Oman Air stay top of Extreme Sailing Series table with podium place
Oman Air stayed top of the overall Extreme Sailing Series 2016 leaderboard after posting a third place in Act six in Madeira and immediately shifted their focus to the next Act in Lisbon, Portugal, in two weeks.
Light winds once again took their toll on the racing programme with just two races completed bringing the total over four days to 14 which made for some challenging albeit fair racing, skipper Morgan Larson said.
“It would have been good to have got in a few more races but there are lots of positives to take from here – in particular the spectacular venue and the fact we are sailing well together as a crew which gives us a lot of confidence for the next two events.
“Alinghi did an amazing job here and did a lot of things right which we can learn from,” Larson said.
“We made a few mistakes and will also learn from those but I feel we should let this one go and look ahead to the next event in Lisbon.
“We have all sailed there before and know the challenges so we need to get down there and make the best of our training time so we can pick up our game and focus on our performance rather than the points situation. And that is what we will do.”
Oman Air finished 16 points behind Swiss rivals Alinghi and three behind Red Bull Sailing Team who leapfrogged them into second place at the end of Race 14, which was classified as a double pointer when the wind died to render it the final race.
The 2016 series was shaping up exactly as they had imagined, added Larson who spent two seasons as skipper of Alinghi with all the teams making big leaps in their handling of the foiling GC32s and their tactics on the race course.
“We sailed super well in the early Acts and stole a bit of a march on the other teams but with each event they get better and better,” he said.
“We enjoy the pressure and are looking forward to the next two events in Lisbon and Sydney because the burden will be on the other teams to try and beat us.”
The next event in Lisbon on Portugal’s Atlantic coast starts on Thursday October 6 and presents a superb opportunity to extend Oman Air’s lead, according to bowman Nasser Al Mashari.
“We are leading the series after coming third here in Madeira where the conditions were tricky but there are still two more Acts to go and if we sail well, we can gain some valuable points.”
Like Madeira, Lisbon is also making its debut on the Extreme Sailing Series circuit and is well known for its warm weather and a temperamental ocean breeze.
by Oman Sail