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Florianópolis Stadium Delivers In Extreme Series

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  • Florianópolis Stadium Delivers In Extreme Series






    The opening day of Act 8 Florianópolis presented by Land Rover delivered the “best racing of the year” according to Alinghi helmsman Morgan Larson & SAP Extreme Sailing Team skipper Jes Gram-Hansen. The final showdown of the 2013 Series began in style, and the South Brazilian city welcomed the eight elite level Extreme 40 teams with champagne sailing conditions – 14 knots of wind that steadily built to 20 and a brilliant Brazilian sunshine.

    Eight short, sharp, fast paced races were sailed, with four different race winners and Oman’s The Wave, Muscat blasted round the tight courses, reaching speeds of 24 knots and relishing the conditions that put Leigh McMillan’s men at the top of the rankings at the end of day one. Tomorrow is a national holiday in Brazil when the event officially opens to the public, and with the breeze set to build to 30 knots overnight, they will be in for a show they wont easily forget! Fans online can watch it live from 1600BRST/1800 GMT on the official event website.





    all photos © Vincent Curutchet/Dark Frame/Lloyd Images




    The grudge match between long-standing Series rivals The Wave, Muscat and Alinghi is already evident, and the teams are unsurprisingly looking ahead to Sunday night when the 2013 Series champion will be crowned. The two teams locked horns around the racecourse, neither willing to give an inch. Morgan Larson and the team of finely tuned Swiss sailors matched McMillan’s two race wins, and according to the SAP sailing analytics were the fastest boat on the course, but slick manoeuvres by the Omani team gave them the edge, who finish the day just five points ahead.

    “We were focusing on The Wave, Muscat when we could and when the opportunity was there we tried to get in their way a little bit. They made it hard, and once again they’re sailing well. I think we pushed them a bit, but they’re solid!” commented Larson after racing. “Five points isn’t a lot but we need it to be five points the other way. It just means that tomorrow we may need to take a different approach and close that gap!”.








    It wasn’t all plain sailing today particularly for Red Bull Sailing Team who didn’t get their campaign for the podium off to the start they may have hoped. A broken halyard forced them to miss the second race of the day costing them valuable points. A quick repair however, and the team came back fighting, winning race three. The Austrian double Olympic gold medallists are tied in points with their biggest Series podium rivals, SAP Extreme Sailing Team, but three race wins for the Danish co-skippers Rasmus Kostner and Jes Gram-Hansen versus one for the Austrian team, gives the Danes the advantage on the leaderboard.

    Back on the dock, SAP’s Gram-Hansen enthused about the day’s racing. “It was an absolutely fantastic day of sailing, definitely one of the best we’ve had so far this year. We had really good conditions today, good breeze with constant shifts which led to opportunities for everybody – I think was probably the best day of racing so far this year!”

    In what is only their third Act on the Extreme Sailing Series, ChinaSpirit had their best day to date, consistently securing results in the top half of the fleet and showing a marked improvement from the previous Act in Nice, on the French Riviera. Kiwi skipper Phil Robertson, one of the youngest in the fleet, was thrilled with the team’s performance. “We were super consistent today and were mostly sitting around fourth position which is ideal – we really wanted to be clocking up some good results on day one. We were fast and we just tried to keep it as consistent as we could, so we just kept doing what we were doing tomorrow! We can’t wait for the big wind – we will take it head on!”.









    The local contingent on Team Brazil Mapfre lined up against the more experienced fleet that have been locked in irons against each other over the last nine months of global touring for the first time today, and are already drawing the support of the locals who enjoyed their first glimpse of Extreme 40 racing from the shoreline. Tomorrow, the Brazilian locals will be celebrating the Day of the Republic with an official national holiday, and with blistering winds on the forecast, they can expect an action packed day with plenty of intense, close Stadium Racing. For Leigh McMillan, tomorrow is about playing it safe, and clocking up those valuable points on the Act 8 Florianópolis presented by Land Rover leaderboard. “Our priority tomorrow is to keep the boat in one piece and to try and get all of the races completed. It will be really challenging and we will try not to take too many risks and come out tomorrow without any disasters. It will be safety first!”

    Extreme Sailing Series™ 2013 Act 8, Florianópolis presented by Land Rover standings after Day 1, 8 races (14.11.13)
    Position / Team / Points
    1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 69 points.
    2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 64 points.
    3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Kinley Fowler 56 points.
    4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 56 points.
    5th ChinaSpirit (CHN) Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Brad Hooker, Louis Viat, Nick Catley 54 points.
    6th Realteam (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Nils Palmieri, Cedric Schmidt, Thierry Wassem 49 points.
    7th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Matt Steven, Stewart Dodson, Tom Bentham, Shaun Mason 37 points.
    8th Team Brazil Mapfre (BRA) Clínio de Freitas, André Mirsky, Daniel Santiago, André Chang, Bruno di Bernardi 28 points.


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  • #2
    Go Morgan!

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    • #3
      Extreme 40's Pushed To Their Limits






      Big breeze and blistering speeds called for nerves of steel from the eight Extreme 40s on the first public day in Brazil, as they hurtled round the Florianópolis stadium racecourse in the biggest winds the fleet has raced in all season, which peaked at 35 knot gusts. There was plenty of hull flying action at the final Act of the year presented by Land Rover, as the fleet expertly navigated their missiles around the course, with water spraying off their bows as they used all their physical strength to keep their racing machines upright. The Austrian Red Bull Sailing Team were the undisputed stars of the day, the fastest boat on the water according to the SAP analytics, who relished the conditions and stormed their way to two race wins. Others found the conditions right on the edge, including the local boat Team Brazil Mapfre who were forced to retire from racing after breaking their bowsprit during a difficult bear away and the Swiss Realteam who lost a man overboard in the final race of the day.





      all images © Llyod Images / Extreme Sailing Series





      Three full on races were sailed, before gusts of 35 knots and a turning tide quashed proceedings, as Race Director Phil Lawrence elaborated: “The conditions today were right at the top limit for racing. It's a testament to the skill of the sailors that they were able to get around the course in one piece! They had a few frightening moments but they did a fantastic job. I have never run racing in as much wind as that for the Extreme 40s. I stopped racing when the winds got to 35 knots, and then the tides started to change and the seas were going to become unmanageable.”

      Still buzzing from the exhilarating racing, Red Bull Sailing Team’s double Olympic champion Roman Hagara enthused about his team’s performance. “It was a really fun day for us, we pushed it really hard and it seemed to be enough! We had good breeze, good teamwork and it just came together. We've still got a long way to go, there's still two days of racing left but we're very confident.” Hagara’s team are now just five points behind second placed Alinghi, and have put a little light between them and SAP Extreme Sailing Team, three points ahead of the fourth placed Danes.











      The defending champions The Wave, Muscat maintain pole position heading into tomorrow’s penultimate day, secured by a win in the first race of the day. Their skipper Leigh McMillan, one of the most experienced on the circuit who has sailed in the Series since 2009, said: “Today was definitely up there with some of the biggest days on the circuit. It was full on but enjoyable! The conditions were very extreme, it was windy but we were just happy we were doing the right thing during racing. We were getting around the course and still pushing hard.”

      In the final race of the day, as the breeze continued to build before reaching the cut off point, the Swiss multihull champions on Realteam lost their headsail trimmer Cédric Schmidt overboard. The team made a quick recovery, but was forced to retire from the race as skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis elaborated: “He went over as we deployed the gennaker. We were hit by a wave and it just threw him off the boat. He is fine, his hand is slightly sore, but I'm sure he'll be ready to race again tomorrow. We tried to sail a safe game today, we had some bad luck at times but we were happy with our speed and with our boat handling. In these conditions you need to sail the boat by keeping everything simple, avoid any crashes and make sure everyone is safe.”








      The young Kiwi team on GAC Pindar came out on guns blazing today, hitting the accelerator and giving the more experienced crews a run for their money, including a third and second place – a real confidence boost for the youngest skipper in the fleet Will Tiller. “It was tough out there, we had to make sure that we had good communication onboard to get us round the course but it was a great experience for us to race in those conditions. Our aim is to keep pushing the boat to its limits and we managed to pull off some good results, which we're really happy with. There's still a long way to go but our aim is to keep chipping away at the points and trying to edge up the leaderboard as much as we can.” The Kiwi-flagged team is currently seventh with 58 points, two points behind Realteam.

      It was a tough day for the local entry on Team Brazil Mapfre who, after missing the first race start while they reefed the boat, snapped their bowsprit during a difficult bear away, in race two, putting them out of the running for the day. Skipper Clínio de Freitas, an Olympic bronze medallist, was optimistic about the rest of the Act. “We're trying to fix this problem tonight so that we can come back tomorrow and compete again. It's a fantastic opportunity for us to compete here on our home waters, and we are sure we can be back tomorrow to put on a show for our local fans.”


      Extreme Sailing Series™ 2013 Act 8, Florianópolis presented by Land Rover standings after Day 2, 11 races (15.11.13)
      Position / Team / Points
      1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 95 points.
      2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 86 points.
      3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Kinley Fowler 81 points.
      4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 78 points.
      5th ChinaSpirit (CHN) Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Brad Hooker, Louis Viat, Nick Catley 70 points.
      6th Realteam (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Nils Palmieri, Cedric Schmidt, Thierry Wassem 60 points.
      7th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Matt Steven, Stewart Dodson, Tom Bentham, Shaun Mason 58 points.
      8th Team Brazil Mapfre (BRA) Clínio de Freitas, André Mirsky, Daniel Santiago, André Chang, Bruno di Bernardi 28 points.


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      • #4


        "SAP Extreme Sailing Team capsize at Extreme Sailing Series in Florianopolis"
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        • #5
          Alinghi win in Brazil – The Wave, Muscat clinch 2013 Extreme Sailing Series™ crown in final race




          - It doesn’t get closer than this! The Wave, Muscat win the Series in the final race with just four points making the difference after 190 races this year as McMillan becomes first skipper to win the Series twice.
          - Morgan Larson snatches Act victory from McMillan’s grasp making Alinghi the only team to have finished on the podium at every Act in 2013.
          - Red Bull Sailing Team take third in Brazil and in the Series.
          - Watch the highlights of a spectacular, action-packed final Act in Florianopolis, presented by Land Rover here.
          - Replay today’s final Act and Series deciding races here.
          - Series organisers OC Sport confirm an eight Act, four continent tour of the globe in 2014 including and a full starting grid of top international teams.




          Thousands of onlookers were on tender hooks as The Wave, Muscat clinched victory in the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series™ in Florianopolis presented by Land Rover, in one of the closest ever-final races in the seven-year history of the Series. Under a brilliant Brazilian sunshine with a perfect 10 knots of breeze, Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Hashim Al Rashidi and Musab Al Hadi were leading the fleet as they went into the final all important double points race, but out to upset the order were the Swiss America’s Cup winners on Alinghi – and they almost managed it!





          A second in the final race was enough for Morgan Larson and the team to snatch the Act victory from McMillan’s grasp, and the Swiss came tantalizingly close to adding the Series to their winning haul – within four points in fact in the final race – but McMillan’s men proved unstoppable. It is a fitting finish for the long term Series rivals who wrap up an incredible 2013 Series tied on points – the first time in the history of the elite level Stadium Racing series that two teams have been tied at the end of the year – with The Wave, Muscat coming out on top after Act win countback. “This is exactly how I thought the end result would go! We haven’t been able to shake Alinghi all year, they haven’t really put a foot wrong!” said McMillan. “We knew they were going to do everything possible, the last few days they’ve been absolutely hammering us around the racecourse. They did an exceptional job in that last race getting in front and we were just lucky we just got the right corner of the course and the shift was big enough that we were able to keep in the game! It’s a massive relief for what has been a couple of emotional days!”




          The two teams locked their sights on each other from the first start gun in Brazil four days ago, and instantly went into match racing mode fighting their own private battle. Alinghi helmsman Larson reflected on the rivalry that has been rife all year. “It felt like from the very start of the season it would come right down to that last race and even after the first day of this event Leigh slipped ahead a little bit, and we knew we would have to fight and we could get it back! Leigh capitalised on some big wind shifts and he deserved his victory!” Going on to praise his crew, “This year has been an amazing team effort and I really enjoyed sailing with the Swiss team. The guys onboard really welcomed me in the team; I couldn’t dream of a better situation personally!”.




          There was also jubilation dockside for Red Bull Sailing Team, who had done enough going into the final race to secure third place on the overall Series leaderboard – the first time they have stood on the Series podium in four years on the circuit. A third place in the Act was the icing on the cake for their double Olympic champion Roman Hagara. “It feels really good! It’s very important for the team, we worked really hard all season and we will enjoy it now to be on the podium, but we still had some tough races in the middle of the year, but that’s racing! The end of the season was better for us we were competing with the top boats, we were still in there in the last race and it will be good for next season. The teams are more consistent now and it’s a tough battle at the top of the fleet! It seems to always come down to the last race, which is really good and it shows the quality of the sailors here in the Series which is exactly what we want.”




          The Series has been on a whirlwind tour of the globe, taking in some of the most iconic waterfront city locations, from the Middle East, to Asia, Europe and finally South America and McMillan’s team have proved themselves a force to be reckoned with, picking up five Act wins along the way. They started the season on an up, winning Act 1 on their home waters in Oman, and this year have welcomed newcomer 24-year-old Omani F18 sailor Musab Al Hadi joining McMillan, Omani Hashim al Rashidi (bowman), Brit Pete Greenhalgh (mainsheet) and Kiwi Ed Smyth (tactician) – all veterans of The Wave, Muscat’s 2012 winning team.

          The seventh season of the Extreme Sailing Series comes to a close in Brazil after 190 races staged across seven global venues and this game-changing professional Stadium Racing series has attracted 325,000 on site spectators in 2013. Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of Series organisers OC Sport reflected on a successful 2013 and looked ahead to an even bigger 2014. “For us, 2013 has been a hugely significant year. First with the signing of our Series Main Partner Land Rover and also in terms of the sporting competition which has gone to another level this year as we saw today with the incredible fight for the podium. Next year is going to be one of the most exciting Series to date – we have some venues returning, as well as venturing into new territories that will take us to four continents. And on the teams front, we can expect one of the most competitive line-ups we have ever had. Watch this space.”

          2013 key stats:
          7 Acts
          3 continents
          190 races
          7 teams / 7 invitational home nation teams / 2 wildcards
          2 different Act winners
          325,000 on site spectators
          1 capsize (and a few near misses!)
          14 nationalities
          54 TV broadcasters showing the official TV Series
          Over 1 million YouTube views

          Extreme Sailing Series™ 2013 overall standings
          Position / Team / Points
          1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 74 points.
          2nd Alinghi (SUI) 74 points.
          3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 61 points.
          4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 51 points.
          5th Realteam (SUI) 49 points.
          6th GAC Pindar (NZL) 42 points.
          7th Team X Invitational 34 points.
          8th Team Korea (KOR) 16 points.

          Extreme Sailing Series™ 2013 Act 8, Florianópolis presented by Land Rover standings after Day 4, 26 races (17.11.13)
          Position / Team / Points
          1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 219 points.
          2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 215 points.
          3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Kinley Fowler 208 points.
          4th ChinaSpirit (CHN) Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Brad Hooker, Louis Viat, Nick Catley 184 points.
          5th Realteam (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri, Jérôme Clerc 164 points.
          6th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Matt Steven, Stewart Dodson, Tom Bentham, Shaun Mason 159 points.
          7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 122 points.
          8th Team Brazil Mapfre (BRA) Clínio de Freitas, André Mirsky, Daniel Santiago, André Chang, Bruno di Bernardi 61 points.
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