"The conditions were pretty wild today in Sydney harbour. With such strong winds, our focus was on keeping control of the boat. We could foil, but we avoided doing anything crazy! To be confident of our manoeuvres we were even on our hands and knees as we traversed the net during the turns and gybes". So said Yves Detrey, Alinghi’s bowman and one of the toughest sailors on the circuit.
It was a hard day in this, the opening of the grand final of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™, with an average wind of 20 knots and gusts up to 28. With this the situation, Alignhi’s caution proved a good decision, providing two second-place finishes and a victory in the day’s three races. Their rival for the Series, Oman Air, also won a race, but finished third and fourth in the others.
In the middle of the afternoon, the race committee asked the competitors to return to the dock. Tim Lapauw explains: "In the third round, two boats capsized (Portuguese Visit Madeira and English Land Rover BAR Academy). Thankfully, there were no injuries or damages to the boats, but, understandably, for safety reasons, the race director preferred to stop there. We sailed well and are happy with our day. We were just really watchful and respectful of the conditions."
So far, so good for the team, who now look to continue where they left off tomorrow.
The standings in Sydney after three races, with 12 points for first place, 11 for second and so on, are:
1st – Alinghi (SUI): 2nd, 1st, 2nd: 34 points
2nd – Oman Air (OMA): 3rd, 4th, 1st: 31 points
3rd – Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): 1st, 6th, 3rd: 29 points
Find all of the results at http://www.extremesailingseries.com/results/2016-Sydney