by Oman Sail
Oman’s defending champion The Wave, Muscat is completely focused on winning the Extreme Sailing Series Championship as as they go into Sunday’s final day of the 2013 season with a slim three point lead after eight races in tough, gusty conditions in Florianopolis, Brasil on Saturday.
The Wave Muscat skippered by Leigh McMillan (GBR).
With the points so tight it will come down to the wire – championship rivals Alinghi and other teams set on a podium finish were stepping up the pressure on the penultimate day to successfully chip away at The Wave, Muscat’s earlier nine point lead.
'It was very aggressive on the start line and every time Alinghi could they luffed us up. They also tried to match race us a lot and we had to deal with that too so it was difficult to control our own race,' said The Wave, Muscat skipper Leigh McMillan.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 - The Wave Muscat
The team requested a damage delay to the start of the penultimate race of the day because of problems with the traveller but McMillan said it was quickly resolved and didn’t affect their racing.
'We have had bad days before during the season and we can usually bounce back and move forward. It was just a long, tough day with lots of races and huge gusts going from five knots to 20 in seconds. But we did well under a lot of pressure to still make gains.'
'Our strategy going into the final day tomorrow is to just keep sailing well and not lose sight of our goal to win the Series,' said McMillan.
The Wave, Muscat continues to lead the Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 Florianopolis presented by Land Rover overall after three days and 19 races with a total of 156 points. Alinghi is hot on their heels with 153 points after taking four wins on the water today. Red Bull Sailing Team also had a good day with two wins to tally 146 points and ChinaSpirit 130.
The Wave Muscat
The Wave, Muscat bowman Hashim Al Rashdi of Oman, who was on the team when they won the final Act and 2012 Championship title in Brazil last year would love nothing more than to repeat the victory.
'It is really tight but going in to tomorrow’s final we are still three points ahead of Alinghi and a good 10 points in front of Red Bull Sailing Team so we just have to keep sailing well and make sure we keep close to Alinghi.
'We are still in the lead. We are a strong team and we can still achieve our goal of winning the 2013 Series even if Alinghi wins Act 8 – provided we don’t have anyone else between us. It’s going to be a really exciting day.'
Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 Florianopolis presented by Land Rover
Extreme Sailing Series Act 8
Day three overall results after 19 races:
The Wave, Muscat - 156 points
Alinghi - 153 points
Red Bull Sailing Team - 146 points
ChinaSpirit - 130 points
SAP Extreme Sailing Team - 122 points
Realteam - 103 points
GAC Pindar - 102 points
Team Brazil Mapfre - 28 points