Extreme Sailing Series Florianopolis - Good start for Wave, Muscat

Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 - Florianopolis Brazil
The Wave, Muscat of Oman who top the leader board with a five point overall lead after eight fast and furious races had a good start on the opening day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 Florianopolis in Brazil yesterday (Thursday).

'The wind was tricky and always changing but we had some good races and great battles with Alinghi in lovely, lovely sailing conditions. And with 20 knots by the end of the day the wind just kicked in to provide very exciting racing. It was a happy day for us,' said a jubilant Leigh Macmillan The Wave, Muscat’s champion multihull skipper.

The Wave, Muscat wrapped up the day with 69 points after pulling off two wins, four second places, a third and a fifth to keep ahead of closest rivals Alinghi in the fiercely contested eight boat fleet that saw gennakkers flying and hulls lifting clear out the water during the short and sharp inshore stadium races.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 - Florianopolis Brazil

The two top teams were marking each other hard throughout the day’s racing and by race six The Wave, Muscat was up 54 points with their second win of the day over Alinghi’s 47. A clear indication of the intensity of their battle came in the seventh race when both teams jumped the start line and had to restart.

'There are obviously lots of races still to come in the next three days of this final Act here in Florianopolis and it is going to be really tough. The battle that we have had with Alinghi over the year hasn’t relented so it is going to be tough.

'We have to be consistent and make sure we are doing good races and hope it works in our favour. Our priority is to win the series,' said MacMillan who together with his crew Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Musab Al Hadi and Hashim Al Rashdi arrived in Brazil having won the last four consecutive Acts.

'It is always challenging racing as so many little things can go wrong but the crew is really super efficient. You couldn’t ask for more than what they give. They are the reason we are doing well.'

Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 - Florianopolis Brazil

Oman’s Hashim Al Rashdi who is in his second season as bowman praised tactician Ed Smythe for doing a really good job in the shifty wind conditions off Florianopolis yesterday.

'It was a great day sailing. We are a strong team and we are going to try and be as solid as we can in the next few days. We are taking it race by race to achieve our goal to win this event, win the series overall and take the Cup back to Oman.'

Gusts of up to 30 knots and stronger winds are forecast for today racing (Friday).

'It is going to be very important for us to keep the boat in one piece. It should be a very exciting day’s racing,' said MacMillan clearly eager to get back out on the race course and continue the battle.

The Wave Muscat - Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 Florianopolis in Brazil

Red Bull Sailing Team and SAP Extreme Sailing Team are lying third and fourth respectively with 56 points and ChinaSpirit next closest with 54 points after the first day of racing in the four day event which will determine the 2013 Series champions.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 Florianopolis presented by Land Rover:
Overall results after day one:

1st: The Wave, Muscat - 69 points
2nd: Alinghi - 64 points
3rd: Red Bull Sailing Team - 56 points
4th: SAP Extreme Sailing Team - 56 points
5th: ChinaSpirit - 54 points
6th: Realteam - 49 points
7th: GAC Pindar - 37 points
8th: Team Brazil Mapfre - 28 points