Capsizes, collisions and crashes, oh my... As the spray settles on the latest stage in the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series, it’s time to take stock of the dramatic events.
Qingdao, China, played host for a series event which saw capsizes, collisions and 29 races over five days and finished with just five points separating the two former America's Cup adversaries, Luna Rossa - who won the Act 2 event - and Emirates Team New Zealand.
The Italian team fought to the finish to claim the Double Star Cup in the very final double-points race. “We are really happy,” said skipper Max Sirena. “It should be a long night for the Luna Rossa team tonight! It's a great result for us as we are a new team even if we have Paul and Alistair onboard who were part of the winning team last year, but Manuel and I are still learning. Compared to our result in Muscat, we really see the improvement here in Qingdao as our boat handling and the communication onboard is a lot better.”
Day three of the event saw some dramatic twists of fate as a major collision, 4 capsizes and 1 broken mast were the victims of a very gusty day. Red Bull Extreme Sailing, one of the capsize victims, will be disappointed with their fourth-placed result here after such a strong start in the early stages of Act 2.
Similarly put out were the Swiss team of Alinghi, who went into the final day challenging for the podium: “We started the event well but it didn't go really well today with a few mistakes on the start lines, tactical decisions, speed of the boat, everything was tough for us,” said skipper Tanguy Cariou . “That's a shame, we are really disappointed with the result but we have to analyse and debrief to improve in Istanbul.”
The 2011 Extreme Sailing Series now heads for Istanbul, Turkey, from May 25-29.