Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ leave Qingdao carnage in their wake

The Extreme Sailing Series 2011. Act 2. Qingdao. China Pictures of The Wave Muscat capsizing on day 2 of racing Credit: Sui Zhi Qiang/Lloyd Images

Four yachts capsized and a major collision occurred as winds gusted to 30 knots on Day 3 of the Extreme 40 Series at Qingdao, China.

Emirates Team New Zealand came through the day unscathed and retained the overall lead, extending to 134 points with second-placed Alinghi on 127.

With very gusty conditions (three to 23 knots, and up to 30 knots by the final race) blowing across the confined course inside the breakwater, it was always going to be a difficult day.

Dean Barker said: 'The talk of today will be about the four boats that capsized. The Extreme 40's are renowned for nosediving downwind in a strong breeze and today we saw plenty of that.

'In the second race we were close behind The Wave when it nosedived causing in a violent pitchpole and the skipper Torvar Mirsky was catapulted into the rigging, but fortunately was not seriously injured.

'As the breeze continued to build the race committee called for all boats to reef and we did two more races in very puffy and shifty conditions. In the final race three boats pitchpoled (capsizing end over end) and I think that was enough for the race committee to think there had been enough racing for the day.

'Reality returns quickly when you see boats having some big spills and you do fear for the crews’ safety. Fortunately today there were no serious injuries.'

'We had a great day on the water posting a 5,3,1,3 score to win the day and maintain our overall lead, though it is still very close at the front with two days to go.'

Race organisers said that never before in the four years of the Extreme Sailing Series has there been so much drama in one day.

The collision between The Wave and Oman Air at the first downwind mark of the first race, and four dramatic capsizes - The Wave in race 2 and Red Bull, Team GAC Pindar and Oman Air in the final race of the day.

Red Bull and Team GAC Pindar expect to be racing on Day 4. The Wave, broke its mast and the full extent of the damage still has to be assessed. Oman Air spent some hours fully inverted and its condition is yet to be established.

GAC goes mining Extreme Sailing, day 3 Qingdao. Credit: Sui Zhi Qiang/Lloyd Images

Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 Qingdao
Current overall standings after Day 3
Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points

1st Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Glenn Ashby / Jeremy Lomas / James Dagg 134 points
2nd Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 127 points
3rd Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 124 points
4th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 124 points
5th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 116 points
6th Artemis Racing (SWE), Santiago Lange / Rodney Ardern / Morgan Trubovich / Andy Fethers 96 points
7th The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Torvar Mirsky / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 81 points
8th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 81 points
9th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / William Wu 75 points
10th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 57 points
11th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Brad Webb / Gilberto Nobili / Jono Macbeth 27 points