Extreme Sailing Series 2014: Morgan Larson powers Switzerland’s Alinghi team into commanding lead as Leigh McMillan endures a day to forget

The defending champion of 2013 was bottom of the heap, 40 points behind Alinghi and needing to pull something out of the bag to stay in touch

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The Independent Online

With two wins and never worse than fourth in the day’s seven races, Morgan Larson, skipper of Switzerland’s Alinghi team, powered smoothly into the lead of the Extreme Sailing Series regatta in Nice. For his closest and greatest rival Leigh McMillan, The Wave, Muscat was having a Saturday to forget, to be consigned to memory dustbin as quickly as possible.

The defending champion of 2013 was bottom of the heap, 40 points behind Alinghi and needing to pull something out of the bag to stay in touch going into the final regatta in Sydney in December.

In contrast, stablemate Oman Air, skippered by Rob Greenhalgh, had notched up two wins and two seconds to move up to fourth, just two points behind Emirates Team New Zealand. And they had lent one of their shore crew to ETNZ as a small wave of sickness, which also hit fifth-placed Ben Ainslie, took its toll.

But it was a Swiss one-two, with Jérôme Clerc at the helm of Realteam, which is in control so far. 

Extreme Sailing Series Nice: 

Results after 22 races:

1 - Alinghi - 135
2 - Realteam - 125
3 - ETNZ - 122
4 - Oman Air - 120
5 - J.P. Morgan BAR - 110
6 - GAC Pindar - 109
7 - Team Russia - 106
8 - Red Bull - 106
9 - Groupama - 105
10 - SAP - 98
11 - The Wave, Muscat - 95

The inshore race for the seven-boat fleet of new 65-foot designs for the Volvo Ocean Race saw the young Turkish-American team of Alvimedica win by just six seconds from the Ian Walker–skippered Abu Dhabi and started the countdown to the start of the first leg to Cape Town next Saturday. The inshore race points will not count towards the final score unless, in the event of a tie, they are used as a tie-breaker. 

Volvo Ocean Race; Alicante Inshore result;

1. Alvimedica 14:52:02 (52:05) 1pt

2. ADOR 14:52:07 (+0:06) 2pts

3. MAPFRE 14:52:27  (+ 0:25) 3pts

4. Team Brunel 14:52:48 (+ 0:46) 4pts

5. Dongfeng 14:53:14 (+ 1:19) 5pts

6. Team SCA 14:53:51 (+1:50) 6pts

7. Team Vestas Wind 14:55:24 (+3:25) 7pts

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