With seven of the nine regattas completed, the team has 54 points, five behind Luna Rossa with 59 points second. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild leads the championship on 61 points.
With only two events remaining, skippers minds are now concentrated on the 2011 overall title and the next event at Almería, Spain, from October 2-16 and the final event at Singapore from December 7-11.
Dean Barker made his Extreme Sailing Series debut at Almeria in 2010. It was the last regatta of the season and the Emirates Team New Zealand crew, racing in their first multihull regatta, finished at the bottom of the leader board.
However, they did learn a lot about what they needed to do to race multihulls successfully. They improved at every regatta this year and in May Barker won the regatta at Boston and was at the top of the leader board for the season.
The Nice regatta was Barker’s first since Boston due to clashes with ACWS events. It was dominated by very light winds that created conditions that frustrated both organisers and competitors. The 11 Extreme 40 teams competed in 29 races over five days with a mix of open water courses and stadium racing with the course set close to the beach.
It was not a good regatta for Emirates Team New Zealand, struggling for speed in the light. Skipper Dean Barker noted: “We were OK in a straight line but suffered a lack of acceleration coming out of gybes and tacks that cost us dearly.”
He said: “While the Extreme Sailing Series regattas are an important element of sailing team development the results are still important.”
Extreme Sailing Series 2011
Overall standings after 7 Acts
1st Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 61 points
2nd Luna Rossa 59 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand 54 points
4th The Wave, Muscat 52 points
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing 49 points
6th Artemis Racing 48 points
7th Alinghi 48 points
8th Oman Air 38 points
9th Team GAC Pindar 21 points
10th Niceforyou 16 points
11th Team Extreme 15 points