by Nicky Moore
Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 is being held during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week from Saturday 6 August.
Extreme Sailing Series 2011
Just four weeks after the Extreme Sailing Series, Boston, Oman Air and The Wave, Muscat are heading to Cowes where twelve international teams will battle it out during Cowes Week. Oman Sail has dominated the Extreme Sailing Series for the last two years, claiming the overall Series title in both 2009 and 2010. The Wave, Muscat sailed to victory in the Cowes leg of the 2010 Series, before going on to claim the Series title.
Leigh McMillan skipper of The Wave, Muscat - Extreme Sailing Series. Act 4. Boston. USA.
For The Wave, Muscat, the event in Boston saw the debut of a new skipper, in the form of British Olympian Leigh McMillan. Leigh, who is fresh from finishing the Tour de France à la Voile where he was competing under the Omani flag onboard their BAE Systems sponsored boat, grew up and learnt to sail on the Isle of Wight, and is looking forward to competing in front of his home crowds. 'There will be heaps of spectators in Cowes and I am really looking forward to sailing in front of my home crowd. It is going to be great to have the support of my friends and family, and Oman Sail also has a big presence in Cowes so it is an important event for us. We are looking to deliver a good performance over the seven days - sailing in Cowes is always challenging so I am sure the crowds are in for an exciting week!'
The team on The Wave, Muscat secured their first podium position this Series in Boston, and as their Omani Bowman, Khamis Al Anbouri says, they are looking for more of the same from the event in Cowes. 'We had a great event there last year and I am really excited about representing Oman in the UK again. We had great support in the UK last year and we want to give the crowds a good show. It is going to be a long week - we will be sailing for seven days instead of five so I have been working hard on my fitness to be ready for the event. The sailing in Cowes is always extreme – lots of breeze and strong tides so you have to be prepared.'
The event in Cowes will see the debut of the Oman Air Extreme 40 in the UK, with Volvo Ocean Race winning French yachtsman Sidney Gavignet at the helm. The team have had a steady start to the Series, and currently sit eighth in the overall Series leaderboard.
During the week, spectators can take a journey through authentic Oman for themselves, at the public Omani Experience, located at the Extreme Sailing Series race village, where they will be greeted by Omani hosts and be able to sample authentic Omani cuisine and coffee.
Everyone at Cowes Week has the opportunity to win a luxury holiday to Oman for a family of four. The lucky winners will stay for five nights in the five-star Shangri-La resort and the prize also includes a trip along the beautiful Omani coastline on a private chartered boat courtesy of The Wave, Muscat. Return flights are provided by Oman Air. Anyone visiting Cowes during the week can enter at the Oman Experience in the Extreme Sailing race village. Go to the website for more details
Showing their support for their fellow countrymen during the week will also be some of Oman’s top international sportsman, including racing car driver Ahmed AL Harthy who is currently competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Series, and Ali Al Habsi, Wigan Athletic Goal keeper.
The event in Cowes see’s the Extreme Sailing Series reach the half way point of the global circuit, with the Kiwi team, Emirates Team New Zealand currently top of the Series leaderboard, ahead of the Swiss team of Artemis Racing. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild(FRA) is currently third, with The Wave, Muscat in sixth, and Oman Air in eighth overall.
Extreme Sailing Series website