The Wave, Muscat turned a one point deficit into a ten point windfall to win the Extreme Sailing Series’ first event in Hamburg with sistership Oman Air posting their best results of the year so far to make an outstanding day for Oman Sail.
Starting the final day one point behind leaders SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Leigh McMillan’s championship winning crew were right on the money from race one, snatching victory just a few metres from the finish from Oman Air who posted the first of four podium places.
It set them up for the rest of the day and although The Wave, Muscat have become renowned for finishing strongly, this final day in Hamburg proved to be one of their strongest ever with five podium places, including two superb victories.
“It was a fantastic performance by the whole team,” said a delighted McMillan after picking up the Hamburg medal that now gives The Wave, Muscat a three point advantage at the top of the overall Extreme Sailing Series 2015 leaderboard.
“I’m not sure it gets any better than this – and it is certainly up there with the great finishes. We were psyched up for the day, knowing it was always going to be challenging with four teams so tight on points.
“We knew we needed to be in front to get a strong position to affect the overalls so we came out all guns blazing. We got off to a great start and kept on pushing hard and taking our opportunities when they came along so it was a great day.”
McMillan, racing with his regular crew of Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth and Nasser Al Mashari, made a special mention of the Hamburg crowds who turned out in their thousands to support the crews and the event.
“The crowds have been incredible – more people than we have ever seen at an Extreme Sailing event.”
Winning the first Hamburg title gave The Wave, Muscat a big boost, added bowman Al Mashari but their eyes remain set on the overall 2015 title with three events left in Russia, Turkey and Australia to build on their success.
“We have extended our overall lead a little bit which is our goal and now we need to try and extend it further. We need to be on top of our game next time round. The Wave, Muscat is a strong team – we are already looking forward to Russia.”
For Stevie Morrison’s crew on Oman Air, the frustrations of previous days eased with a string of improved results as they notched up four podium finishes to gain one place and finish fifth overall.
“It has been a tough week but it was a beautiful end because the wind dropped and the sun came out which was great for us and the crowds,” said Morrison.
“We had a much better day – we sailed very well. We have sailed well all week but weren’t getting the results.
“Today we felt like we were getting the results that reflected our performances and it came as a nice confidence boost and showed that sometimes you just need a break because the margins in this game are so tiny.”
The next Extreme Sailing Series event starts in St Petersburg in Russia on Thursday August 20 and finishes four days later on Sunday August 23.