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Extreme Sailing Series: Emirates Team NZ improves in a tough day    
Fri, 21 Mar 2014

Drama in slow motion. That’s the story for the fleet on the second day on the Extreme Sailing Series Muscat regatta.

But it was a better day for Dean Barker and the Emirates Team New Zealand crew, winning two of the six races sailed to claim third place on the leaderboard.

Conditions were lighter than on the first day – a sea breeze of between four and seven knots.

Dean Barker, 'Overall we’re pretty pleased with how we’ve been doing 90% of the time. Today we started well before having a couple of average results. It’s just a matter of being a little bit more consistent.

He describes the sailing conditions as brutal. 'A bad race or a tough break somewhere catches up very quickly. We come off the water knowing where improvements can be made. The answer is working out how we can improve our averages across the day.'

The team, with 82 points, is six points behind the leader Alinghi (88) and three points behind The Wave, Muscat (85).

The breeze tomorrow is predicted to be soft again. Saturday (overnight Saturday NZ time), the last day of the regatta, could be better.

S-W Describing the conditions as soft, is an understatement. Having stayed up until the early hours of the morning (2.00am) watching the racing live. We never saw a boat fly a hull in two races. Most of the races were decided at the start, with the boat being able to carry a fast line through the start, and carry clear air to the first mark, usually went on to get a top three place. If they had another boat go through to windward on this leg middle to bottom end places were inevitable. The penalty for being OCS is to wait until all other boats have passed. One start three boats were locked out this way - again producing some strange placings. Emirates Team NZ won the first two races sailed, and for most of the day were second on the points table.

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Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Muscat standings after Day 2, 13 races

1st Alinghi (SUI) 88 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 85 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 82 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 77 points.
5th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 66 points.
6th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 63 points.
7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 60 points.
8th Oman Air (OMA) 59 points.
9th Realteam (SUI) 58 points.
10th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 57 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 33 points

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by Warren Douglas

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