It was another action-packed, full pressure day at the Extreme Sailing Series. After yesterday's collision between Artemis Racing and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild in the fourth race, the breezy conditions continued on Monday, and it was in the sixth race when the Extreme 40 'Aberdeen Asset Management' cart-wheeled spectacularly in gusty 20-25 knot conditions that were pushing the fleet to their limits.
The British Extreme 40 team helmed by John Pink was charging downwind with reefed mainsail and gennaker, sandwiched between Italian team Niceforyou and Austria's Red Bull Extreme Sailing. The bows dug in as a big gust hit all three boats, and with no room to manoeuvre, the boat cart-wheeled, flipped almost vertical, before capsizing.
"We felt we were in control mainly and kept going a bit quicker today than we had on the other days,"
said John Pink. "Coming down that run it just all got very close and the breeze kind of seemed to fill in behind so everyone bunched up a little bit and then we had no where to go!"
The four crew (John Pink, Rick Peacock, Gregory Homann, John Gimson) hung on to the trampoline and all the crew were safe and unhurt. The experienced Olympic 49er sailors of Pink and Peacock have been putting in a great performance in the windy conditions over the last three days with two podium results today. "We were very happy, it was coming together and hopefully we can put the boat back together for tomorrow hopefully,"
continued Pink. "We will work on it pretty hard tonight, sort everything out so it is back in shape and we'll be back in the water tomorrow with a bit of luck."
Once again, the Extreme 40 fleet had been split into groups to race on the tight stadium course off Egypt Point, but these excluded Artemis Racing
who was unable to repair their significant damage from their crash and are out of Act 5. In the first race it was Leigh McMillan at the helm of The Wave, Muscat
who led the way, the crew working slickly together in the testing conditions, and won the first race ahead of John Pink's Aberdeen Asset Management.
In the second race, it was Oman Air
who came to the fore ahead of Ian Williams' Team GAC Pindar
after a close battle. By race 3, the French team Groupe Edmond de Rothschild
were back racing - pretty impressive as the team only craned the boat back into the water just two hours before racing started - and Pierre Pennec nailed their first race ahead of the Italians on Niceforyou
Team GAC Pindar
and Luna Rossa
then both got a win in the following two races with Leigh McMillan getting his second win of the day in the final race. After three days and 16 races, and going into the midway point of Act 5, Luna Rossa
tops the leaderboard with Groupe Edmond de Rothschild
moving up to second overall in the standings having been given redress for the races they missed.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Current overall standings: after 16 races, Day 3 (8.8.11)
Position / Team / Skipper / Points
1st Luna Rossa
(ITA) Max Sirena 74 points
2nd Groupe Edmond de Rothschild
(FRA) Pierre Pennec 73.4 points*
3rd The Wave, Muscat
(OMA) Leigh McMillan 68 points
4th Team GAC Pindar
(GBR) Ian Williams 57 points
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing
(AUT) Roman Hagara 52 points
(SUI) Tanguy Cariou 51 points
7th Oman Air
(OMA) Sidney Gavignet 46 points
(ITA) Alberto Barovier 35 points
9th Emirates Team New Zealand
(NZL) Adam Beashel 35 points
10th Aberdeen Asset Management
(GBR) John Pink 31 points
11th Artemis Racing
(SWE) Santiago Lange 21 points
12th Team Extreme
(EUR) Roland Gaebler 16 points
For further information about Act 5 in Cowes, log on to www.extremesailingseries.com