Surprise Oman Sail winner

Mark Lloyd /
The Wave, Muscat skipper Paul Campbell-James on winning the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series
One would have been hard pressed to have scripted better the conclusion of the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series with two boats jockeying for not only victory in the Almeria event, the last on the circuit this year, but also the overall championship. In the end it was Paul Campbell-James and his The Wave, Muscat team of tactician Alister Richardson, trimmer Nick Hutton and Omani bowman Khamis Al Anbouri, who beat the top French team, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, led by Tornado and offshore multihull veteran Yann Guichard. The Wave, Muscat’s overall win was doubly surprising because of the two Oman Sail Extreme 40s, they had gone into the season as effectively the ‘B’ boat to Loick Peyron’s Oman Sail Masirah, which ended the championship in fourth place. At 27, Paul Campbell-James was also the youngest skipper on the circuit this year. “They didn’t expect us to do really well,” says Paul Campbell-James of Oman Sail’s hopes for them this season. “They thought if we did really well we’d get on the podium.” That it should go to the wire, given that the race schedule at Extreme Sailing Series events is monumental – 27 races were held at Almeria alone – was also indicative of the closeness of the competition at the front of the fleet. “We had a pretty good idea going into the last race,” admits Campbell-James. “We had to get a sixth and there were two people OCS so as long as we didn’t capsize or get too big a penalty we were looking good.” Being level on points with Guichard’s team going into the final day, Campbell-James tactics had been to play it safe, not allowing the wily French Olympic catamaran sailor near them. “We started next to him in the first race (outside of Almeria harbour) but we