Morgan Larson and his Swiss team Alinghi sailed a faultless regatta at Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series? in Singapore on one of the most memorable stadium race courses the Extreme 40 fleet have ever sailed on to claim overall victory in this truly spectacular Asian city.
Only one race was sailed on the final day in typical light wind Singaporean conditions. Shortly after the fleet left the dock and due to the lack of breeze, Race Committee made the call to run non-points scoring exhibition races, and as the racing was all but abandoned the wind filled in, and the committee were able to complete one more race which changed the face of the Act results. At different stages during the final race, four teams including Alinghi
(SUI), Red Bull Sailing Team
(AUT), SAP Extreme Sailing
(DEN) and Realteam
(SUI) were all in podium positions with the constant shuffling of the leader board making it anyone's game. Morgan Larson, who has led the pack since race six, was unflappable and his Swiss team claim a deserved win, their first win since Almeria in 2011, "We're ecstatic! It's just been a great week for the team. We had a great time here in Singapore which really helped us to perform. It's a great city, with tough sailing conditions, but that's the same for everybody and we just had that little bit of luck along the way and we also did a great job."
Roman Hagara's Red Bull Sailing Team posed the biggest threat to Larson, but Hagara knew it was a big ask to overhaul the Swiss in a single race and did well to hold his nerve to finish second, equalling his result from Act 1 in Muscat. "It's always tough when you don't know when the last race is going to happen, but it worked out well for us and it's great for the team. They did a great job on the boat. I think they really deserved it and it's great for the overall standing now."
Red Bull Sailing Team are now tied on points with Alinghi at the top of the overall Series leader board.
Four days of challenging, light winds on Marina Bay required patience, nerves of steel and a cool head from the Extreme 40 sailors, which SAP Extreme Sailing Team had by the bucket load. The Danish squad came into the final day tied on points with The Wave, Muscat in third place after their best performance on the Series to date yesterday, and a third place in the final race saw the team secure their first ever podium position in third. Co-Skipper and tactician Rasmus Kostner was beaming after racing, "It's fantastic, I think it is a real milestone for SAP Extreme Sailing Team and we're really happy with a podium finish here. We've been looking for that for a long time."
The icing on the cake for the Danish team is to upgrade from seventh to fourth on the overall Series leader board.
Jérome Clerc, in what is only his second Extreme 40 Act at the helm of Realteam, may have had a hard start to the regatta finishing the second day in seventh place, but over the last two days the 2012 D35 champion hit the accelerate button and a second place in the final race ultimately led his team to a fourth place finish overall. "We really didn't expect to see these kind of results so early on in the season but it's really great! We've made a lot of improvements since Oman, the crew did a great job the last two days and I think after today we can confirm we are really improving as a team! We can play against the best for the podium position in the light wind conditions, so now we will have to see if we can manage this in Qingdao."
The biggest surprise of the day perhaps came from The Wave, Muscat. Known for their ability to fight back on the final day, the final days single race just wasn't enough for skipper Leigh McMillan and a poor start ultimately cost them the podium as a deflated McMillan explained, "That race was all decided on the start. We thought we had a good strategy, it just didn't quite pan-out for us. The fleet got away and there were no options to come back into the race so it was decided there and then."
The invitational entry Team Aberdeen Singapore
, supported by Local Event main partner Aberdeen Asset Management, were the local stars of the show. Helm of the local team Robert Greenhalgh, who returned to the Series this year after a five-year hiatus, summed up the feeling amongst the fleet, "It's been great being in Singapore, it's a great venue for this format of racing. There's been lots of locals watching the racing and I'm sure next year will be bigger and better!"
Next, the global road show moves on to Qingdao, China's Olympic sailing city, a regular on the Extreme Sailing Series as the fleet return for the third consecutive year, 2-5 May 2013.
Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 2, Singapore standings after Day 4, 23 races (14.04.13)
Position / Team / Points
1. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson 198 points.
2. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara 163 points.
3. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen 161 points.
4. Realteam (SUI) Jérome Clerc 159 points.
5. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan 153 points.
6. Team Korea (KOR) Peter Burling 144 points.
7. GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller 143 points.
8. Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Scott Glen Sydney 127 points.
Extreme Sailing Series 2013 overall standings after Act 2, Singapore
Position / Team / Points
1. Alinghi (SUI) 18 points.
2. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 18 points.
3. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 16 points.
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 12 points.
5. Team Korea (KOR) 11 points.
6. Team X Invitational 10 points.
7. Realteam (SUI) 10 points.
8. GAC Pindar (NZL) 9 points.