Extreme Sailing Series - Oman Air and The Wave, Muscat dominate
by Lucy Harwood on 2 Sep 2012
At the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff, The Wave, Muscat showed why they are the overall series leader on day three. The team skippered by British sailor Leigh McMillan delivered five top three finishes, including two wins. Today’s results move them up the leader board to first overall after 24 races.
The Wave, Muscat racing in Cardiff at the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series Lloyd Images © http://lloydimagesgallery.photoshelter.com/
For their team mates on Oman Air it was another consistent day in some very inconsistent conditions, with solid crew work keeping them on the podium in second place overall.
Today provided the most challenging sailing conditions in Cardiff so far, as the wind speed and direction fluctuated all day. This continued to test the nine boat fleet as they raced even closer to shore than before, with the start and finish line brought to within a few metres of the spectator area.
Speaking on the dock after racing, Oman Air skipper Morgan Larsen commented, 'The wind wasn’t consistent today, and the conditions were inconsistent and challenging. We had anything from three knots on the start line to a 20 knot puff thirty seconds later, so all over the map today. But the team again held together and sailed the boat really well, they kept their head in the game and the results showed. Once again we put our best foot forward but The Wave did a little better, I guess going into tomorrow we need to put our foot down a little harder and it’s time to come after them'.
The first race of the day was full of frustration for the Oman Sail teams as they found themselves caught in a windless zone within a pack of boats on the start line. The teams worked hard to pull back places but had to settle for a fourth and fifth place. But race two saw the crew onboard The Wave, Muscat step up a level, as they delivered a strong performance to finish second, the first of five top three finishes today. A seamless win on race four, followed by two seconds showed the form the series has come to expect from British skipper Leigh McMiIllan and his crew.
'Yeah we’re pretty happy with today, we had some lucky breaks, getting off the start line was particularly difficult today. There were lots of big holes and big gusts so trying to get the timing right was very difficult. One minute you feel like you’ll be there for ages as you find yourself closed in, and then a gust comes through and you have a window of opportunity and you’re off. It went well for us, we had some great boat handling today, it’s all about keeping it together as a team and the guys did a fantastic job in some full on conditions. So it was a a great result all round. We really enjoy the latter part of the event when it’s all on, we’re looking forward to getting into tomorrow and fighting it out for podium spots,' skipper Leigh McMillan The Wave, Muscat.
Hashim Al Rashdi, The Wave, Muscat, 'We didn’t have a good start on the first race and the other teams got ahead of us. But we worked hard after this and we had some good results in the rest of today’s racing, we had a couple of podium finishes with one first, three second places, and one third so this improved our position overall today and enabled us to take the lead. Tomorrow is the last day, so our win today is very important and we’ll try to avoid making any mistakes and concentrate more to maintain our position and win Act 5'.
Crew work was key to great results today, the inconsistency in the conditions meant some close calls on the water, the boat handling had to be faultless and communication between everyone crucial. For the crew on board Oman Air this was the secret to staying in second overall going into the last day.
'We maintained our second position for the third day in a row. Our performance today helped us make podium finishes and score valuable points. We still have tomorrow’s races and we will eave no stone unturned to improve our position and try to get the win from our team mates on The Wave, Muscat, and in doing so raise the Sultanate’s flag,' Nasser Al-Mashari, Oman Air.
After 24 races just eleven points separate the top three boats, the two Oman Sail teams head into the final day with everything to play for. The Wave, Muscat are hoping for a fourth consecutive win on the series, something that hasn’t been achieved since Alinghi in 2008. Racing will start tomorrow (Saturday 1st) at 1400 (CEST – 1) local time in Cardiff.
Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Cardiff day three:
1 The Wave, Muscat 145 points
2 Oman Air Team 140 points
3 GAC Pindar 134 points
4 Red Bull Sailing Team 133 points
5 Alinghi 122 points
6 Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 121 points
7 SAP Extreme Sailing Team 121 points
8 Team Wales 82 points
9 ZouLou 81 points
Extreme Sailing Series website