The Wave, Muscat

The Wave, Muscat

Stevie Morrison’s Oman Air had a stunning opening day in Cardiff nipping at the heels of stable mate The Wave, Muscat right from the start. They showed consistent performance throughout the day and secured one outright win and four seconds.

Leigh McMillan’s The Wave, Muscat was taken out of contention for five races after some boat-on-boat action during race 3 when SAP Extreme Sailing Team forced them ashore for repairs. The tried and tested two-time Extreme champions kept their heads, fixed their steering system and got back on the water to win two more races, putting them first overall after 10 rounds with Oman Air in second.

Commenting on the incident with SAP Extreme Sailing Team, McMillan said: “We were in second or third place at the time, rounding the mark and SAP came in from behind with a bit more speed. The tiller arm was ripped off so we had to replace the stock and tiller bar system and it all took a bit of time.

“It was a great job by everyone and knowing we were getting average points it was important we put in a good performance in the last few races of the day.”

Chatting about their ability to bounce back McMillan concluded: “It is always difficult to get into the groove again after something like that but the experience we’ve had over the years with similar situations has given us the ability to make the best of it when things like that happen. The key is to remain focused and just get on with it.”

With a total of three wins and average points awarded for redress The Wave, Muscat now lead Act 4 by 11 points over team mates on Oman Air skippered by Stevie Morrison.

The crowds who gathered to watch the high speed Extreme 40 action in the grandstand setting of Cardiff couldn’t have wished for anything more spectacular today – sunshine and a consistent 18-20 knots and some of the best racing of the season was on offer.

Oman Air enjoyed the fresher conditions and sailed impressively.

“I think the simple factor is that there was more wind today and we were able to execute a plan and it worked well. I think we learned lessons from the last Act in China, and all our hard work seemed to pay off. A couple of areas we have worked on are communication and starting, so we are hoping to continue with the improvements tomorrow.”

Ali Al Balushi – bowman – was unfazed by the intensity of today’s 10 races. In winds that never dropped below 15kts, it was action packed particularly at the pointy end.

“I enjoy light wind, I enjoy lots of wind and I am really enjoying the racing on the Extreme Sailing Series and the Oman Air team is getting stronger and stronger – we get on with it regardless of the weather. We had good starts today and they were tactically good races for us, so we are hoping for more of the same tomorrow.”

The weather looks set to continue in a similar pattern, which bodes well for the event where crowds more spectators are expected to gather to watch the action unfold over the next three days.



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