From the following press release on the Extreme Sailing Series website:
- Four teams - The, Wave, Muscat, Emirates Team New Zealand, Alinghi
and SAP Extreme Sailing Team - in the running heading into the final race, with
no room for error and just four points between them – and 20 points on the table
for the taking.
- Emirates Team New Zealand snatch second from the grasp of
Alinghi with just one point in it after 29 races this week.
- SAP Extreme
Sailing Team narrowly denied the podium but rise up the overall Series rankings
with an impressive fourth place.
- Replay today’s Stadium Racing, here.
It was a sweltering hot day in Muscat, Oman, for the final showdown at the
Extreme Sailing Series™, where the Arabian peninsula saved the best for last,
with winds that blasted across the course at a steady 20 knots, with gusts of
26, before a final race shoot out. Four teams were gunning for the top spot and
there was no room for error, with just four points between them – and 20 points
on the table for the taking. The defending champions and home team on The Wave,
Muscat made a real statement of intent from the gun, with an aggressive start
that saw them lead the fleet of the line, and Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete
Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler and Nasser Al Mashari didn’t look back, snatching the
win from the hands of the Kiwi, Swiss and Danish teams, to claim not only the
Act win, but putting them top of the overall Series leaderboard after two Acts.
“It was too close for comfort, that’s for sure,“ commented an elated
McMillan after racing. “Today we had a fight on our hands, we knew we had to
be exceptional and raise our game. I was just enjoying the sailing, the
challenge of it, the situations that were tight and it all worked out for us.
The wind came in and it was absolutely amazing sailing out there, absolutely
perfect for the Extreme 40s.”
Today’s racing was all about brute power and strength, requiring a huge shift
in mindset for the teams, who have raced in light breeze all week. The fleet of
11 Extreme 40s and their 55 elite level crew members powered off the start line,
blasting to the windward mark and wrestling their boats around the course,
before unfurling their gennakers and flying downwind, trying to maximize power
and speed. One team who had the formula nailed were Emirates Team New Zealand,
with two race wins and a third place in the final race enough for them to claim
second overall, bettering their fourth place finish from Act 1, Singapore, which
for skipper Dean Barker, was the objective this week. “We wanted to improve
after Singapore, we wanted to sail well and get on the podium here, and we’ve
achieved it. There’s still a lot we can improve on but in saying that everyone
struggles with the conditions and the guys remained very positive throughout
even when things didn’t feel like they were going our way. We had a good chance
to get onto the podium, and to get a second place we’re really happy.”
read more here