Thursday, March 12, 2015

Awesome Start For The Wave, Muscat in Oman - Extreme Sailing Series

The opening day of the Extreme Sailing Series, Act 2 Muscat, delivered an afternoon of perfect racing conditions, as the eight-strong Extreme 40 fleet flew around the coastal racecourse in Muscat, Oman, relishing the North Easterly breeze that filled in from eight to 16 knots.
Photo: © Mark Lloyd Images
With six races complete, the stand out team for the day was undoubtedly home boat The Wave, Muscat, with British Olympian Leigh McMillan on the helm joined by two-time British Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton.
Photo: © Mark Lloyd Images
Aytons’s clear, concise tactics onboard saw the team sail a smart course, with the fastest boat speed downwind which led them to the podium in five out of six races, according to the SAP Sailing Analytics. The only blemish on an otherwise near-perfect score line came in the second race, after a tight rounding at the first windward mark with Red Bull Sailing Team, which resulted in a penalty and a last place finish.
Photo: © Mark Lloyd Images
“I didn’t realise how well we had done. We had a few good races, but then that last place, so that was frustrating. I love the intensity of the racing, it doesn’t give you time to sit around and contemplate a bad result. You have to smash into the next race and I like that. It was really nice work by the team, and great to be sailing in these fantastic conditions,” McMillan said back at the dock.
Photo: © Mark Lloyd Images
“We often have our highs and lows in these events. We have to push all the way and not let our grip go,” he added.
Photo: © Mark Lloyd Images
With an anticipated 20 races still to come this week, the Omani team's four point lead over second placed SAP Extreme Sailing Team, co-skippered by Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner, could quickly get eaten into. 
Photo: © Mark Lloyd Images
The Danish team had an outstanding day, finding consistency within the fleet and the rolling waves to finish in second place, proving that this team are hot contenders for a podium position, after their second place finish at Act 1, Singapore just four weeks ago. 

Even an OCS (over course start) in the second race today, couldn’t break the stride of the Danes, and thanks to the cool head of tactician Køstner, the team broke away from the fleet, took a right wind shift that came in their favour and lifted the team from last to fourth place.

“There are a lot of waves here so you have to think about your manoeuvres. The key is full speed around the course. It is full on action out there – lots of white water spraying off the boat and with everyone pushing hard, things happen quickly. It was a good day on the water,” Køstner said.

With a storm due to blow over the city tonight, Race Director Phil Lawrence is optimistic that we will see another day of idyllic 16 knot breeze tomorrow for day two as the fleet move into the stadium and the event opens to the public.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 2 Muscat standings after Day 1, 6 races (11.03.15)
Position / Team / Points

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 50 points.
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Mads Emil Stephensen, Brad Farrand 46 points.
3. Oman Air (OMA) Stevie Morrison, Nic Asher, Ted Hackney, Ed Powys, Ali Al Balashi 44 points.
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Jason Waterhouse, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson 43 points.
5. GAC Pindar (GBR) Seve Jarvin, Ian Williams, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski 35 points.
6. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Alexander Bozhko, Aleksey Kulakov 34 points.
7. Team Turx powered by Kaya Ropes (TUR) Mitch Booth, Edhem Dirvana, Selim Kakış, Diogo Cayolla, Matteo Auguadro 31 points.
8. Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) Lorenzo Bressani, Enrico Zennaro, Gabriele Olivo, Tom Buggy, Stefano Ciampalini 29 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Media

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