Friday the 8the of October was Media Day for the Extreme Sailing Series in Almeria, Spain. The first day of a five day event – final in the series.
Eight boats came to the start, with as newcomers Rumbo Andalusia & Fly Emirates Team New Zealand. And there was another first – for me that was.
I got to sail as fifth man on one of the Extreme 40s in a race! Ecover had a spot for an umpire in the second race. I’ve been with the circuit for four years but this was my first time on a boat. Although the wind could have been stronger – specially with my weight – Ecover did not do so bad with a third place.
I was impressed indeed. Everything but a small part is happening on a bouncing net between the hulls and every minute of the race the four man crew have a task. cranking the sheets, trimming the mast, taking care of the travellers or looking for wind. Discussing tactics, looking for an opening and maintaining a steady racing pace. Creaking and cracking from the spars and mast, trying to get one hull flying, exhilarating from start to finish.
We did end up in a couple of rule situations, but the view from the boat is quite different then the view from an umpire boat, I can tell you that.
I was very glad to have gotten this opportunity, to see the boat tack and gybe, see them luff and bear away, feeling those big hulls slicing through the water.
I’m certainly going to try to go again if possible, but first we will do this event. Keep tuned, the plan is to go match racing as the final race of each day.
As an umpire call I have one which is actually very uncommon. It involves an downwind start and a boat over early trying to return. Here’s the situation:
Now Windward (Green) is putting up her Yankee flag in position 6; What is your response?
Secondly, would that response change if Leeward (Blue) had a rule 17 restriction?