Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Extreme 40 : Emirates Team New Zealand has last minute win in Boston

Emirates Team New Zealand competing in Boston. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OC ThirdPole

by Warren Douglas

What a finish. Emirates Team New Zealand snatched the overall lead of the Boston round of the Extreme Sailing Series from Artemis on the last leg of the last race.

Going in to the last race they were eight points adrift of the overnight leader and Dean Barker, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas and Adam Beashel needed to put five places between them and the Swedes.

They managed six. Artemis did not have a good race and finished eighth and Emirates Team New Zealand took the opportunities that came their way and kept out of trouble to finish second.

With double points on the table, Barker collected 20 and Artemis eight. After 37 races over five stressful days, Emirates Team New Zealand moved to the top of the leader board on 293 points, followed by Artemis 289, The Wave Muscat 269, Luna Rossa 264 and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 260.

The win, also propelled the team to the 2011 series leader with 39 points, with Artemis second on 37 and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild on 36.

The last race was not at all straight forward. The breeze was light and fluky, with puffs that could change a yachts fortune’s in seconds. As Dean Barker remembers it, twice they fell into windless holes and watched Artemis advance. Twice they sailed themselves out of a difficult situations.

Barker said: “We were realistic about the odds of Artemis having a bad race, but eight points in a double points race is achievable.

“No matter how well or how poorly you’re sailing in these regattas, - you gain some ground and you lose some - but there are always opportunities.”

Dean Barker: “The sailing has been very challenging. Artemis Racing showed us the way the whole week. The racing was so tight. Four boats were in a position to take the title going in to the final race. It's never over until it’s over.

“We had a really tight finish with Artemis in Istanbul and it’s nice to come out on the right side of this one. Boston has been great, we love the city and have really enjoyed our time here.”

Extreme Sailing Series Act 4 at Boston
Overall standings after 37 races, Day 5
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points

1st Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 293 points
2nd Artemis Racing (SWE), 289 points
3rd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), 269 points
4th Luna Rossa (ITA), 262 points
5th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), 260 points
6th Alinghi (SUI), 251 points
7th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), 248 points
8th Oman Air (OMA), 198 points
9th Niceforyou (ITA), 172 points
10th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), 137 points
11th Team Extreme (EUR), 126 points

Emirates Team New Zealand
Extreme Sailing Series