SAP Extreme Sailing Team Back in the game
Going into Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Muscat, Oman, each crew member in the SAP Extreme Sailing Team wanted to put in a good performance to wipe off the disappointment in Act 1 in Singapore.
We all knew we could do better and it was a matter of finding our form with the new crew line up, getting in the rhythm and execute our winning strategy. It all starts with solid preparations by making the best of our video debriefs and SAP Sailing Analytics to set our priorities right in the expected weather scenarios, trim settings of the boat, tactical decision, positioning and boat handling.
We got it right because from the first gun we were leading the fleet around the course, set in front of the stunning setting of the Almouj Golf course. Smiles where back and we enjoyed strong sailing days with great breeze, sun and blue sky. Returning to the harbour we had posted the best day ever for our team on the Extreme Sailing Series. We were back in the game.
The following days it was a hard fought battle with Alinghi, The Wave and Emirates Team New Zealand to stay in the front of the fleet. The reaching starts of the Stadium Race format gave us some challenges, but we keep fighting our way back through the fleet. To pass other boats on the very short and compact course is difficult but from the post race analytics we where the team gaining most positions through the races.
We had good boat speed, stayed out of the traffic of the other boats, which can slow you down and limits opportunities if you don’t get positioning right. It all came down to the last and 29th race to decide the top 4 positions. The Wave were in the lead by 2 points, SAP Extreme Sailing Team were one point ahead of Alinghi, which was one point a head of Team Emirates Team New Zealand.
The race had several position changes but we had to settle for fourth, narrowly missing out on the podium. We were satisfied with challenging the best teams all the way to the end and hope to keep the momentum and get an opportunity to fight for the podium in Act 3 in Qingdao.
In a few weeks the team will arrive in Qingdao, where the race course is right next to the Olympic Rings at the harbour front, an unambiguous reminder for everyone of the competitive pedigree of the city. It’s also known for the most spectacular capsize action in Extreme Sailing Series and nail biting racing action.
We look forward to racing in China again and seeing all the enthusiastic supporters that shared our podium finish last year. Lets see if history repeats itself.