SAP Extreme Sailing Team dominated and unseated Alinghi from the top spot on another crowd-pleasing day in San Diego at Act 7 of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series.
With seven races in big breeze, helm Adam Minoprio and the rest of the crew on board the Danish-flagged syndicate delivered a masterclass, taking home four wins and two seconds.
“As a team, we excel in the heavy air. We showed everyone up today with how these boats should be sailed, we had clean manoeuvres and were faster on the track. When you do a foiling gybe with the code zero sail up downwind it's a ten boat-length gain, and we managed to nail a few of them today,” said Minoprio.
“It's huge for us to be gaining points on Alinghi and Oman Air in this event. We've got five days of the Extreme Sailing Series left, one more here in San Diego, and we must make sure that we push hard tomorrow to extend the overall championship lead,” added the Kiwi, whose team currently tops the season leader board.
A mixed bag for the Swiss, which included only one win and two more podiums, left them with their work cut out for the final day tomorrow.
“It was an interesting day. It wasn't our best and we have quite a lot to work on for tomorrow, but the win is still on the table and we are looking forward to going out there and catching up on some points,” said co-skipper and helm Arnaud Psarofaghis.
With SAP Extreme Sailing Team comfortably leading, the real battle in the final race was between Oman Air and Red Bull Sailing Team for third, with the two separated by only three points. A fifth for Oman Air and a sixth for Red Bull Sailing Team handed the last spot on the podium to Phil Robertson and the Omani squad – who hit the top speed of the Act so far with 29.25 knots, an insight provided by SAP Sailing Analytics.
Land Rover BAR Academy – helmed by Sir Ben Ainslie – finished in fifth, followed by NZ Extreme Sailing Team in sixth. Although chances of a podium finish look slim for the Kiwi squad, helm Josh Junior celebrated a personal victory today with his first win since taking over the helm in Act 6, Cardiff.
“It was awesome to win our first race of the Act. I think as a team we've been getting better every day and it feels like we've been a little bit unlucky not getting a win until now, but we finally got one and everyone is happy. It's a great way to finish the day,” commented Junior, a former cyclor for Emirates Team New Zealand in the 35th America's Cup.
Team Extreme San Diego showed moments of promise throughout the day but only managed two podiums and finished seventh, leaving Lupe Tortilla Demetrio to round off the table in eighth. For both US-flagged wildcards this week is their first sailing together as a crew, and for many of the sailors their first time on the GC32 boat.
French kiteboarder Axel Mazella continued his commanding performance in the Extreme San Diego Kiteboarding Invitational, bringing his tally of race wins to eight from 11 races. Brit Oliver Bridge climbed to second and Riley Gibbs dropped to third. Three-time world-champion Johnny Heineken currently sits in fourth.
Racing resumes tomorrow with the Extreme San Diego Kiteboarding Invitational from 12:00 UTC-7 followed at 14:00 by GC32 Stadium Racing, which includes the final double-points race.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 7, San Diego, standings after day 3, 19 races (21.10.17)
Position / Team / Points
1st SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Køstner, Adam Minoprio, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason 204 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 190 points.
3rd Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 173 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Will Tiller 169 points.
5th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Rob Bunce, Ben Ainslie, Oli Greber, Elliot Hanson, Will Alloway 158 points.
6th NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) Graeme Sutherland, Josh Junior, Harry Hull, Andy Maloney, Josh Salthouse 148 points.
7th Team Extreme San Diego (USA) Morgan Larson, Andrew Campbell, Matt Cassidy, Mike Kuschner, Cooper Dressler 145 points.
8th Lupe Tortilla Demetrio (USA) John Tomko, Jonathan Atwood, Matthew Whitehead, Tripp Burd, Trevor Burd 108 points.
Extreme San Diego Kiteboarding Invitational, standings after day 3, 11 races (21.10.17)
Position / Athlete / Points
1st Axel Mazella (FRA) 10 points.
2nd Oliver Bridge (GBR) 24 points.
3rd Riley Gibbs 33.3 points.
4th Johnny Heineken (USA) 39 points.
5th Joey Pasquali (USA) 41 points.
6th Julien Kernuer (FRA) 53 points.
7th Nico Landaur (URU) 55 points.
8th Florian Gruber (GER) 59 points.
9th Toni Vodisek (SLO) 63 point.
10th Will Cyr (USA) 81 points.
11th Kai Calder (USA) 86 points.
12th Bryan Lake (USA) 97 points.
13th Daniela Moroz (USA) 101 points.
14th Ty Reed (USA) 122 points.
15th Stefaans Viljoen (RSA) 144 points.