Sydney to decide Extreme Sailing Series™ world champion
Published on December 4th, 2014
It is all to play for at the eighth and final Act of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Season, with four teams going for the overall season podium. The final four days on December 11-14 in Sydney, Australia will decide who will become Extreme Sailing Series™ world champion.
Leading the field is Morgan Larson and the Swiss team Alinghi, but the title is far from locked up.
“We have had a spectacular season on Alinghi but relaxing now would make it all worthless.”
But while they may be in the driving seat by eight points as they head to the Harbour City, they can expect a fight-back from The Wave, Muscat, with the defending 2012 and 2013 Series champions and skipper Leigh McMillan out to defend their title and achieve a first ever triple crown.
“When it comes to the last event you’ve got to have the best event of the year. It’s not game over yet.”
With double points (20) on the table, four days of competition and probably 30 to 40 races will decide who is this year’s Extreme 40 World Champion. Early birds in Europe can watch it live as it happens from 0530GMT+1 on the official website or catch the replays on the official YouTube channel co-hosted by Hannah White and David Carr.
While the battle for the top spot may be relatively clear cut, the battle behind for the remaining podium position will be equally hard fought. Jérôme Clerc’s Swiss-flagged Realteam, who have been giving Emirates Team New Zealand a run for their money all season are ready to pounce. With a slim four-point deficit as the fleet head down under, Clerc knows it’s within their grasp.
“We are well aware that we will have to fight hard to be on the podium. Anything can happen in Sydney. We will sail as simply as possible and we will stay calm and confident despite what is at stake. It would be a great reward for the entire team and for all the people who support us. The podium is close at hand and we will do everything in our power to reach the target.”
British sailing fans are sure to be watching out for J.P. Morgan BAR. Mathematically they could finish on the Series podium, and the Brits have been getting better and better as the year has gone on. Ben Ainslie is a man used to being in pole position, and he is hoping to pull out some big punches to finish the 2014 season on a high.
“At each of the Acts we have gone out and just tried to sail to our best. As a team we are pleased with our position overall going into the final Act, things have really come together for us, we have made good progress and hope to finish the Series in the top half of the fleet.” Ainslie who claimed one of his four Olympic gold medals at the Sydney Games continued: “Personally Sydney is my favourite sailing venue and it’s a great place to end the Series. We are all looking forward to good conditions and solid racing against such an iconic backdrop.”
Also looking to end the season on a high is the local lads on GAC Pindar, and their Olympic champion skipper Nathan Wilmot summed up what the event means to him.
“It will be great to race in my home town of Sydney. For my family and friends to be able to see the racing and for the people of Sydney to get up close to some great sailing will be amazing. The racing will be intense, close and exciting with one of the best back drops in the world.”
There are some significant crew changes in the fleet for the final Act of the season, and no more so than on Oman Air. Australia’s home grown talent Tom Slingsby will take the helm from Rob Greenhalgh who was called up to round the world race duty onboard the Spanish Volvo Ocean Race entry, and while it may be his Extreme 40 debut, he lacks no ability on the water as a world, Olympic and America’s Cup champion. Ed Smyth will replace an injured Kinley Fowler on The Wave, Muscat, while New Zealand’s Matt Mitchell replaces Smyth on GAC Pindar.
With only one Act to go in this year’s Extreme Sailing Series, David ‘Freddie’ Carr uses SAP Sailing Analytics to provide detailed insights into the on-water action so far in this video. Discussing key parameters including: speed, manoeuvres, g-force, and angle to wind – helping the fans to get closer to the sport. Throughout the season, SAP has been delivering enhanced analysis tools both pre and post-race, providing sailors, media and fans with greater insight into the on-water action than previously available.
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 8, Sydney presented by Land Rover crew lists:
Skipper /Helm: Morgan Larson (USA)
Tactician: Stuart Pollard (AUS)
Mainsail Trimmer: Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI)
Headsail Trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI)
Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI)
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) *
Skipper/Helm: Dean Barker (NZL)
Floater: Edwin Delaat (NZL)
Mainsail Trimmer: Glenn Ashby (AUS)
Headsail Trimmer: James Dagg (NZL)
Bowman: Jeremy Lomas (NZL)
* Will not compete. Details.
GAC Pindar (AUS)
Skipper/Helm: Nathan Wilmot (AUS)
Tactician: James Wierzbowski (AUS)
Mainsail Trimmer: Seve Jarvin (AUS)
Trimmer: Matt Mitchell (NZL)
Bowman: Tyson Lamond (AUS)
Gazprom Team Russia (RUS)
Skipper/Tactician: Igor Lisovenko (RUS)
Helm: Phil Robertson (NZL)
Mainsail Trimmer: Matt Adams (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Pete Cumming (GBR)
Bowman: Aleksey Kulakov (RUS)
Groupama sailing team (FRA)
Skipper/Helm: Franck Cammas (FRA)
Tactician: Tanguy Cariou (FRA)
Mainsail Trimmer: Romain Motteau (FRA)
Headsail Trimmer: Thierry Fouchier (FRA)
Bowman: Hervé Cunningham (FRA)
J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR)
Skipper/Helm: Ben Ainslie (GBR)
Floater: Bleddyn Mon (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Paul Campbell-James (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Nick Hutton (GBR)
Bowman: Matt Cornwell (GBR)
Oman Air (OMA)
Skipper/Helm: Tom Slingsby (AUS)
Mainsail Trimmer: Kyle Langford (AUS)
Headsail Trimmer: Ted Hackney (AUS)
Bowmen: Ali Al Balashi (OMA) /Joey Newton (AUS)
Skipper/Mainsail Trimmer: Jérôme Clerc (SUI)
Helm: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
Tactician: Bruno Barbarin (FRA)
Headsail Trimmer: Bryan Mettraux (SUI)
Bowman: Thierry Wasem (SUI)
Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT)
Skipper/Helm: Roman Hagara (AUT)
Tactician: Hans-Peter Steinacher (AUT)
Floater: Stewart Dodson (NZL)
Jib Trimmer: Mark Bulkeley (GBR)
Bowman: Shaun Mason (GBR)
SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN)
Co-Skipper/Helm: Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN)
Co-Skipper/Tactician: Rasmus Køstner (DEN)
Mainsail Trimmer: Thierry Douillard (FRA)
Headsail Trimmer: Christian Kamp (DEN)
Bowman: Brad Farrand (NZL)
The Wave, Muscat (OMA)
Skipper/Helm: Leigh McMillan (GBR)
Tactician: Sarah Ayton (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Pete Greenhalgh (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Ed Smyth (AUS/NZL)
Bowman: Nasser Al Mashari (OMA)
Source: ESS media