Extreme conditions for the Extreme 40s at Nice
For once, the famous Baie des Anges was not just blue when the Extreme 40 Series came to Nice in the middle of October. A wind fit to blow the masts out of the strongest boats hit the fleet, giving a particularly chaotic sea, and making sailing these little rockets quite...athletic.
Faced with these conditions, and for only the second time in the history of the series, a day's racing had to be cancelled. Fortunately, it was the Thursday, and the eight catamarans were then able to do battle in conditions which were difficult, but very spectacular for the many spectators assembled on Promenade des Anglais.
With a steady 25 knots of wind, and gusts which easily reached 30, the three days' racing were difficult for the crews. But the nights were not much more restful, as the damage suffered by the fleet had to be repaired.
And, as often with the Extremes, we had to wait for the last leg to find out who had won this 7th act. It was in fact won for the second year running by Pierre Pennec and his crew aboard Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. But this was not an easy victory, as the two Oman teams were waiting in ambush until the last buoy.
The skipper of The Wave, Muscat, winner of 6 legs at Nice (as against 7 for Groupe Edmond de Rothschild), had to be content with 2nd place in this Mediterranean meeting, but managed to save his place as overall leader on the provisional overall classification. A nice operation, especially when you realize that the crew of The Wave, Muscat had to spend the Friday night repairing the aft end of their port float, which was seriously damaged in the last leg on Friday.
From this Nice Grand Prix, we will remember the strength of the commitment of these 8 crews, which included no less than 21 Olympic medal holders or participants, 36 America's Cup sailors, 7 round the world racers and 47 World Champions...
We will now have to wait for the final leg, which will be raced in Rio at the beginning of December, for the definitive 2012 results. A first for the circuit, which, in the six years of its existence, has never visited the South American continent.
Results of Act 7 in Nice, after 28 legs.
1. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (France): 173 points - (legs won: 7, including the last, which counts double)
2. The Wave, Muscat (Oman): 161.3 points - (legs won: 6)
3. Oman Air (Oman): 159 points - (legs won: 5)
4. GAC Pindar (GBR): 134 points - (legs won: 3)
5. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (Denmark): 121 points - (legs won: 3)
6. Red Bull Sailing Team (Austria): 120.7 points - (legs won: 2)
7. Alinghi (Suisse): 102 points - (legs won: 1)
8. Extreme Ville de Nice/ZouLou (France): 69 points - (legs won; 0, best position; 3rd).
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