Robertson on fire at Extreme Sailing Series Cabo
Published on November 30th, 2017
Los Cabos, Mexico (November 30, 2017) – The season finale of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series got underway today for the eight teams vying to impact the overall season rankings. Phil Robertson’s Team Oman Air had a statement day, finishing in the top two in all six races to lead Alinghi in second and tour leader SAP Extreme Sailing Team in third.
As battle commenced for the final Act of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Los Cabos, presented by SAP, the protagonists in the fight for the 2017 title dominated the podium. Oman Air was the clear leader, finishing seven points clear in pole position.
SAP Extreme Sailing Team, the current season front-runner, was forced to settle for third behind 2016 champion Alinghi as the Series made its debut in the Mexican venue with perfect foiling conditions.
“It was a really good day,” said Phil Robertson, skipper of Oman Air. “We worked very hard and the boys were really determined, so there was a lot of focus in our eyes. It all fell into place for us with top twos in every race, and that’s exactly where we want to be.
“This is just day one of a long event. We always knew this was going to be the breezy day and an important day. We wanted to make sure we cemented a good spot on the leader board and got some points in the bag and we managed to do that, so it’s satisfying.
“What happens behind us happens behind us and we’ve only got eyes looking forward,” added the Kiwi skipper.
In order to claim the 2017 championship, both Oman Air and Swiss-flagged Alinghi must put at least two boats between themselves and SAP Extreme Sailing Team, as well as finishing ahead of the other. Both took advantage of the six races on the opening day to do what they could to keep the competition wide open.
“It was a great day on the water with some really good conditions. Everything went well and I think we made the right moves,” said Arnaud Psarofaghis, co-skipper of Alinghi.
“We saw Oman Air and SAP Extreme Sailing Team doing really well today. We need to keep pushing so we can sail with them. We need to be in the right spots at the right time and, with a little bit of luck, we could be in with a chance,” he added.
Although not ahead in the standings, SAP Extreme Sailing Team managed to break the speed record of the season with 33.7 knots. Helm Adam Minoprio is not deterred by the result.
“We’ve had bad races today but it’s all good; it’s a long regatta and we’re still in the hunt,” said Minoprio. “That’s yacht racing, it happens sometimes, and hopefully we’ll have a bit more luck the rest of the week.”
NZ Extreme Sailing Team hit the ground running, winning the opening race and ending the day in fourth, while Land Rover BAR Academy finished on a high with a bullet in the closing race. The British squad, helmed by Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup sailor Giles Scott, took fifth, ahead of Red Bull Sailing Team in sixth.
Local wildcard Team Extreme México put in a respectable performance on home waters, finishing ahead of US-flagged wildcard Lupe Tortilla Demetrio, who competed for the first time at Act 7 in San Diego.
“I think overall it was a great day. It was our third day on the boat and the first day we really got to foil, so at the beginning we felt we were just setting everything up,” said Mexican skipper Erik Brockmann.
“It’s obviously tough against this high standard of competition but we’re happy. We just wanted to get out there, get around the course and get in amongst the fight. We’re ready for tomorrow,” he added.
The double-points finale resumes at 14:00 UTC-7 tomorrow, Friday 1 December.
The fleet will race from 14:00 – 17:00 local time (UTC-7) on Thursday November 30 to Sunday December 3, with the racing broadcast on a live stream on on Saturday and Sunday. To watch live… click here.
Crew line-up for 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 8, Los Cabos, presented by SAP
Co-skipper/helm: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
Tactician/mainsail trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA)
Headsail trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI)
Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI)
Floater/foil trimmer: Timothé Lapauw (FRA)
Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR)
Skipper/bowman: Rob Bunce (GBR)
Helm: Giles Scott (GBR)
Mainsail trimmer: Elliot Hanson (GBR)
Headsail trimmer: Oli Greber (GBR)/Sam Batten (GBR)
Floater: Adam Kay (GBR)/Matt Brushwood (GBR)
Lupe Tortilla Demetrio (USA) Wildcard
Skipper/helm: John Tomko (USA)
Crew: Matthew Whitehead (USA)
Crew: Tripp Burd (USA)
Crew: Trevor Burd (USA)
Bowman: Jonathan Atwood (USA)
NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL)
Co-skipper/helm: Josh Junior (NZL)
Co-skipper/mainsail trimmer: Graeme Sutherland (NZL)
Headsail trimmer: Harry Hull (NZL)
Foil trimmer: Josh Salthouse (NZL)
Bowman: Andy Maloney (NZL)
Reserve: Matt Connolly (NZL)
Oman Air (OMA)
Skipper/helm: Phil Robertson (NZL)
Mainsail trimmer: Pete Greenhalgh (GBR)
Headsail trimmer: Ed Smyth (NZL/AUS)
Bowman: James Wierzbowski (AUS)
Bowman: Nasser Al Mashari (OMA)
Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT)
Skipper/helm: Roman Hagara (AUT)
Tactician: Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT)
Mainsail trimmer: Stewart Dodson (NZL)
Headsail trimmer: Adam Piggott (GBR)
Bowman: Will Tiller (NZL)
SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN)
Co-skipper/tactician/mainsail trimmer: Rasmus Køstner (DEN)
Co-skipper/coach: Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN)
Helm: Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Headsail trimmer: Pierluigi de Felice (ITA)
Bowman: Richard Mason (GBR)
Trim assist/grinder: Mads Emil Stephensen (DEN)
Team Extreme México (MEX) Wildcard
Skipper/foil trimmer: Erik Brockmann (MEX)
Helm: Chris Taylor (GBR)
Mainsail trimmer: Alex Higby (GBR)
Headsail trimmer: Tom Buggy (GBR)
Floater: Danel Belausteguigoitia (MEX)
Floater: Armando Noriega Negrete (MEX)
Reserve: Martin Evans (GBR)
2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ calendar
March 8-11 – Muscat, Oman
April 28-May 1 – Qingdao, China
June 29-July 2 – Madeira Islands, Portugal
July 20-23 – Barcelona, Spain
August 10-13 – Hamburg, Germany
August 25-28 – Cardiff, UK
October 19-22 – San Diego, USA
Nov 30-Dec 3 – Los Cabos, Mexico
Background: The Extreme Sailing Series is in its eleventh season, with this year’s eight event tour travelling through Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas. The platform used is the one design foiling GC32 catamaran, with the format highlighting ‘stadium’ short-course racing in front of the public.