Best Day of Season for Extreme Sailing

Published on October 8th, 2016

Lisbon, Portugal (October 8, 2016) – Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira face a race against time to get their GC32 catamaran back into action after it was damaged in a wet and wild penultimate day of Act 7 on their home waters of Lisbon.

With a fresh breeze gusting more than 20 knots blowing across the River Tagus the Portuguese capital rewarded the Extreme Sailing Series™ teams with some of the most gripping racing seen so far this season. The testing conditions saw the nine-strong fleet blast round Lisbon’s Stadium Racecourse at blistering speeds of up to 35 knots, flying high above the water on their hydrofoils.

The world-class sailors were pushed to the limit as they battled to keep their their cutting-edge GC32s under control right in front of the crowds watching from the Race Village. The action-packed racing provided plenty of thrills and spills in what the sailors described as the best day of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series so far.

But in the fifth race of the day Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira were unable to avoid a collision with American-flagged Vega Racing, and the home team were left with a large hole in the side of their boat. The Extreme Sailing Series’ safety team were on scene within moments, quickly confirming that none of the sailors were hurt, before the stricken GC32 was towed to the dock and craned out so repair work could begin.

Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira’s boatbuilders jumped straight into action to mend the damage but now face a long, sleepless night of work if they are to get the boat race ready for tomorrow’s Act 7 finale.

“We knew today was going to be foiling conditions and it was great, tight racing”, said skipper Diogo Cayolla, whose crew were forced to miss the last two races. “It was one of the best days we’ve had so far this season. Unfortunately, we ended up with a big hole in the side of our boat after a collision with Vega Racing. No-one was injured but the boat had to come out of the water straight away.

“We have a great shore team and they were working on the boat as soon as it was lifted out. They’re going to be working right through the night but I know they will do a good job and tomorrow we will be ready to race again.”

Swiss crew Alinghi once again proved themselves to be the most consistent team on the water with two race wins and four more podium finishes in the day’s seven races. Crucially they managed to stay ahead of arch rivals and overall 2016 Series leaders Oman Air in all but one of the races, and now go into the final day with a healthy 19-point lead over their closest competitor, the French wildcard team NORAUTO. Oman Air trail Alinghi by 28 points in third, leaving Morgan Larson’s crew with a lot to do tomorrow to make up the deficit.

“It was pretty wild and windy out there today,” Alinghi co-skipper and helmsman Arnaud Psarofahgis said. “The downwind was really nice, we had great fun. We hit 35 knots of boatspeed and we knew we were getting close to the edge but we made sure we didn’t go over it. It’s good for us that we didn’t lose too many points today. Conditions were perfect and if it’s the same tomorrow we will be up for it.”

Long-serving Extreme Sailing Series crew Red Bull Sailing Team scored their first win of the Act and clocked another two podium finishes to go into the final day in fourth place, well within touch of the podium. Despite his wealth of top-level experience, tactician Hans-Peter Steinacher said it was the most thrilling racing he’s ever done.

“I’ve been sailing for nearly 40 years and I’ve never done things like this,” he said. “Normally we have control but today it was so extreme – you just can’t imagine how quick it is.

“We made some mistakes, and this is why we’re not on top of the leaderboard. We need to train more in these conditions and be calm, and then the communication will be a lot better.”

SAP Extreme Sailing Team bagged their second race win of the Act to go into the final day in 5th place, ahead of Land Rover BAR Academy in 6th and Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira in 7th. Vega Racing finish the day in 8th just one point ahead of Thalassa Magenta Racing, the Extreme Sailing Series’ first all-woman crew.

Racing resumes at 1500 local time tomorrow (GMT+1). Fans can watch all the action from the Act 7 finale live on the Extreme Sailing Series website, Facebook page or YouTube channel from 1600 to 1730 local time.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7, Lisbon standings after Day 3, 17 races
1st Alinghi (SUI) 187 points.
2nd NORAUTO (FRA) 168 points.
3rd Oman Air (OMA) 159 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 151 points.
5th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 136 points.
6th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 119 points.
7th Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira (POR) 101 points.
8th Vega Racing (USA) 97 points
9th Thalassa Magenta Racing (CAN) 96 points

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The Line-Up – Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7, Lisbon, Portugal

Alinghi (SUI)

Skipper/Helm: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
Tactician: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA)
Headsail Trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI)
Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI)
Floater: Timothé Lapauw (FRA)

Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR)
Skipper/Bowman: Neil Hunter (GBR)
Helm: Elliot Hanson (GBR)/Chris Taylor (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Will Alloway (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Sam Batten (GBR)/Adam Kay (GBR)
Floater: Rob Bunce (GBR)

Skipper/Helm: Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Mainsail Trimmer: Arnaud Jarlegan (FRA)
Trimmer: Thierry Douillard (FRA)
Trimmer: Matthieu Vandame (FRA)
Bowman: Nicolas Heinz (FRA)

Oman Air (OMA)
Skipper/Helm: Morgan Larson (USA)
Mainsail Trimmer: Pete Greenhalgh (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Ed Smyth (NZL/AUS)
Bowmen: Nasser Al Mashari (OMA)/James Wierzbowski (AUS)

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: Brad Farrand (NZL)

Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira (POR)
Skipper/Helm: Diogo Cayolla (POR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Frederico Melo (POR)
Headsail Trimmer: Nuno Barreto (POR)
Bowman: Luís Brito (POR)
Floater: João Matos Rosa (POR)

SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN)
Co-Skipper/Helm: Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN)
Co-Skipper/Tactician: Rasmus Køstner (DEN)
Mainsail Trimmer: Mads Emil Stephensen (DEN)
Headsail Trimmer: Pierluigi De Felice (ITA)
Bowman: Renato Conde (POR)

Thalassa Magenta Racing (CAN)
Skipper/Helm: Sharon Ferris-Choat (NZL/CAN)
Crew: Gemma Jones (NZL)
Crew: Annemieke Best (NED)
Crew: Annabel Vose (GBR)
Crew: Elodie Mettraux (SUI)
Crew: Marina Lobato (POR)
Crew: Sally Barkow (USA)
Crew: Dee Caffari (GBR)
Crew: Hannah Diamond (GBR)
Crew: Abby Ehler (GBR)
Crew: Annie Lush (GBR)

Vega Racing (USA)
Skipper/Helm: Brad Funk (USA)
Tactician: Nick Thompson (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Trevor Burd (USA)
Bowman: Mac Agnese (USA)
Floater: Erick Rodriguez (PUR)

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2016 overall results (after 6 of 8 events)
1 Oman Air (OMA) 68 points
2 Alinghi (SUI) 65 points
3 Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 63 points
4 SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 52 points
5 Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 46 points
6 Sail Portugal-Visit Madeira (POR) 42 points
7 CHINA One (CHN) 29 points
8 Team Turx (TUR) 11 points

2016 Schedule
March 16-19 – Muscat, Oman
April 29-May 2 – Qingdao, China
June 23-26 – Cardiff, UK
July 28-31 – Hamburg, Germany
September 1-4 – St Petersburg, Russia
September 22-25 – Madeira Islands, Portugal
October 6-9 – Lisbon, Portugal
December 8-11 – Australia (location TBD)

Background: The Extreme Sailing Series is in its tenth season, with this year’s eight event tour travelling through Asia, Europe, and Australia. The platform used is the one design foiling GC32 catamaran, with the format highlighting ‘stadium’ short-course racing in front of the public. ESS website:

Source: ESS

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