Tuesday, 12 October 2010
ETNZ's Extreme 40. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/OC Events.
by ETNZ media
The breeze was firmly in control of Day 2 of the final round of the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series.
For the Emirates Team New Zealand crew at Almeria, it was another day of coming to grips with close-quarters racing in extremely fast catamarans.
Conditions were very different to the day before; the breeze was up over 20 knots and too robust to race outside the harbour.
Reefs were compulsory, gennakers were banned for the day and only four boats at a time were allowed on the race course.
Dean Barker reports they are growing in confidence with every race.
“Today was all about low-speed manoeuvring, boat control and positioning around the start line. We have to work on that until it becomes second nature.
“It is very easy to underestimate the acceleration these boats can achieve. Once you pick an angle at the start you’re away. In a mono-hull we can kill speed and dip below the line; in the Extreme 40, if the timing to the start is out by even a fraction, you’re over the line.
“Once we’re off the line and settle down we’re OK. Boat speed is fine around the course and we’re getting to know where the limits are.”
Barker said: “It was really a lot of fun. We feel we were getting better and better with every race. We’re still erring on the side of caution rather than aggression as it’s a fine balance between doing both well.
“We had a couple of close ones at times today and managed to bury the boat approaching the first mark in our fourth race. We were under water – just had to hang on until the boat popped up again.”
Extreme Sailing Series Europe