by Oman Sail
Oman’s champions The Wave, Muscat had an exhilarating day two in the Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 Florianopolis in Brasil yesterday as they extended their overall lead a further four points in increasingly wild and windy conditions that ultimately forced an end to sailing after just three races.
The Wave Muscat - Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 Florianopolis in Brazil
Musab Al Hadi (OMA), who joined the crew as headsail trimmer this season and is no stranger to adrenalin fueled sailing coming from the F18, was exhilerated by the team’s successful day: 'It was very scary at the start of racing today but when you get out there it is just so much fun. We had a good consistent day and we are very happy with the way we sailed. Now we are going to rest up and get our energy back. Tomorrow is a big day.'
The Wave, Muscat holds top spot overall after two days and 11 races with 95 points against rival Alinghi who is on 86. Red Bull Sailing Team who pulled off two dramatic bullets in today’s (Friday) races has 81 points and SAP Extreme Sailing Team, 78.
'It was full on, masses of spray and right on the edge in 30 knot winds gusting up to 35. We were hitting speeds of 24 to 25 knots,' said The Wave, Muscat skipper Leigh McMillan who bagged a win in the first race, a second in the second race and a fourth in the third.
'It was pretty nerve wracking but once we were out there blasting along in race mode it was great. It was definitely the windiest day of racing we’ve had this year but with the Florianopolis course being shallow and the waves quite small we managed to keep the boat upright and in one piece and get everyone safely back to shore.
'Only then do you realise you ‘survived’ the day. The nerves recede and you think, wow, what a great day sailing,' said McMillan who is defending his 2012 Extreme Sailing Series championship title.
A total of eight elite level Extreme 40 teams are racing in the Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 Florianopolis presented by Land Rover and the same top four are leading so far in Brazil and on the Series leader board for the 2013 season.
Today’s big wind conditions meant it was touch and go as to whether Brazil’s public holiday crowds would even get to see any racing but after a slight delay race director Phil Lawrence finally gave the go ahead for a start in 30 knot winds.
Preparation is McMillan’s mantra for success and he again credited his crack shore crew and sailing team for making sure the boat was thoroughly prepared for the strong wind conditions.
'We were the best prepared boat and ready to go immediately the call was given to release the boats from the moorings. It gave us a little time to practice out on the course before racing started.'
McMillan is already planning ahead for Saturday’s third and penultimate day of both the Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 Florianopolis and 2013 Series.
'It will be a very different day of racing with the wind lighter and changing direction to the south. We expect race management to try for eight or more races so it is a very important day with a lot of points up for grabs,' said McMillan.
'We will be pushing hard for the points as the more cushion we have going into the final day of racing on Sunday the greater our advantage,' added Al Hadi, who has his sights focussed on winning the championship title for The Wave, Muscat and Oman.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 Florianopolis presented by Land Rover: -Day two overall results after 11 races:
The Wave, Muscat - 95 points
Alinghi - 86 points
Red Bull Sailing Team - 81 points
SAP Extreme Sailing Team - 78 points
ChinaSpirit - 70 points
Realteam - 64 points
GAC Pindar - 58 points
Team Brazil Mapfre - 28 points