Australian Olympic champion Nathan Outteridge has stepped in as Sultanate of Oman skipper to keep alive Oman Sail’s hopes of winning the inaugural Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour championship at Marseille One Design, the final event of 2015, next week.
A clash of fixtures in the international sailing calendar has the final GC32 event of 2015 running concurrently with the Extreme Sailing Series’ Act 6 in Istanbul leaving Oman Sail, and in particular their talented multihull skipper Leigh McMillan, a crew short to maintain title winning habits.
Oman Sail’s team of sailing professionals are currently spread far and wide across the sport fulfilling MOD70, Farr 30, Extreme 40, GC32, and Olympic campaign duties.
Outteridge, who will have Iain Percy, Iain Jensen, Kalle Torlen, and Luke Parkinson alongside to support his first GC32 experience is looking forward to the event. “I’ve watched the videos of the racing and it looks fast and furious. It’s going to be fun stepping in for Leigh and his team in Marseille.”
Going into the final event, Sultanate of Oman have a three point advantage over Swiss rivals Alinghi on the overall 2015 leaderboard but McMillan, who will head to Turkey next week in the hope of sealing a third Extreme Sailing Series title with his The Wave, Muscat crew, is confident that Outteridge’s vast experience in foiling will stand them in good stead.
“They have a few days training and I’m sure they will get to grips with it quickly and post a good result for Oman,” said McMillan. “There is a lot of quality and experience in foiling on that team so we think they will do a great job.
“They will really enjoy the boat and the opportunity to get a lot of racing in because the conditions in Marseille can be superb so they will be able to quickly get to grips with the starts.
We hope that they can have a great event and we do likewise in Istanbul so Oman ends up at the top of both leaderboards. It should be a good weekend for the Sultanate,” said McMillan, who will have The Wave, Muscat regulars Pete Greenhalgh, Sarah Ayton, Ed Smyth and Nasser Al Mashari alongside him in Istanbul.
Racing in Marseille One Design, held at one of France’s top sailing venues on the Rade Sud between the city’s famous Prado beach and the off-lying Frioul Islands, kicks off on Wednesday 30 September with the final race scheduled for four days later on Saturday 3 October.