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Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Wave, Muscat Wins Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 in Porto

Impeccable boat handling and a win in the final race has helped Leigh McMillan and his Omani flagged team win Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Porto. Portugal. After 30 races it came down to the wire between The Wave, Muscat and Alinghi in the final double pointer with just three points separating two of the most experienced teams on the circuit.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Porto is third Act win this season for McMillan and his crew Peter Greenhalgh, Hashim al Rashidi, Musab al Hadi and Ed Smyth following victories in Oman and Qingdao which significantly leaves them tied on points with Alinghi at the top of the overall Series leaderboard. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“Alinghi were right there behind us on the first lap. We had the conversation as to whether we should just cover them the whole race. We saw the pressure was looking better, we let them split and it worked out better for us as we extended our lead. From there on we didn't have to worry about them for the rest of the race. We managed to get a good start, managed to get our noses out and that's what it came down to in that last race,” McMillan said.
Alinghi Photo: © Lloyd Images
Morgan Larson, who took the helm on Alinghi from regular skipper and owner Ernesto Bertarelli this week, kept the pressure on The Wave, Muscat until the end, and although understandably disappointed not to have won the Act, Larson has already shifted his focus to the next stop of the global tour in Cardiff, Wales. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“We like putting pressure on The Wave, Muscat and unfortunately it didn’t pay off for us here in Porto. It's been a great place to sail and the team have worked really well together, I can’t ask any more from what the guys are doing. Alinghi are a great team and it's really nice to be part of it. It really could have gone either way today. In Cardiff we will have to do a better job,” Larson said.
Realteam Photo: © Lloyd Images
Always in contention and pushing the top teams hard was Pierre Pennec at the helm of Realteam for this Act. Pennec has lost none of his edge, and pushed the Realteam Extreme 40 hard around the course to help the team achieve their first ever podium position. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“Our objective for this event was to reach the podium, so it was a great result for the team. The most important factor is the crew engagement and good communication onboard. Technically we progressed a lot over the week which is really good looking ahead to the future of the team. It's great to be back racing in the circuit, and from today anything is possible,” Pennec said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The battle mid-fleet was equally as tense between SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Red Bull Sailing Team who went into the final double-pointer tied on points. The Danish managed to muster a third place in the final race where the Austrians couldn’t do better then eighth, leaving SAP Extreme Sailing Team in fourth overall, 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“We have been more or less tied up with Red Bull Sailing Team all week. It’s tough to be consistent on this racecourse so we are happy that we can battle with Red Bull who are very experienced on this circuit and that we can beat them. It has been a really challenging week - you can have a game plan here in Porto but you need to be able to make some quick changes to it.We really like this racecourse,” said Jes Gram Hansen, SAP’s co-skipper and helmsman.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The fresh faces on the circuit ROFF Cascais Sailing Team and Team Tilt have had the ultimate Stadium Racing baptism of fire in Porto, with both teams steadily improving throughout the week and showing that at times they can mix it up with the more experienced players in the top half of the fleet. 
Team Tilt Photo: © Lloyd Images
The Kiwi contingent on GAC Pindar took a while to find their feet in the challenging Portuguese stadium, but saved their best to last managing a win in the final day, wrapping up the Act in sixth place.

Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 5, Porto standings after Day 4, 30 races (28.7.13)
Position / Team / Points

1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Musab Al Hadi, Hashim Al Rashdi 248 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Ben Lezin, Pierre Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 235 points.
3rd Realteam (SUI) Pierre Pennec, Bryan Mettraux, Nils Palmieri, Cédric Schmidt, Thierry Wassem 223 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Nicolai Sehested 214 points.
5th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Simon Cooke, Graeme Spence 204 points.
6th GAC Pindar (NZL) Will Tiller, Brad Farrand, Stewart Dodson, Harry Thurston, Shaun Mason 173 points.
7th ROFF Cascais Sailing Team (POR) António Mello, Bernardo Freitas, João Mello, Ricardo Schedel, João Matos Rosa 156 points.
8th Team Tilt (SUI) Lucien Cujean, Jocelyn Keller, Jeremy Bachelin, Thomas Mermod, Lionel Vaucher 156 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Media

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