SAP Extreme Sailing Team triumphs in Cardiff to reclaim 2017 lead
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 8:48 AM
It went down to the wire between SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi in the thrilling finale of Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6, Cardiff, but the Danes pipped the Swiss to the post in the final throes of battle. The Danish squad claimed its third win of the season to go top of the overall leaderboard.
Oman Air was forced to settle for third and hand over the 2017 lead to SAP Extreme Sailing Team, after Phil Robertson and his men struggled to find their form of the previous two Acts.
Over 90,000 spectators turned out over the Bank Holiday weekend to watch the international fleet in action on Cardiff Bay, and were rewarded for their efforts today with six nail-biting races and plenty of sunshine.
For a moment, the cracks began to show for SAP Extreme Sailing Team, allowing Alinghi to claw back vital points and enter the final double-points race neck-and-neck with its main rival. But, a disastrous start dashed any hopes of victory for the Swiss team.
"It feels really good," said the winning helm, Adam Minoprio. "We went out there and started strong. The wheels fell off for a bit in the middle, and then we put the pressure on for the final race.
"That start, with Alinghi locked behind the committee boat and Oman Air over the line early, couldn't have gone any better. We are stoked that we could keep our composure and take the win in the last race comfortably, and we're really happy to take the lead as we head to America," added a delighted Minoprio, whose team also included Rasmus Køstner, Pierluigi de Felice, Mads Emil Stephensen, Richard Mason and coach and co-skipper Jes Gram-Hansen.
Although he doesn't get to take home the prize, co-skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis was pleased with his team's progress after a sub-par performance in the previous Act: "It was a really good day and a good regatta for us. The team sailed very well and this was great for us after Hamburg. I'm disappointed to have had a bad start in that final race, but that's the game. Overall, we're really happy.
"It's all to play for and we can still win the season, that's the goal. We're just going to have to work harder next time," added Psarofaghis, whose team won the Series in 2016 and currently sits third in the overall standings.
"It's been a very difficult event for us," said Oman Air skipper Phil Robertson. "But, we're standing on the podium so all in all it's still a great place to be. We're the only team that has podiumed at every event so far."
"We're pretty fired up now and the guys have got a lot of passion going forward into San Diego,"added Robertson.
Red Bull Sailing Team, skippered by double Olympic gold medallist Roman Hagara, found its feet as the day came to a close, posting its first bullet of the Act in the penultimate race. But, by that time, the damage was done and a podium finish was out of reach. The Austrian team finished fourth for the Act and remains fourth for the season.
NZ Extreme Sailing Team, helmed by America's Cup champion Josh Junior, follow the Austrian crew in fifth but take the Zhik Speed Machine Trophy, with insights from SAP, for the top speed of the Act at 23.2 knots. They finish ahead of the two British-flagged entries Land Rover BAR Academy and Team Extreme Wales.
The 2017 Flying Phantom Series drew to a close today and it was total domination for Red Bull Sailing Team. The Austrian squad has claimed victories in all four of the European Acts, in the first year the Series has been partnered with the Extreme Sailing Series. Culture Foil finish the season in second followed by Solidaires en Peloton in third.
"It's been amazing," said winning helm Thomas Zajac, who sailed this Act alongside Will Ryan. "I have watched the Extreme Sailing Series for many years on TV, so it's great to be here and to sail in amongst it. It's always nice as a sailor having so many people coming out to watch you and getting to show off your sport.
"The racing was very tricky here in Cardiff but we managed to sail smart, tried not to put too much risk into it, and just did our thing. In the end it paid off," commented Zajac on his victory.
Act 6, Cardiff marks the end of the European leg of the 2017 season, following events in Madeira Islands, Barcelona and Hamburg. The Series now heads to two brand new venues in the Americas for the final two Acts. Act 7 takes place in San Diego, from the 19 – 22 October.
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6, Cardiff, standings after Day 4, 14 races (28.08.17)
Position / Team / Points
1st SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Køstner, Adam Minoprio, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason 158 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 150 points.
3rd Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 139 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Will Tiller 134 points.
5th NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) Graeme Sutherland, Josh Junior, Harry Hull, Shane Diviney, Josh Salthouse 129 points.
6th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Rob Bunce, Owen Bowerman, Oli Greber, Adam Kay, Mark Spearman 125 points.
7th Team Extreme Wales (GBR) Stevie Morrison, Alain Sign, Martin Evans, Michael Beckett, James French 110 points.
2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 66 points.
2nd Oman Air (OMA) 64 points.
3rd Alinghi (SUI) 61 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 56 points.
5th NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) 48 points.
6th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 47 points.
Flying Phantom Series Cardiff standings after Day 4, 14 races (28.08.17)
Position / Team / Points
1st Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): Thomas Zajac (AUT)/Will Ryan (AUS) 267 points.
2nd ZEPHYR by Idreva (FRA): Charles Hainneville (FRA)/Antoine Rucard (FRA) 262 points.
3rd Culture Foil (FRA): Eric Peron (FRA)/Théo Constance (FRA) 255 points.
4th Solidaires en Peloton (FRA): Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (FRA)/David Fanouillere (FRA) 253 points.
5th UON (POR): Helder Basilio (POR)/João Sousa (POR) 238 points.
6th Oman Sail (OMA): Thomas Normand (FRA)/Antoine Joubert (FRA)/Ahmed Al Hasani (OMA) 222 points.
7th Flying Frogs (FRA): Pierre Le Clainche (FRA)/Arnaud Vasseur (FRA) 212 points.
8th Team Razzle Dazzle (SUI): Florian Trüb (SUI)/Ian Andrewes (USA/NZL) 211 points.
9th Masterlan (CZE): David Krizek (CZE)/Milan Harmacek (CZE) 196 points.
10th Lupe Tortilla (USA): John Tomko (USA)/Jonathan Atwood (USA) 181 points.
11th Red Bill II (FRA): Dominique Pichon (FRA)/David Mirabel (FRA) 136 points.
12th Back to Basics (FRA): Bruno Marais (FRA)/Eric Le Bouedec (FRA) 135 points.
13th EVO Visian ICL (GER): Raphael Neuhann (GER)/Elias Neuhann (GER) 118 points.
2017 Flying Phantom Series overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 80 points.
2nd Culture Foil (FRA) 73 points.
3rd Solidaires en Peloton (FRA) 65 points.
4th Oman Sail (OMA) 61 points.
5th Lupe Tortilla (USA) 58 points.
6th UON (POR) 57 points.
7th ZEPHYR by Idreva (FRA) 55 points.
8th EVO Visian ICL (GER) 46 points.
9th Masterlan (CZE) 44 points.
10th Back to Basics (FRA) 43 points.
11th Red Bill II (FRA) 37 points.
12th Cup Legend (FRA) 36 points.
13th Flying Frogs (FRA) 25 points.
14th Team Razzle Dazzle (SUI) 13 points.
15th Black Flag Racing (FRA) 11 points.