by Oman Sail on 22 Feb 2014
Extreme Sailing Series Act 1 - The Wave Muscat skippered by Leigh McMillan (GBR) with Sarah Ayton, (GBR), Pete Greenhalgh (GBR), Kinley Fowler (NZL), Nasser Al Mashari (OMA) © Lloyd Images
After a quiet opener to Act 1, Leigh McMillan’s team arrived on the race course today with a new energy and enjoying the fresher breeze, immediately clocked two outright victories which later became three when they pipped Alinghi to the post in the final race.
Facing complicated wind patterns, created by the skyscrapers around Marina Bay which meant wind holes on some parts of the course and 25 knot gusts on others, they saw and read the shifts more clearly than rivals and managed to take control of the favoured side of the course to consistently hold the advantage.
Of the six races completed, the Omani boat won three of them and were on the podium for another two, signalling a rising dynamic in McMillan’s new look team and an appetite for a third consecutive championship title.
It also signalled a cool head when the pressure is on – Alinghi recovered well from a near capsize, boats were flying hulls all around the course, Groupama found themselves disqualified and Oman Air was unable to avoid a crash with Swiss boat Realstone in the penultimate race of the day.
Sarah Ayton, a new The Wave, Muscat crewmember with a gold tinted Olympic career behind her said the disappointment of the first day had led them to make some changes for day two, which had worked.