by Lucy Harwood
In Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff, the Oman Sail Extreme 40 teams went out fighting today as they looked to dominate on the final day with both teams looking to achieve the overall event win. Oman Air were aiming to surpass their team mates, while The Wave, Muscat were hoping for a fourth successive win on the series.
The team of Oman Air after victory in Cardiff
For skipper Morgan Larsen and his crew on board Oman Air, solid crew work and strong tactical decisions saw them gain on their team mates throughout the day, taking victory overall in the final double points race. Their performance in Cardiff sees them stay in contention for the Extreme Sailing Series overall title, as they hold joint second with Red Bull Sailing Team.
Speaking dockside after racing today Oman Air skipper Morgan Larsen commented, 'To win here is fantastic, it has been a tough week, with challenging conditions and so many good teams performing. It is a testament to the series and the competitors that there were four teams in for the win on the last race. We held together all week long, sailing consistently. The crew sailed the boat so well, and it was a real team effort and a win to remember. It was definitely a shift from hard work in a physical sense, to mentally hard work today. The previous few days have been physically challenging, but today was mental battle.
It was good, it added a little diversity to the event, this venue was as challenging as always, starting was the thing again and you had to be lucky, but it worked out for us. We did the same thing we have been doing all throughout the event, we sailed well enough to win the day each day this week, but someone was just a little bit better and it wasn’t quite enough. So we thought if we just kept sailing the way we have been it would happen for us today, luckily it did'.
For series leaders The Wave, Muscat today did not go in their way. A first and second in races two and three today showed the form the series leaders are capable of, but the start line once again proved tricky costing British skipper Leigh McMillan and his crew valuable points in races as they battled to make a comeback.
They weren’t able to secure the advantage their needed over Oman Air heading into the final races, as they witnessed their team mates move in front of them to take overall victory for the second time in this series. Second place for Act 5 in Cardiff adds valuable points to the leader board for The Wave, Muscat, as they aim for the overall series title. They are still first after five events with 48 points, seven points ahead of Oman Air and Red Bull Sailing Team who hold joint second.
The Wave, Muscat skipper Leigh McMillan, 'It was really hard today, but I think we made it hard for ourselves. We weren’t executing the starts and the wind was a lot lighter today, so the holes were more aggressive than usual and we struggled to adapt to the situation which meant we had some really bad starts. But we managed to keep our cool, it could have been a lot worse, with the starts we had we could have easily ended off the podium today. We still sailed well to make the gains we needed to stay in contention. We can’t beat ourselves up too much, second is still good for the overall scores, so whoever is the boat behind us overall that’s the boat we need to focus on heading into the final events'.
This is the second win for Oman Air, after they claimed victory at the start of the series in Oman, for Omani crew member Nasser Al-Mashari the win for Oman Air was worth all the hard work over the last four days. Speaking shortly after winning the event he said, 'We are so happy, Cardiff has been a great event, great conditions and great people. We are so happy to come first for the second time in this series. It was a very, very tough event and we are so proud of Oman Air and what we have achieved here. It was a hard day today at least six boats were fighting for one point but Allah helped us and we get that point so we are very happy'.
Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Cardiff Overall results
1 Oman Air 199 points
2 The Wave, Muscat 188 points
3 Red Bull Sailing Team 181 points
4 GAC Pindar 178 points
5 SAP Extreme Sailing 174 points
6 Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 173.3 points
7 Alinghi 167 points
8 ZouLou 124 points
9 Team Wales 104 points
Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Overall results after five acts
1 The Wave, Muscat 48 points
2 Oman Air 41 points
3 Red Bull Sailing Team 41 points
4 Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 36 points
5 GAC Pindar 29 points
6 SAP Extreme Sailing 24 points
7 Alinghi 22 points
8 ZouLou 19 points
Extreme Sailing Series website