Round three of the Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series took place in Qingdao, China, the host port of the 2008 Olympic sailing regatta, notorious for its unpredictable gusty conditions, as this video proves.
On the final day of racing, the public witnessed one of the biggest crashes in the history of the series, as Red Bull Sailing Team t-boned Alinghi with nearly 15 knots of boat speed - knocking both boats out of the competition for the day.
Team Alinghi took overall victory for round three despite watching the final races from the dock, after the international jury awarded the he Swiss boat a redress, to helmsman Larson’s relief. “We were lining up at the start, and approaching the line with ten seconds to go and most of the fleet was on port. Red Bull ducked behind us, the winds were shifty and up and down, there was too much of a puff and they couldn’t get the bear away and T-boned us - it happens. It’s great to have won, we had such a great regatta that it was bittersweet to end that way, but I think we earned it so it feels good. We’re just glad that no one was hurt and that the boat is repairable - it will take a week in a good boat yard, but it will be back and ready to race.”
For more video of sailing on the edge, see: Kite Foiling: Taking Sailing to New Extremes and Alex Thomson does the mast walk.