Halfway through the opera
Second day of the last and 8th act is over and with the venue moved right in front of the Opera House, the setting was perfect for another day in the 30 knot business.
With winds in the range from 15 knots gusting up to the 30’s and very unpredictable, race director Phil Lawrence broke up the fleet in 4-boat heats for safety reasons (tight traffic in these conditions are not without a risk) and four of the first races were completed in this format until the last two races were completed as a whole fleet, meaning that all boats were in action 4 times on day 2.
For SAP Extreme sailing Team, the results were somewhat mediocre taking a 3rd and 4th place in the 4-boat heats and a 5th and a 6th in the last 8-boat races. Catching helmsman Jes Gram-Hansen off the dock, he wasn’t shy about commenting the day: “Just lack of rhythm. Simply, just lack of rhythm. The wind was very shifty and we just couldn’t get into it and there’s no way we can provide any other excuses. Crew work is excellent, speed is fine, starts are good. But making the right decisions at the right time was just off…”. No reasons to dwell on that and coach Michael Hestbæk will probably take a little time out to go through some issues and analysis tonight, trying to get the ‘bugs’ straightened out.
The race for the overall podium top is still between Oman and Alinghi and this battle will go down to the wire. There are only two points separating the two boats on top of the scoreboard for Act 8 (Alinghi ahead) and the picture is the same on the overall standing between them where Oman leads. Both teams look very strong in the fleet just as we have seen them the whole year and there are no one who disagrees on them deserving the two top spots. Only Red Bull have a hypothetical chance of getting in the mix, but chances are slim.