by Gillian Clarke
Today, the SAP Extreme Sailing Team competed in the first day of the third act of the Extreme Sailing Series 2013. Fushan Bay in Qingdao played host to the eight competing teams, who faced cold and wet conditions, fighting it out in open water racing with the added issue of lighter than expected winds. The team was honoured to be joined by Chinese World Record Breaking sailor Guo Chuan for the last race of the day.
Commenting on their performance, and the privilege of sailing with Guo, Helmsman and Co-Skipper Jes Gram-Hansen said:
“It’s been quite an opener for our team today in Qingdao. We expected stronger wind conditions but it turned out to be light and shifty. The atmosphere amongst the SAP Extreme sailing team is buzzing after our first podium finish in the Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore, I feel the expectations and acknowledgment of our team on the circuit has grown.
Guo Chuan the Chinese sailor who set the new world record for sailing solo and non-stop around the world was on our boat as fifth-man position today. It was a great honour. I really admire his achievement. It isn’t like competing in stadium racing with 7-9 other boats and 10 races a day. Guo was on his own for 138 days, racing at full throttle I don’t think I could do the same journey all on my own. The team have a real respect for him and it was a real honour to have him race with us today. It was a great feeling securing solid results, we finished 4th overall with everything to fight for over the next few days. In many races we were pushing hard against the defending champion Leigh McMillan and the winner of the second Act, Morgan Larson, we are biting at the competitions heels now and hungry for more.
Alinghi did a very good job out there today, every things seems to be going their way right now. But if we look at the first leg of every race today we were not far behind. I would even say we might be leading in general if we had finished at the first top mark. That said we still have difficulties getting the right positioning and choosing the correct lay line on the first downwind – but it’s something to work on tomorrow and I’m happy we come this far.”
The Extreme Sailing Series has a highly competitive and experienced fleet and the SAP Extreme Sailing Team use SAP Analytics to review their performance and look for opportunities to make gains on their race rivals.
Follow tomorrow’s racing from 06.00 CET with live text commentary.