Late race redemption
Then second day of racing did not have the aura of a comeback for SAP Extreme Sailing Team as one could have hoped for, but the day ended on top.
After a dreadful day one in Act 7, the team got back on the water for day 2 and wiped off yesterdays bad omen and cleaned the slate mentally. But the conditions were still fickle winds, heavy current dominating and the opposition on a roll. The second race day looked almost like a copy of day one, with mediocre results in the middle of the pack in the light conditions until the breeze picked up for Race 9 and 10. Then things got going…
Gear failure took a visit in race 9 despite a promising show, but a cranked mainsheet block was in the way for a top result – similar to engine failure in a Formula One race car – and the team was stuck in the rear end of the fleet lacking power to catch up. An in-between-races-fix got that out of the way and Race 10 was a clear cut match between the heavy-weights and was won to end the day on top. What had been a mentally strenuous day of downturns ended with a bullet.
So after two days of racing with the team is till at 6th place on the leaderboard after 10 races and a trend is quite visible and helmsman Jes Gram-Hansen was very open about the status seen from the trampoline point of view: “I just don’t hit the starts correctly and on top, we do not race the tracks good either. No way I am going to make excuses, but thats the uncanny fact”. Jes continues: “We obviously have trouble in these conditions and when we always talk about sweet spots in sailing, we recognize we have spotted our ‘sour spots’ as well. Current and fickle winds are just not our best performance area and it is a rare chance to actually hit both the ‘sour spot’ and the ‘sweet spot’ on the same race day. When the breeze picks up we are a podium challenger, in the ‘sour spot’ we are mediocre. We have to address that. The good thing is that the guys onboard haven’t cracked in frustration and the last race win certainly reminds us that there’s plenty of potential in the tank“.
Race day three will start at 2 pm. tomorrow local Lisbon time and make sure to follow it Live.