Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Extreme Sailing Series Act 3 - Oman Air's hard work pays off

by Oman Sail on 4 May 2014
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 3 © Lloyd Images
At the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao Oman Air's hard work paid off when they achieved their best result of the series sofar while reigning champions The Wave, Muscat left themselves with too much to do in the final races to defend their Qingdao trophy finishing just one point off the podium.

Big gusts of 25 knots once again played havoc with the racing schedule as the fleet was split into groups to maintain on water safety but both Oman Sail crews rode out the disruption to post four podium places in total, with Leigh McMillan's team on The Wave, Muscat closing the Act with a resounding win in the final race.

For the new look crew on Oman Air, which for the first time counted America's Cup winner Kyle Langford among its number, the rise through the ranks to mid table was welcomed especially after their calamitous start when they were T-boned in the first 30 seconds of racing and forced off the race track for an entire day.

'It's our best result so far this year so we are very pleased with that,' said skipper Rob Greenhalgh.

'We knew we would be slow starters this year because we are a brand new team but our aim was the top half of the table and we have achieved that here so hopefully we can stay in the hunt for the rest of the year.

'We've had Kyle Langford with us this week and that's been fantastic and the guys on the front have done a really great job as well, the team is gelling nicely. We kept the tempo pretty high and all sailed well.'

The improvement in performance and results was clear to see and the difference had given all team members on Oman Air a big boost, said Musab Al Hadi. 'The whole team is happy because we saw an improvement every day and we now have a lot of information to take away with us and learn from so we can get ready for the next Act in Russia.

'It was pretty tough out there today and of course every team wanted to win. The podium only has three places but we are happy with sixth place because if we work hard we know we can do even better.'

The Wave, Muscat's knack of pulling off an overall victory in the final throes of the competition for once eluded them and despite a resounding win in the last race, they finished in fourth place, just one point off the podium. This puts them in second place overall in the championship standings behind Qingdao Act winners and long-time rivals Alinghi who were T-boned by Red Bull Racing this afternoon and awarded average points from the day for the final two races.

'Normally we are strong at the end of an event and strong going into the last race, but it wasn’t enough today,' said Leigh McMillan.

'We had the possibility of getting into third so we fought hard for it. At one point, it looked possible but in the end it just didn't go our way though it was great to finish the event with a win.

'Things didn't go completely to plan this week. Conditions were very shifty and we got caught out a number of times. It took us a while to get into sync with the conditions and it cost us because some teams were able to do that from the word go. From there it was difficult to make points back with a split fleet and that was frustrating.

'But we were only one point off the podium so we didn't do too much damage. We are in good shape overall so need to keep pushing forward.'

Looking ahead to Act 4 in St Petersburg in Russia from June 26-29, both Oman Sail skippers said they were expecting light winds and a repeat of the split fleet format that will once again be a real test.

'Russia will be another tricky venue and I think we will have to come out with more aggression. We will have to raise the bar for the next event to get back into winning ways,' said McMillan.

For Greenhalgh: 'I think we have to get Kyle to lose a bit of weight so we can be faster in the light airs,' he said with a grin. 'Although, that probably applies to us all…'

Some challenging times for the Oman Sail teams were made all the more worthwhile when their hard working shore team comprising Jo Lees, Hilal Al Zadjali and Suleiman Al Manji became the first recipients of the Land Rover 'Above and Beyond' Award.

The Award, presented at each Act for the finest example of skill, sportsmanship and strength of mind from an individual, team or group was given to the team for their incredible efforts in repairing Oman Air overnight after day one's adventures.

'The ‘backroom boys’ never get much recognition but the guys worked so hard,' said shore manager Lees who has been mentoring his Omani colleagues in the art of boat building for several years.

'It means the world to be recognised and for the boys to be recognised. They are always smiling, always keen to learn and always working hard. To be recognised today in the biggest way with the Land Rover Above & Beyond Award is a real honour.'

As winners of the Award, Oman Sail now qualify for the Land Rover Above and Beyond Trophy, awarded at the end of the season for the year's finest achievement.






Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted today at 12:16 pm
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Southern Spars - 100Schaefer 2016 660x82Kilwell - 5