on Ernesto Bertarelli’s team. Heading into the final race they needed a gap of seven boats to overtake Alinghi.
It was a task too far and the delighted Swiss easily confirmed their win. Afterwards, Morgan Larson said:
“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.”
It was the fleet’s first visit to Saint Petersburg and to Russia and it was a huge success. There can’t be many more beautiful settings in which to race. Conditions were fantastic, as were the crowds. And Alinghi will certainly have happy memories of the venue! Now, onto Cardiff…
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4, Saint Petersburg:
- 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:
- 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