Sunday, 26 September 2010

Frustration for ECOVER as Rudder Damage Leads to Early End to Day 3 in Trapani

ECOVER. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/ECOVER Sailing Team.

by Lucy Harwood

Ecover started day three in Trapani with a clear objective, they needed a good consistent performance to put them back on top of the leaderboard, and today in Trapani the British team put on a real show to come out fighting in the gusty 15 - 20 knot westerly conditions.

After an outstanding performance in the first five races, which included two bullets in race two and three, the port rudder housing broke whilst they were in the starting sequence for race six. A DNF in races six and seven meant Ecover were pushed back down the leaderboard to fifth after working hard to move back up to third overall today. "We are gutted because our big thing was to make sure we beat The Wave, Muscat and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. The Wave is now gone from us, unfortunately, but if we can get ourselves back into a podium position, it will only put us a couple of points off the lead for the overall series in Almeria," Will Howden.

The team delivered some outstanding sailing today, which saw two bullets in race two and three. A sublime manouvre by the team as they rounded the final mark before the line on race three, saw Ecover push current event leaders The Wave, Muscat all the way to the finish. They squeezed inside of the Omani team to propel the boat over the line and take another win whilst a big crowd of supporters cheered them on from the shore.

The broken rudder just before race six was to cause a frustrating end to what was a perfect days sailing. The team had hoped the short break in racing due to the arrival of a local ferry would give them some time in order to replace the damaged rudder. The team worked hard, but they were unable to affect repairs in time and Ecover retired from racing with one more race to go.

“Yeah it was a very good day, but ultimately a disappointing end for us. It looks like we're going to be able to get up and running again for tomorrow. The most annoying thing is to have missed the final two races and there isn't much we can do about that, except try and stay as positive as we can based on our earlier performances and just get focused again for tomorrow. Frustration is the overwhelming feeling onboard. Its one of those things, but doesn't make it any easier to accept. The reality is we've lost valuable points from this incident but looking at the leaderboard we are still in touching distance of the podium so we'll just have to come out fighting tomorrow,” Skipper Mike Golding

It has been a shake up on the leaderboard as The Wave, Muscat moves to first with a comfortable 16 point cushion from their team mates Oman Sail Masirah in second. It is frustrating for Ecover who find themselves back in fifth and eight points from third. With a solid performance tomorrow there is always the possibility of shot at the podium, it will be crunch day if Ecover are to continue their run and stay on the podium for the overall series title.

"We had fantastic conditions for Extreme 40 racing today, the sun was out, 20 plus knots of breeze and we were doing really well. We clocked up a couple of firsts, and a second and third. We were just lining ourselves up for the start of race 6 and we were reaching down the line, we went to head up and unfortunately the leeward rudder just snapped off. It is something that we couldn’t have really predicted happening. Luckily one of the other boats that is here had a spare rudder so we have managed to fit that already, but we have a little work to do because we need to align it properly with the other rudder because they work in synchronization. Hopefully we will be all good and ready to go tomorrow morning. We are gutted because we missed the last two races, we were in third place before the breakage and now we are about 8 points off third so we have a hell of a lot to do tomorrow to catch up," Ecover trimmer Will Howden.

Current overall standings after Day 3 - Stage 4 Trapani
1 The Wave Muscat - 107 points
2 Oman Sail Masirah - 91 points
3 Groupe Edmond De Rothschild 85 points
4 Groupama 40 - 82 points
5 Ecover Sailing Team - 77 points
6 Red Bull Extreme Sailing - 61 points
7 Trapani, The Sailing Seacily - 26 points

ECOVER Sailing Team
Extreme Sailing Series