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Sailing: Alinghi win Extreme Sailing Series opener in Singapore

Alinghi (centre) won Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series ahead of The Wave, Muscat (left) and Realstone (right) after an action-packed week in Singapore. Photos: Extreme Sailing Series.

Alinghi (centre) won Act 1 of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series ahead of The Wave, Muscat (left) and Realstone (right) after an action-packed week in Singapore. Photos: Extreme Sailing Series.

February 23, 2013: Alinghi completed a near-perfect regatta to clinch the opening Act of the Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore as the Swiss contenders finished ahead of The Wave, Muscat of Oman, which is where the eight-stop series heads next.


Realstone, another Swiss entry, finished third ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, whose chances of a podium finish suffered following a penalty in the final race at the Singapore Stadium Racecourse.


An estimated 30,000 spectators watched the action over the four days, as the Alinghi team of Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre Yves Jorand, Nils Frei and Yves Detrey finished more than half of the 29 races in the top three. The team had the Act wrapped up before the final double-points race, a feat rarely seen on the circuit.


“We couldn’t have dreamed for a better start,” Larson said. “It was challenging here and the level of competition was a couple of notches higher this season. I think we just carried on from last year as we’re the only team that hasn’t changed any of our crew. We will try to build on last year and enjoy this victory.”


The outcome of who would be stood to left and right of the Swiss team on the podium was not so clear-cut, with Emirates Team New Zealand, The Wave, Muscat and Realstone all vying for glory.


The Kiwis came flying off the start line in the final race, but it all went wrong for Dean Barker and his team shortly after that, as a penalty in the first beat for a port-starboard incident against The Wave, Muscat, lost them not only second place to the Omani boat but third place to Realstone.


“It’s the first time we have raced together in five months and our first time back on the circuit since 2011, and for sure we wanted to get a podium here, but couldn’t get away with it,” Barker said. “We’re still rusty and have to focus our thoughts, but we’ll get there. We definitely had a great time here in Singapore.”


The reigning champions on The Wave, Muscat have a new line-up this year, including double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton – one of five women competing in Singapore.


Skipper Leigh McMillan, a dominant force in the Extreme 40 class for the last two years, said: “We are going to have a lot on our hands in the upcoming events. We are just delighted to finish in second place and kick off the season with a great result.”
Realstone led the regatta after day one and even missing the racing on Saturday due to a collision earlier in the week couldn’t stop Jerome Clerc and his men, as a third place in the final race was enough to clinch a podium finish.


“This is our best result since our debut in the Extreme 40 Racing,” Clerc said. “It wasn’t easy at all and we have been through every emotion this week, but we have finished really strongly. It proves that we’re working in the right direction, although there are obvious improvements we can make. Well done to Alinghi, who just dominated over the event.”


An estimated 30,000 spectators watched the action at the Singapore Stadium Racecourse.

An estimated 30,000 spectators watched the action at the Singapore Stadium Racecourse.

While familiar races topped the leaderboard in Singapore, many of the new teams showed their quality, with eight of the 12-boat fleet enjoying race victories over the four days. The battle mid-leaderboard was fierce, with Groupama and their multihull expert skipper Franck Cammas, who last competed in the Series in 2010, clinching fifth place by just four points from the experienced hands on Red Bull Sailing.


Ben Ainslie’s team, J.P. Morgan BAR, which includes some of the UK’s top sailing talent, finished the regatta on a high, winning the final double-pointer to finish seventh.


Eighth and ninth went to two previous Series-winning helms, who finished tied on points – Gazprom Team Russia, with two-times Series winner Paul Campbell-James on the tiller and Russian Igor Lisovenko as skipper, and Oman Air led by Rob Greenhalgh. The Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team finished 10th.


Team Aberdeen Singapore, supported by Host Venue Partner Aberdeen Asset Management, made a great comeback after Saturday’s huge crash with Groupama to compete on Sunday, and the local entry even upgraded their position to 11th place ahead of GAC Pindar.


“We’ve had an amazing and spectacular time in Singapore,” said skipper Nick Moloney. “This venue is the encompassment of the stadium format – wind, bumps and scrapes. It’s amazing for spectators and really difficult to sail with all the wind shifts around the buildings. No spot in the world lets us sail like this. For the sailors it was completely full on.”


Extreme Sailing Series 2014 – Act 1, Singapore

Place (Points) Team (Country) Crew

1 (217) – Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey
2 (193) – The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari
3 (178) – Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Sebastien Stephant
4 (168) – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat
5 (160) – Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Pierre Leclainche, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan
6 (156) – Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge
7 (152) – J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell
8 (128) – Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov
9 (128) – Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi
10 (126) – SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested
11 (82) – Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong
12 (59) – GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South


Source: Extreme Sailing Series

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