Fighting finish at St Petersburg
Emirates Team New Zealand update - fighting finish at St Petersburg
June 29 2014
Emirates Team New Zealand went on the offensive at the Extreme Sailing Series’ St Petersburg regatta today.
Making the most of the best sailing conditions of the week, Peter Burling and his crew went all out in the chase to the top of the leader board.
Starting the day in third place on the board (Alinghi 117, The Wave 105, Emirates Team New Zealand 93) it was a big ambition, given the quality and experience of the leading crews, to say nothing of having four-times Olympic gold medallist Bean Ainslie snapping at their heels.
Burling and tactician Ray Davies had never previously sailed together. They were still learning about each other’s style, but after five races today were in with a chance.
The final race of these regattas scores double points and the three Extreme Series regattas held this year had all been decided on the vita; last race.
Today Emirates Team New Zealand needed to win it. They did. Then they needed Alinghi and the Wave to finish well down the fleet to turn the leader board on its head. That didn’t happen.
After 22 races over the four days the difference came down to just two points as The Wave crossed the finish line a single place away from relinquishing second overall, in spite of having a 12 point lead at the beginning of the day.
Peter Burling: “Obviously it was a little disappointing to get so close to second, but we are always feeling like we are getting better and better.”
Ray Davies: “We were sailing with a brand new team combination this week, so to get on the podium again, and not be too far off the pace overall was really satisfying.
"We are mixing crews up to learn about each other looking ahead to the next few years. We learn more about sailing together every regatta and feel we are sailing better and better.
“So we are pretty happy to be sitting at third overall at the halfway stage of the Extreme Sailing Series season.”
The next event is in August in Cardiff Wales where Burling hands the helm Dean Barker as he and 49er crew Blair Tuke return to the Olympic class for the 49er European Championships.
Peter Burling: “It will be over to Dean at the Extreme Sailing Series, and over to Blair and myself to try to maintain the pressure on the rest of the world in the 49er.”
Final Leader board – after 22 races
1st Alinghi 160 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat 148 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand, 146 points
4th J.P Morgan BAR, 120 points
5th Realstone, 117 points
6th SAP Extreme Sailing Team, 113 points
7th Gazprom Team Russia, 97 points
8th Oman Air, 96 points
9th Red Bull Sailing Team, 95 points
10th GAC Pindar, 88 points
11th Groupama, 88 points
12th Russian First, 40 points
Extreme Sailing Series Overall 2014 Leader board
1st Alinghi 38 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat 35 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand, 32 points
4th Realstone, 28 points
5th Gazprom Team Russia, 19 points
6th J.P Morgan BAR, 17 points
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team, 14 points
8th Red Bull Sailing Team, 13 points
9th Groupama, 13 points
10th Oman Air, 11 points
11th GAC Pindar, 4 points