JP Morgan BAR ready for Muscat
Racing gets underway in Muscat, Oman today with the second event of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series.
Following Alinghi's victory in the hands of Morgan Larson in Singapore last month, Sir Ben Ainslie's team is hoping to improve on J.P. Morgan BAR's seventh place for the team's inaugural event on the circuit. The British team is ready and looking forward to a steadier, but equally as testing, second event in the Middle East.
Ainslie comments: “We are all really looking forward to Act 2 and ultimately expecting very different circumstances than that of Singapore. There will be a lot more space for racing and hopefully the winds will be a little bit steadier. For us, being new to the class and a new team, we took alot away from our first event, things to try and improve on and are looking forward to getting back together for a great week of racing."
Looking ahead on what to expect conditions-wise from the Omani venue, bowman Matt Cornwell commented: “The big contrast is that in Singapore we had a very shifty, gusty breeze whereas the breeze here will be coming off the sea so should be a little bit more stable. The forecast is looking quite light at the moment but it could still be a bit tricky and problematic - there are going to be holes out there to watch out for.”
Muscat is a familiar venue for many of the 11 teams competing, with home team, The Wave, Muscat and Singapore winners, Alinghi the favourites. “I haven’t competed in this venue before, but Paul [Goodison], Nick [Hutton] and Matt [Cornwell] all have so they will be giving direction as they are more familiar with the conditions.” Ainslie continued.
For Olympic gold medallist, Pippa Wilson, one of only a handful of female sailors competing on the circuit the event will be her second time ever competing in the Extreme 40. “I have never raced in Muscat before, so I'm really excited to get out and get going. In Singapore I really learnt that, as a team and when it’s all on, you are under a lot of pressure to make good decisions very quickly, but it’s exciting and I love it. It’s a great set up, fast and dramatic, very different from the Olympic sailing I’m used to and I think the ESS platform is great for the sport, its exciting racing and a real spectator arena –there’s so much going on."
While racing gets underway, it will be broadcast live to to the web from tomorrow until the event's conclusion on Saturday.