Sunday, 3 July 2011

Extreme 40 : The Wave, Muscat, Continues to Shine on Day 2 in Boston

The Wave Muscat to the fore. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OC ThirdPole

by Mohammed Al Eissa

Day two of the Extreme Sailing Series in Boston, and a consistent day on the water for both Oman Sail teams means it couldn’t be tighter on the leader board at the end of today. The Wave Muscat hold on to second place, just one point ahead of third placed Emirates Team New Zealand, with Oman Air just one point off eighth placed Red Bull Extreme Sailing. With three days of racing left, and at least 20 races still to sail, it is still all to play for.

As predicted by the weather forecasters this morning, the first three races of the day were sailed under light winds, before the sea breeze finally kicked in. In the first race of the day, three boats, including Oman Air, fell victim to the light breeze, infringing the time limit rule by not finishing the race within six minutes of the winning boat. Nasser Al Mashari, the teams Bowman, commented: “It was a really frustrating start to the day and the wind in Boston is really playing with us –the wind is shifting a lot and there are patches on the race course where there is just no wind. You can be at the front of a race one minute, and then quickly drop back because you find yourself in a position with no breeze.”

After seven races today, the Swedish team of Artemis Racing, skippered by the only American skipper competing here, Terry Hutchinson, have extended their lead over The Wave, Muscat by seven points, and hold onto the top spot. Khamis Al Anbouri, Bowman on The Wave, Muscat commented: “We put in a consistent performance today and had some good races, but we know how quickly the leader board can change in one day, and with three days left there is a long way to go. Tomorrow we will be looking to close the gap between us and Artemis!”

Tomorrow is the halfway point of the event, and the battle mid-leaderboard is becoming even tenser, with Oman Air right in the middle of it. The team finish today in ninth place, with less then 10 points separating them from sixth placed Alinghi and Nasser Al Mashari is looking to improve their performance on the water tomorrow. “We are only nine points behind Alinghi, and in this type of racing, that could be the difference of one race. We know we have a lot of work to do, and as a team we are still new and learning, but everyday we make improvements and learn more and I hope that tomorrow we can begin to move up the leader board.”

The team on Oman Air also welcomed a local sailing group here in Boston, Community Boating, who joined the team before racing today. The organisation offers the people of Boston the opportunity to learn how to sail, and as Nasser pointed out, the project has similar objectives to Oman Sail. “The project has many similarities with Oman Sail – they are helping to encourage the youth of the city to learn how to sail and to welcome them to the Oman Air boat today and teach them about the Extreme 40’s and Oman has been a great experience for them and for us. We are always proud to teach other countries about Oman and about what we are achieving through Oman Sail.”

For the rest of the 11 boat international fleet, there were a host of changes on the leader board today. Emirates Team New Zealand completes the podium positions, climbing from sixth to third, whilst the Swiss team of Alinghi put in a solid performance, climbing from ninth to sixth. For Red Bull Extreme Sailing a collision in the fifth race with Team GAC Pindar put them out of action with damage to their rudder, and the team has dropped from third to eighth overall.

With three days of racing left, the competition here in Boston is really heating up, with the teams looking for every point they can get. After the event in the USA, the Extreme Sailing Series will travel to the UK, Italy, France, and Spain, before it’s conclusion in Singapore in December.

Extreme Sailing Series Boston Results after 7 races on Day 2, 14 Races in total

1) Artemis Racing (SWE) (114)
2) The Wave, Muscat (OMA) (107)
3) Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) (106)
4) Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA) (101)
5) Luna Ross (ITA) (88)
6) Alinghi (SUI) (78)
7) Team NiceforYou (ITA) (76)
8) Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT) (70)
9) Oman Air (OMA) (69)
10) Team Extreme (EUR) (57)
11)Team GAC Pindar (GBR) (44)

2011 Calendar & Host Venues:

Act 1: 20-24 February, Muscat, Oman
Act 2: 13-17 April, China
Act 3: 25-29 May, Istanbul, Turkey
Act 4: 30 June – 4 July, Boston, USA
Act 5: 6-12 August, Cowes, UK
Act 6: 16-18 September, Trapani, Italy
Act 7: 30 September – 2 October, Nice, France
Act 8: 12-16 October, Almeria, Spain
Act 9: 9-11 December, Singapore

Oman Sail
Extreme Sailing Series