Out of the ordinary
The final day of Act 6 at Madeira Islands is over and with only 2 races concluded, there were no fundamental changes to the podium and congratulations to Alinghi, Red Bull and Oman with the podium placings.
That said, everything else was out of the ordinary.
When Sundays are over the fleet have typically battled it out in 24-28 races; At the shores of Funchal only 14 was completed and 2 of those were on Sunday. The final Winner, Alinghi, did not sail 5 of the 14 races due to a collision and a mast down, hence got redress for the lost ability to start and compensated by their average scores (and they are very good). No complaints at all, everybody did a great job and the podium positions were well deserved.
At SAP Extreme Sailing Team, we find ourselves at 4th place once again and however frustrating that may look from the outside, so it is from the inside! The difference between being at the podium and just outside is marginal and the answer lies at the notorious devil with the details. We knew that the change of boat (From Extreme 40 to foiling GC32) at the start of the season would favor teams who already had been on the GC32 circuit and expected a period of catch-up. We win races, so our potential is high and we are reaching top-level performance. And we have certainly caught up in most areas, but after 6 acts status is, that we all make small mistakes during an act, but our mistakes are just slightly more costly than the podium teams and that shows up in the end. So in that area, we have to catch up and despite the small mistakes – however coincidental they are – it is a fact we are dealing with despite four race wins, one second and three thirds to of 14 races.
Tactician Rasmus Køstner: “I can’t hide my disappointment right now, but after a few days I will collect myself to prepare for the next act. We are actually performing pretty good, so we somehow fall down to tiny points losses that in the end costs us the podium placings”. Rasmus continues: “I am not a fan of excuses, but we are not getting any help from whoever controls fate and good luck these days, so we just have to grind even harder…”.
Helmsman Jes Gram-Hansen basically agrees with Rasmus and follows up: “I think we really push hard and work our (beep, ed.) off and still hit some kind of wall. I could be more aggressive starting some times, but that has its dangers because we have seen what premature starts do in this fleet”.
It is interesting to see the SAP Sailing Analytics position ranking showing exactly how the top 4 teams actually switch positions all the time and go check your own favorite analysis of the concluded event, Act 6 on the Madeira Islands. You can see the final results here.
Be ready to follow us on the next Act 7 from Lisbon October 6th – 9th.