The opening day of Act 8 Florianópolis presented by Land Rover delivered the “best racing of the year” according to Alinghi helmsman Morgan Larson & SAP Extreme Sailing Team skipper Jes Gram-Hansen. The final showdown of the 2013 Series began in style, and the South Brazilian city welcomed the eight elite level Extreme 40 teams with champagne sailing conditions – 14 knots of wind that steadily built to 20 and a brilliant Brazilian sunshine. Eight short, sharp, fast paced races were sailed, with four different race winners and Oman’s The Wave, Muscat blasted round the tight courses, reaching speeds of 24 knots and relishing the conditions that put Leigh McMillan’s men at the top of the rankings at the end of day one. Tomorrow is a national holiday in Brazil when the event officially opens to the public, and with the breeze set to build to 30 knots overnight, they will be in for a show they wont easily forget! Fans online can watch it live from 1600BRST/1800 GMT on the official event website.
The grudge match between long-standing Series rivals The Wave, Muscat and Alinghi is already evident, and the teams are unsurprisingly looking ahead to Sunday night when the 2013 Series champion will be crowned. The two teams locked horns around the racecourse, neither willing to give an inch. Morgan Larson and the team of finely tuned Swiss sailors matched McMillan’s two race wins, and according to the SAP sailing analytics were the fastest boat on the course, but slick manoeuvres by the Omani team gave them the edge, who finish the day just five points ahead. “We were focusing on The Wave, Muscat when we could and when the opportunity was there we tried to get in their w