Day 4, Extreme Sailing Series Sydney
The final day of Act 8 and the overall Extreme Sailing Series 2016 brought almost perfect sailing conditions with bright sunshine and medium winds and saw Land Rover BAR Academy score one of their best days of the entire series.
A full day of racing was completed with seven standard scoring races and one double points race to finish the day. Land Rover BAR Academy raced well (posting results of 1st, 6th, 5th, 1st, 3rd, 7th, 6th and 2nd) winning two of the days seven races and finishing second in the final double points scoring race. These results saw the team finish both Act 8 and the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series in 5th place. This is a brilliant result for a new and young team with a lot of progression on display not only throughout the year but throughout the Act itself.
The event in Sydney highlighted both the academy’s skill progression with the team scoring 10 podium finishes (including 4 race wins) out of the 19 races they completed but also their grit, determination and team work. These attributed were displayed on the first day of racing after the team spectacularly capsized in the last race of the day on Sydney Harbour. This could be off putting for even the seasoned professional teams yet the Academy returned to win the next day of racing and post their first race wins as a full Academy team.
Will Alloway commented “It was a great end to the season as we posted some great results and showed some real potential against established teams. It was incredible to see how the whole team pulled together in times of adversity throughout the event in Sydney and bounced back so professionally. We are now looking forward to next year with high expectations and the aim of winning the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.”
Skipper Neil Hunter finished “This results gives a huge boost going into 2017 which is a really important year for us. This year was all about building a team and developing, next year is without a doubt a year for posting some top results
Day 3, Extreme Sailing Series Sydney
Day three of Act 8 of the Extreme Sailing Series saw the most stable wind conditions so far in Australia with a solid 14knots during racing.
Land Rover BAR Academy posted strong results of in the first two races of the day including another race win before having to retire from race three and miss the next two races due to boat damage (mainsail halyard webbing snapped). The team proved yesterday (Day 2), when they bounced back and won the day following their first day capsize, that they have the mettle to not let setbacks put them back. Today, they showed this strong professional mentality again by getting back on the race course for the final three races of the day using a spare mainsail and finished in podium positons in each race (2nd, 3rd and 3rd). This leaves the team in 6th overall with one more day of racing for this year’s series to go.
Mainsail trimmer Will Alloway said “The first two races went well and we were again at the front-end of the fleet. In race three we were half way up the second upwind leg and the main fell down. At first, we thought it was a snapped halyard but as soon as we looked at the top of the mainsail it was clear that the webbing which hold the halyard to the sail had snapped. The shore team did an awesome job sorting another sail so quickly to get us back race and we stayed strong mentally to post some good results after the breakage.”
Skipper Neil Hunter followed “Overall it was a really positive day for the team. Despite the breakage, we were sailing well and building on our learnings from the previous days’ racing. We are looking to make some big jumps up the leaderboard tomorrow so stay tuned!”
Racing continues on Sunday 11th December and can be followed live on YouTube.
Day 2, Extreme Sailing Series Sydney
The Land Rover BAR Academy gained their first Extreme Sailing Series race win at day two of the season finale on a bright and breezy Sydney Harbour. The stunning performance came in testing conditions with a strong north-westerly wind, but the team didn’t look the slightest bit shaken by yesterday’s dramatic capsize.
The fleet was initially held ashore as gusts raked the course, but the wind moderated and after a 30-minute delay the action got underway. The race officer decided to split the fleet into two flights of four boats for safety considerations, and Land Rover BAR Academy posted their first ever race win in this smaller fleet.
There was even better to come though, as the wind swung a full 180 degrees into the south-east and steadied. The fleet came back together and the Land Rover BAR Academy posted another race win, and followed that with a second place to end the day in fourth position overall.
Enjoying the stunning action on the harbor with the team were Australian surfing star and entrepreneur Sally Fitzgibbons, and rugby union footballer Phil Waugh. Sally described the experience as being like surfing a big boat!
Trimmer Sam Batten commented, “We really wanted to show that we could bounce back from the setback yesterday. The whole team really pulled together to get the boat race ready and winning our first race of the series was the perfect result. Then as they say about buses, two came along at once as we won our second race of the series in the next race!”
Floater Rob Bunce added, “It was an important day for the team so we are all really happy to put in a really strong performance in the racing. Our boat handling was really strong which is a testament to the amount of time we have spent in these boats now, and gave us a lot of options around the race course and in the tight battles.”
Racing continues on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December and can be viewed on YouTube.
Day 1, Act 8 Extreme Sailing Series Sydney
The final Extreme Sailing Series Act of 2016 kicked off in style in Sydney, Australia as the Harbour’s famous north easterly sea breeze kicked in as racing began. With winds steadily over 20 knots the scene was set for a great days racing.
Land Rover BAR Academy got off to a good start finishing fourth and second in the first two races of the day. Leading the third race of the day they rounded the windward mark, a gust hit, the bows dug in and the team got their first experience of capsizing a GC32.
Helmsman Chris Taylor explained. “The day started really well and we have been working really hard on our starting during our pre-event training out here in Sydney. From that, our starts and good boat speed we were sailing really nicely and pushing the front of the fleet finishing fourth and second in the first two first races. Leading the final race of the day we went for a bear away and got hit by a big gust and stuck the bows in, pitch poling the boat.”
Reflecting on the day that saw two capsizes in the fleet Skipper Neil Hunter explained: “This is our eighth event competing in the Extreme Sailing Series and first capsize. What is important is that all safety and operational procedures were followed correctly, all the crew were accounted for and the boat safely righted. We are now back on the dock to de-brief and check over the boat to get her ready to race tomorrow”.
Racing was suspended whilst the two boats righted, but with the wind continuing to build and gusts reaching 29 knots Race Director Phil Lawrence decided to cancel racing for the day.
The Land Rover BAR Academy have had a good first season in the Extreme Sailing Series. The season started with senior members of the Land Rover BAR British America’s Cup team competing and mentoring the Academy sailors for the first three events in Oman, Qingdao and Cardiff. Under the watch of coach Andrew Walsh, the team have made great progress throughout the year towards their ultimate aim of winning the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup next June in Bermuda.
Extreme Sailing Series Sydney Results:
Alinghi, 238 points
SAP Extreme Sailing Team, 226 points
Oman Air, 215 points
Red Bull Sailing Team, 215 points
Land Rover BAR Academy, 193 points
RNZYS Lautrec Racing, 178 points
Visit Madeira, 177 points
Team Australia, 132 points
Extreme Sailing Series 2016 Overall:
Alinghi, 101 points
Oman Air, 99 points
Red Bull Sailing Team, 91 points
SAP Extreme Sailing Team, 83 points
Land Rover BAR Academy, 70 points
Visit Madeira, 63 points
China One, 29 points
Team Turx, 11 points