The battle for dominance went to the Southern Hemisphere at the third act of the Extreme Sailing Series as Dean Barker's Emirates Team New Zealand fought hard to lead by 4 points over Sweden's Artemis Racing by the end of the day.
"You are in the fortunes of the guy up above and you have to deal with what you get,"
said Barker. "I think we are sailing better and better but you never come off the water feeling like you had a great day, you just feel like you are surviving."
The big move of the day though came from The Wave, Muscat
, helmed by the youngest skipper on the circuit, Torvar Mirsky
, moving into third place. Also deserving recognition is the Swiss team of Alinghi
who got their campaign back on the road after yesterday's crash.
A total of ten races were staged on the penultimate day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 in Istanbul - starting with one-on-one speed duals and finishing after eight closely-fought fleet races. The breeze started off at around 10 knots combined with stronger gusts - perfect conditions for the speed duals - then softened throughout the afternoon dictating a less frenetic pace than yesterday.
Going into the tenth and final race, Emirates Team New Zealand
and Artemis Racing
were tied on 217 points, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild
on 214. Barker led from start to finish, Terry Hutchinson
's team could only manage fifth place and Pierre Pennec
's men ninth, after a penalty on the first upwind leg, setting the stage for the final showdown.
Max Sirena's team on Luna Rossa
also started the final race on equal points with The Wave, Muscat
but it went wrong from the start as they found themselves on the wrong side of the start line and The Wave, Muscat
escaped finishing in third place to elevate them to third in the overall rankings.
Tomorrow will decide who will win here in Istanbul. Up to 100 points could be won and five teams are in contention for overall victory with just 13 points separating them. "Everything can change," said Barker. "It's nice to be leading going into the final day but you're only as good as your next race. With another seven to eight races tomorrow anything can happen."
And certainly still able to make the podium is Roman Hagara
's (AUT) Red Bull Extreme Sailing
on 187, Team Extreme
with points for redress (compensation for their crash) on 177.6 (they get 5.2 points per race). Oman Air
after a mixed day of good and bad races is on 170, with Alinghi
on 161. Team GAC Pindar
had some great moments and, at 160 points, has held off Niceforyou
on 153 points.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 Istanbul Standings
Position / Team / Points
1 - Emirates Team New Zealand
(NZL) - 228 points
2 - Artemis Racing
(SWE) - 224 points
3 - The Wave, Muscat
(OMA) - 218 points
4 - Groupe Edmond de Rothschild
(FRA) - 217 points
5 - Luna Rossa
(ITA) - 215 points
6 - Red Bull Extreme Sailing
(AUT) - 187 points
7 - Team Extreme
(EUR) - 177.6 points
8 - Oman Air
(OMA) - 170 points
9 - Alinghi
(SUI) - 161 points
10 - Team GAC Pindar
(GBR) - 160 points
11 - Niceforyou
(ITA) - 153 points