Artemis Racing extend lead after two days of tight racing - check out vids

It was another intense day on the Halic estuary at the Extreme Sailing Series in Istanbul, with gusty conditions and tight race courses resulting in a few collisions and numerous close calls. Luna Rossa had to be craned out last night to check for damage after crunching into Team GAC’s back beam and then another knock with Artemis Racing inflicting some damage to the aft port hull. However, Max Sirena’s team who have dropped from 2nd overall to 4th will be back racing today as will Ian Williams’ Team GAC Pindar.

Day two in 60 seconds:

The team that started the second day on top, Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing, has extended its lead even further from one point to 19 after another seven races. The other two event podium places are now currently occupied by Alinghi, skippered by Tanguy Cariou and helmed by Yann Guichard, in 2nd: “The first two events were very difficult for us as we are a new team,” explained Guichard. “We need to get to know how to work together. We are improving every day, in every race so we are happy till now, everything is coming together well.” But they will have to keep raising there game in this fiercely contested field as the Swiss team are on equal points with Dean’s Barker’s Kiwi team Emirates Team New Zealand going into the halfway stage tomorrow, as Guichard conceded: “The game is really tight out there. It’s fun, very fun but you you’re not allowed to make one mistake!”

Find out what the top international skippers are thinking on day 2 of Act 3 in Istanbul:

Overall series leaders Groupe Edmond de Rothschild from France bounced back from a difficult start yesterday – 7th yesterday morning, up to 5th by the end of the day. And Roman Hagara’s Austrian Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team also climbed two places: “It was a little mad on the water today,” said Hagara. “Lots of up and down, lots of close finishes and close marks roundings. You can see some teams leading on one race and finishing last on the next one. The general level of the fleet is going up and that’s good to see five different winners out of seven races today. I’m really happy with my team, we’re having fun and loving it here. That’s the first time we are racing in Istanbul and it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Conditions were similar to Wednesday with 7-10 knots of breeze and some fierce gusts that quickly turned these 40-foot Extreme 40 racing machines into one big handful for the 44 sailors representing some of the best in the sport. The short two-lap races lasting just 10-12 minutes, saw the sailors grappling with their huge gennakers as they flew into the downwind mark and it required slick handling to avoid a major incident: “The racing is pretty brutal out there but we keep improving,” said Barker. “We had a couple of shockers, but you know, you need to deal with what you get and try do do things a little bit better each time, and make less mistakes. Of course there’s a lot we can do better, but we jump on every opportunity we can and try to make the best out it.”

Alberto Barovier’s team Niceforyou scored two 2nd places. The all-Italian team enjoyed their first race win in Muscat and it is sure another one is on the cards as the team gets to grips with the Extreme 40 under the tutelage of 2010 series winner crew member, Mark Bulkley.

Today Act 3 moves up a gear into stadium sailing format as the doors open to the public.

Current overall standings after Day 2:
Position / Team / Points

1st Artemis Racing (SWE), 116 points
2nd Alinghi (SUI), 97 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 97 points
4th Luna Rossa (ITA), 95 points
5th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), 95 points
6th The Wave, Muscat (OMA), 87 points
7th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), 78 points
8th Oman Air (OMA), 76 points
9th Team Extreme (EUR), 64 points
10th Niceforyou (ITA), 64 points
11th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), 55 points