Artemis Sailing Team Coach Andrew Palfrey sends this report from Oman.
Final stages of what has been a very solid prep for Act One of the Extreme Sailing Series 2011 here in Muscat, Oman.
We start the regatta tomorrow. The forecast is for a moderate sea-breeze. We expect to be sailing between 6 and 9 races!! Sunday and Monday are what is known as open-water racing. Most of us would call it sprint racing. The final three days are 'stadium format' racing, where the racing is held right up by the shore and the course constructed more for the spectators' benefit than the sailors. We are not quite sure what to expect there. Anyway, the guys are up for anything and it is all about learning a new style of boat, as well as a different approach to sailboat racing. It's great for us to be here learning together and to have this opportunity.
Today the guys sailed in a 9-12kts Norwester with a lumpy seaway and sunny skies. All of the 11 boat fleet were out for some practice.
Artemis Racing (with Terry, Sean, Truby and Andy - as well as Nipper as the fifth man guest) started at the pin and led at the first mark of both of the races. In the first race, they rounded the leeward gate at the same time as Gitana, but Gitana and Red Bull (with Craig Monk) made gains and the guys placed a close third by the finish. In the second race, our guys again won the pin end of the start and led all the way around. We went back to the dock after that. There was one more race which was won by Emirates Team New Zealand.
The guys are all in good, healthy shape.
The venue is an interesting one. We are based out of a temporary building in the middle of a construction site that covers a few square miles. Heaps of investment and effort is being put into sailing here in Oman. It has been selected as a national sport for school kids and as a way to promote the country internationally. www.artemisracing.com