Mark Lloyd / Extreme Sailing Series

The Wave Muscat comes good

Extreme Sailing Series Muscat goes to the wire

Saturday March 14th 2015, Author: Nicola Dawson, Location: Oman

After a down to the wire final double points race at the Extreme Sailing Series Muscat, pre-event favourite The Wave, Muscat clinched victory on her home waters for the third consecutive year, narrowly denying the Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team its first ever event victory.

After six races today just two points separated the Omani and Danish teams – with the advantage in the hands of Rasmus Kostner and Jes Gram Hansen on SAP Extreme Sailing Team, after winning the first two races of the day. The teams went head to head in the final and 29th race of the event. In this The Wave, Muscat who took control from the start, playing the light seven knot winds and the shifts expertly, to extend away from the fleet and take the race win and overall victory. SAP Extreme Sailing Team taking third place was enough to secure them second.

 "It was a tough day," explained McMillan. "We had some really difficult starts and SAP (Extreme Sailing Team) really put the pressure on, so it was pretty evenly matched. We had to dig deep and we knew it would come down the last race, all we had to do was beat them or they beat us. Everyone on the boat kept pushing hard to make the best of the situation and in the end we got the result, but it wasn’t easy.”

Third place was a battle between the Austrian Red Bull Sailing Team and Oman Air and the pressure was evident. On the start line of race two, Oman Air collided into the back of the Austrians, knocking off their rudders, causing irreparable damage. Average points redress for Red Bull minimised the points damage – the Olympic champion Hans Peter Steinacher and his team finishing third overall, ahead of Oman Air. The team was unable to recover from its black flag disqualification resulting from the collision, despite a strong performance all week.

 

As Morrison summed up after racing: “We were hoping for third, but we unfortunately had a little bit of a run in with Red Bull. We made some mistakes today and it was a little frustrating, but over the week as a whole its been great, hopefully we will go and shake the Red Bull guys’ hands and they will forgive us for the little tap we gave them!”

Series Main Partner to the Extreme Sailing Series, Land Rover, presented the Above and Beyond Award to relative newcomers, Team Turx powered by Kaya Ropes, co-skippered by Edhem Dirvana and Mitch Booth. The team posted six podium positions, one race win and was the third highest point scoring team on the final day.

After two events this year, Red Bull Sailing Team, The Wave, Muscat and SAP Extreme Sailing Team are all tied on 18 points on the Series scoreboard. Next the Series moves to Qingdao, China over 30 April – 3 May

Phil Robertson, helm Gazprom Team Russia said: “We had a pretty tough day, very tricky conditions especially for us being a very new team. It is really hard to find our modes on the boat and we struggled with our downwind speed. Looking forward to China, there is a lot to improve on and I hope this result has stirred up the whole team to want a better result.”

Lorenzo Bressani, skipper/helm on Lino Sonego Team Italia added: “It was a good week with very nice conditions – waves and strong winds at the beginning and light winds and chop today. For us we have had some high and low results, very difficult to go fast with chop and light winds and I found the reaching starts very challenging as it is my first time with them.”

Ian Williams, co-skipper/helm on GAC Pindar said: “It was a tough day for GAC Pindar, we haven’t really figured out the reaching starts yet, so from there we were battling a little bit. But it appears we have got sixth place so an improvement on the last regatta, and hopefully we can keep improving.”

Mitch Booth,  helm/co-skipper Team Turx powered by Kaya Ropes said: “It was a good day, we set out to try and be consistent and that is what we achieved. We are really happy with the way the team went. We coped better with the reaching starts today, we feel like we are improving and we now prefer them.”

Stevie Morrison, helm on Oman Air said: “I thought I was settling in pretty well until I smacked into the back of another boat. I may have thought it was shorter than it was! Apart from that I actually feel like we are racing now, and consistently in the top half of the fleet rather than the bottom. We are now looking forward to push on.”

Jason Waterhouse,  helm on Red Bull Sailing Team said: “In the race with the incident we had a pretty good start, we went for a gybe-set and I think Stevie thought we were going a little faster than we were and unfortunately we were in his way – Stevie took out our rudder. I have complete respect for Stevie and we are good mates, accidents happen as we are racing in the Extreme Sailing Series. But we are excited for China, bring it on!”

Rasmus Kostner, co-skipper/tactician on SAP Extreme Sailing Team said: “It came down to the last race where it was double points and we knew we had to beat The Wave, Muscat. We were trying to play them a bit to see if we could make it hard for them at the start and to see if we could lead them in the race, but unfortunately they escaped that very well in the last seconds, ending up with one of the best starts in the fleet. We followed them around the race course to see if we could catch them but they were not making any mistakes, they won it fair and square but it was a good fight.”

Results after 29 races

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 239 points.

2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Mads Emil Stephensen, Brad Farrand 237 points.

3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Hans Peter Steinacher, Jason Waterhouse, Adam Piggott,Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson 220 points.

4. Oman Air (OMA) Stevie Morrison, Nic Asher, Ted Hackney, Ed Powys, Ali Al Balashi 211 points.

5. Team Turx powered by Kaya Ropes (TUR) Mitch Booth, Edhem Dirvana, Selim Kakış, Diogo Cayolla, Matteo Auguadro 189 points.

6. GAC Pindar (GBR) Seve Jarvin, Ian Williams, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski 167 points.

7. Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) Lorenzo Bressani, Enrico Zennaro, Gabriele Olivo, Tom Buggy, Stefano Ciampalini 157 points.

8. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Alexander Bozhko, Aleksey Kulakov 152 points.

Extreme Sailing Series overall standings after Muscat

1. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 18 points.

2. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 18 points.

3. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 18 points.

4. Oman Air (OMA) 13 points.

5. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 10 points.

6. GAC Pindar (GBR) 10 points.

7. Team Turx powered by Kaya Ropes (TUR) 9 points.

8. Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) 8 points. 

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