Thursday, 5 August 2010

Extreme 40s: Extreme Team GAC Pindar take on Windsurfers in Cowes

Team GAC Pindar vs. a windsurfer. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/OC Events.

by Kate Brewer

The action continued on day four of the Extreme Sailing Series in Cowes, with gusts of up to 24 knots leading to more spectacular, yet taxing racing for the fleet.

Before the racing, as part of the afternoon entertainment, Team GAC Pindar’s skipper and windsurfing fanatic, Nick Moloney, challenged a fleet of windsurfers to race against the team’s high speed Extreme 40 catamaran.

Moloney challenged 13-time British National Windsurf Champion, Guy Cribb, to three straight line speed races and was joined by fellow World Tour professionals, John Skye and Isle of Wight windsurfer, Ross Williams.

All round yachtsman, Moloney, who boasts a rich and successful sailing career, including 2 America’s Cup campaigns and 12 individual World Sailing Speed Records also holds the Guinness World Record for the first and only person to windsurf non-stop across the Bass Strait. In 1998 he sailed un-assisted from mainland Australia to the Island State Tasmania in a time of 22 hours 11 minutes.

Speaking after yesterday’s challenge, Moloney commented, “That was awesome – we were flying, but they were too and beat us 2-1. Considering we were doing in excess of 20 knots of boat speed, I was surprised how evenly we were matched at such high speed.”

Also enjoying the Extreme Cowes Week action yesterday, was Formula 1’s Eddie Jordan. Speaking from the event he said, ‘The analogy or similarity with F1 is very obvious to see. The boats travel at huge speeds, very close to one another, no escape lanes anywhere on this course, it is absolutely fantastic, wheel to wheel or actually sail to sail. It’s exciting trying to catch up on inside and outside just like F1! It’s the most exciting thing I have seen in a long time.’

With no morning race on day four, the afternoon racing got underway at the later time of 17.00 from Egypt Point. Strong gusts against the tidal current enforced a mandatory reef across the fleet and the ‘5th men’ limited to the first race only.

Mike Golding’s Ecover dominated the day, winning three out of four races to close the gap on Paul Campbell-James on board The Wave, Muscat, who leads by just four points, on 150 points.

Team GAC Pindar finished 3rd in the final race of the day and remain in 7th place overall on 99 points.

Team GAC Pindar
Extreme Sailing Series Europe