Friday, 27 August 2010
ECOVER leads Masirah on the final day of racing off Cowes. Image copyright Anne Hinton, all rights reserved.
by Lucy Harwood
The hard work and consistency has paid off, as Ecover secure second place at the Extreme Sailing Series Cowes. Ecover had another outstanding performance today including a bullet to make it onto the podium for the first time since joining the series in 2009.
The final day of racing didn’t disappoint for the hundreds of spectators that lined the shore at Egypt Point for the culmination of the longest event on the Extreme Sailing Series Circuit. A cancelled morning race meant a rest for the nine international teams competing in Cowes, but condiitons started to build as the afternoon went on and everyone was prepared for a testing final day on the water. For Ecover it was the best result on the series to date as they held second going into the final day, 18 points shy of The Wave, Muscat in first, and ten points ahead of Groupe Edmond Rothschild in third.
Conditions remained breezy at over 20 knots as the teams once again reefed the mainsail and a professional 5th man was allowed onboard in place of a vips. Five races ran today as Mike Golding and crew battled it out for the podium.
Ecover kept focused and stayed consistent all day, they dominated race four leading from the outset and taking a bullet. This win was crucial in order to extended over Groupe Edmond Rothschild who were in third. Going into the final race of the day, Ecover was holding second, but today’s last race was a double pointer so they had everything to play for, The Wave had secured first and were nearly out of touch, but they needed to fight to hold onto the second spot ahead of Sete event winner Groupe Edmond Rothschild.
Helm, Leigh McMillan commented after racing, “We knew today would be hard, the conditions had built all day and we were glad when the call was made for a reef, and the professional fifth man allowed onboard. With the breeze, the current, and the lumpy sea conditions today had all the ingredients for crash and burn sailing. We had done a good job of closing the gap to The Wave throughout the day, but they were just out of reach going into the last race, so it was about keeping our nose clean and making sure we held onto second. We’re really pleased that the hard work all week has paid off, bring on Kiel!”
Skipper Mike Golding talked through the conditions and mindset going into the final race of the day, “we decided to play it safe going intot he final race. We started on port, but we weren’t fully committed to it, we were really didn’t want to have an accident and so it was about sailing conservatively. There was nothing to be gained by pushing too hard. Leigh and I said lets just sail the race. In terms of the overall day, everyone was quite relieved when the race committee called the reef in as the conditions had really ramped up. I think the compulsory reef is a really good idea, it makes the racing safer for the team, and ultimately allows you to push hard and still have a decent yacht race. Looking ahead the main thing is we have improved. We now have two reasonable results in the series so the way we are going anything is possible”.
Standings after Day 6
1. The Wave, Muscat 249 pts
2. Ecover 231 pts
3. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 225 pts
4. Oman Sail Masirah 225 pts
5. Red Bull Extreme Sailing 199 pts
6. Groupama 196 pts
7. Team GAC Pindar 170 pts
8. Veolia Environnement 85 pts
9. The Ocean Racing Club 79 pts
ECOVER Sailing Team
Extreme Sailing Series Europe