by Oman Sail
In a thrilling final race on Sunday, Oman’s The Wave, Muscat won the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series championship for the second year running!
The Wave Muscat in action with the Extreme Sailing Series fleet.
Skipper Leigh McMillan is the first skipper to win two consecutive Extreme Sailing Series championships and he was quick to congratulate rivals Alinghi for their Act 8 win in Florianopolis, Brasil, and his team Hashim Al Rashdi, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, and Extreme 40 season first-timer Musab Al Hadi:
'It is a fantastic feeling to have won the Series again. It was what we set out to do and it is a huge relief and elation at the same time. It has been a really tough regatta here in Florianopolis, a long tough season and I can’t thank our team enough,' said McMillan.
'All the boys on the boat were absolutely fantastic; the shore crew has kept the boat in top notch condition and fast, our coach of two seasons Rob Wilson who puts in a big effort and plays a massive role and of course our sponsor The Wave, Muscat in Oman. It is a massive team effort.'
The Wave, Muscat’s overall championship victory was won in the closest ever finish that went rght to the wire!
Going into the final race of the Act and the Series, The Wave, Muscat was leading overall with 203 points - four points up on rivals Alinghi. But the tables turned when Alinghi won the race and put three places between them and The Wave, Muscat who crossed the line in fifth place.
Suddenly it was the Swiss team Alinghi who were four points ahead - an overall tally that won them Act 8. But the two top teams who had dominated the racing in Brasil and throughout the year were then tied on 74 points for the Series championship title. The swing went to The Wave, Muscat as they had won more Acts (four of the eight) than Alinghi.
Hashim Al Rashdi, bowman onboard, was so proud of the team for winning two years in a row. 'This is a great team. We work well together and have got stronger throughout the season. We would like to thank the The Wave, Muscat, Oman Sail and all our friends back home for their incredible support.'
An overjoyed Musab Al Hadi said the team couldn’t be happier. 'We were under a lot of pressure and had been fighting for this victory from the very first to the last race of the season. We are just so happy to be taking the trophy back to Oman again and I am personally very happy with what has been a steep learning curve this year on the Extreme 40!'
Overjoyed that the Extreme Sailing Series trophy will be coming back to Oman, David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail, the Sultanate’s national sailing initiative, congratulated the team on their victory:
'This is a momentous win. To win the Series once is tough but two years in a row is just incredible. Our congratulations to our champions Leigh, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth and especially Musab Al Hadi and Hashim Al Rashdi who have proved outstanding ambassadors for the Oman Sail programme. They are exceptional team players and it is sheer hard work, dedication and commitment that has brought them this pinnacle victory - a second time for Hashim who was also victorious with the team in 2012 and the first for Musab who joined the team this season.'
Proud sponsor Esber Hawazen, CEO of The Wave, Muscat said Act 8 Florianopolis had been the toughest and most exciting of the season. At times it was so tense and so close he hardly dared to watch, but never doubted the team’s ability to win.
'This is a champion of champion’s team par excellence. We congratulate each and every one of them and thank them for the high profile exposure they have given The Wave, Muscat, and especially the Sultanate of Oman to literally millions of people around the world. They can be assured of our continued support as we look forward to sharing many more seasons with them in the future.'