Prelude to Sydney
In a few days Act 8 will start in Sydney, Australia. It will be the closure of the entire Extreme Sailing Series 2016, crowning the champs and deciding the podium spots.
There are basically 2 things on the line here; The overall result of the 2016 series and also the Act 8 itself. For SAP Extreme Sailing team the latter will be the focus since reaching an overall podium position is simply out of range, points wise. That does not mean there won’t be plenty of excitement. Act 8 is for grabs and Oman and Alighi is so close in points, that the battle for the crown is an all or nothing combat between – admittedly – the two best teams of 2016. Red Bull can potentially make a surprise on the podium placings but are trailing a bit on the scoreboard.
A year ago, the Series also had their showdown at the same venue in Sydney Harbor, so it is certainly familiar territory for the teams, though SAP Extreme Sailing Team were battling for the overall 2nd place – and succeeded – it is still a place that can cause quite some drama. Depending on the wind directions, the race course can provide strong winds, big changes in directions and that is the formula of trouble in the form of capsizes, collisions and heavy traffic in 25 knots of speed. All played out in the setting of the famous Opera House in the backstage.
It has been 2 months since Act 7 in Lisbon was over and all teams have had time to lick their wounds and get ready (or rusty) for the last act. Maybe this could be a surprising factor for the grand finale?
“I feel like a race horse in the starting box. Restless and eager to get going…”. The words are from helmsman Jes Gram-Hansen and continues “Lisbon ended quite dramatic with a collision and rudder damage so we’d just like to go out there and prove our worth and show everybody what we can. We have come a long way in this new boat and a great finish in Sydney would be the best Christmas present we can wish for”.
Rasmus Køstner backs his co-skipper “2 months away is a long time in this game, but we keep in shape in so many ways that rust will not be an issue. We know this venue from the many previous visits so tactically we know this part of the bay quite well. But so do the others as well. We just have to be smarter from day to day somehow”.
The racing starts December 8th and ends on Sunday 11th. Follow the racing live on the official website on 10 and 11 December and keep track of the points here. For the indepth spectator, don’t forget to get your numbers right with SAP Sailing Analytics here.