Familiar scenario at top 4

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Day 3 did not disappoint in relation to drama unfolding in the racing. The team had a very good performance today taking 3 bullets of the 7 races completed of the day.

The wind started in the 4 knot area and built through the day to about 7-8 knots in last race. SAP Extreme Sailing team even experienced foiling conditions in periods of the last race, which underlines the very light conditions experienced at Madeira Islands these days.

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It can hardly come as a surprise to who is the the four boats, but today took a slight turn of events when Alinghi dropped their mast due to a collision damaging the bowsprit (holding the forestay) and had to abandon the race and was forced to resign from racing the rest of the day. Not to be too technical here, but the team will eventually get redress for the loss of the races and allowed compensation based on previous results. So despite not having sailed the last 4 races of the day, they may actually end up at top when the compensation gets through the jury. The scoreboard looks like this and the ‘usual suspects’ will once again battle it out in the final last race (medal race) once again to decide the act winner by margins.

Rasmus Køstner was very pleased with todays performance: “I’d say a job well done. Things went a little more our way today and despite having two scores in the low end, we nailed several top spots. Once you get a little behind, the passing lanes are few and narrow. We knew that all the time and the two low scores of today are just testaments to that. But we are up there with the best”.

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The coach, Michael Hestbæk, is a valuable sparing partner in these conditions and he has the luxury of seeing the conditions in a broader perspective, outside the dogfighting: “It looks like the start is even more important in this venue; Its not so hard to figure out the wind patterns, because once you get the liberty to choose your path, you just get away from the traffic of the fleet and then you are outta there. The whole day, I have seen the winner of the start not being worse off than 2nd place in the race once you get to choose your own path”.

Michael Hestbaek Headhsot SAP Extreme Sailing Team Square

The luxury of hindsight is also the coaches privilege: “After a couple of days of observations, it looks to me that there is a ‘winning lane’ as i have told the guys”. Michael continues, “they were a little skeptical at first, but I think they had an eye-opener when they had a premature start in the last race and took my ‘winning lane and ended up 3rd, despite the usual few passion lanes. It’s going to be a fun debrief to see if the guys saw what I saw…”.

Day 4 will be decided in the last race and 4 crews can grab the win. It will go down to the wire…