Empty day in Cowes
The breeze did indeed kick back with a vengeance this Wednesday on the race zone in Cowes. Proving to be rather timid on the fourth day of racing, the wind was a lot more virulent today. The extent of this was such that the Race Committee had to cancel the race schedule for the eleven catamarans in the Extreme Sailing Series, which is a first on the circuit. As such the provisional general ranking remains unchanged aside from a few minor details… In fact, last night the jury went back on the decision it made on Monday morning following the collision between Edmond de Rothschild Group and Artemis Racing.

Whilst the Extreme Sailing Series fleet were preparing to rejoin the nautical arena off Egypt Point, the procession of dismasted boats returning from their races around the Isle of Wight just went on and on. However, the race committee, which had taken all the necessary safety precautions beforehand, opted to send the crews out onto the water under observation. Despite carrying a reef in the mainsail and the storm jib, the thirty knots recorded on the race zone forced the organisers to throw in the towel and cancel the races which had been planned.

Tomorrow, the forecast is for boisterous conditions again and, if this is confirmed, between 24 and 28 knots of south-westerly wind are likely to sweep across the waters of the Solent. Will the Extreme Sailing Series fleet have to remain on shore for the second day running? Verdict at around 1500 hours local time.


A dramatic turn of events: the Extreme Sailing Series jury goes back on its decision

During the second day of competition at this Cowes Grand Prix, Edmond de Rothschild Group was the victim of a violent collision with Artemis Racing. The two catamarans were seriously damaged during the incident. Gitana Team’s préparateurs - Marie Dixneuf and Cyril Ducrot – worked flat out to repair the port bow which had folded 90°. It proved to be a tricky operation which required them to manufacture a whole new bow section, a very long procedure taking them through the night. Back down to business yesterday, Pierre Pennec and his men were awarded a redress of 19.4 points. Indeed the jury had concluded that the responsibility for this collision was down to Santiago Lange’s crew. However, last night, this same jury changed its mind. Following a request from Artemis to reopen the case, it concluded that they were equally responsible and chose to impose a four point penalty on the catamaran fitted out by the Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, whilst cancelling their redress of 19.4 points. Pierre Pennec, Hervé Cunningham, Thierry Fouchier and Christophe Espagnon reserve the right to lodge their own appeal.


Ranking for the Cowes Grand Prix after the 5th day

  1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) – 118 points
  2. Luna Rossa (ITA) – 114 points
  3. Alinghi (SUI) – 99 points
  4. Edmond de Rothschild Group (FRA) – 91 points
  5. Team GAC Pindar (GBR) – 89 points
  6. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT) – 86 points
  7. Oman Air (OMA) - 83 points
  8. Niceforyou (ITA) - 66 points
  9. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZ) – 58 points
  10. Aberdeen Asset Management (UK) - 58 points
  11. Team Extreme (EUR) - 48 points
  12. Artemis Racing (SWE) - 21 points
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