It was Team Alinghi to the fore on day two of the second leg of the Extreme Sailing Series’s E40 championships at the Marina Bay here on Friday.
“It is a very elite team, having won the America’s Cup (the most prized trophy in the sport),” sailing legend and author Nick Moloney told The Hindu shortly after 10 races were completed in the day.
“They have history in their favour, having won that ocean race in a 120-foot catamaran. Sailing multi-hulls in Lake Geneva in conditions quite similar to those here was another reason for their superiority,” Moloney said. Quizzed about what set the Swiss squad apart, the strapping Australian ascribed it to better execution of the quintet’s game-plan.
“In skipper and helm Morgan Larson, the side has a cool tactician, composed and ready for any situation,” he added.
The day’s concluding race amply illustrated why Alinghi was so good. As with the penultimate contest, which opened with a downwind leg, compatriots Realteam sped ahead to circle the leeward buoy first. GAC Pindar squeezed in between SAP and the marker to round the inflatable next.
On the beat that followed, SAP breezed ahead on the back of a strong gust.
Wiser from an earlier setback that saw the Danes circle the mark only to be sidetracked by rivals after opting to encircle the left marker, they headed right this time.
Only that Alinghi took the inner lane to steal a march over SAP to power its way to an authoritative win. Races 12 and 13 were won on the trot by defending champion The Wave (Muscat) and local favourite Aberdeen Singapore finally opened its account by claiming the 10th race. Owing to poor wind conditions on Thursday, a morning session was introduced on Friday, testing the grit of the sailors on a torrid day, dark clouds of relief forming only after the day’s action was over. Team Korea clinched the Aberdeen Asset Management Challenge Trophy in a knockout format competition staged at the end of the day.
The positions (day two): 1. Team Alinghi 122 (Switzerland), 2. The Wave 110 (Muscat) and 3. Red Bull 97 (Austria).