Omani teams wow the crowds in Sydney with three wins apiece on opening day of final Extreme Sailing Series Act

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Omani teams wow the crowds in Sydney with three wins apiece on opening day of final Extreme Sailing Series Act

Omani teams wow the crowds in Sydney with three wins apiece on opening day of final Extreme Sailing Series Act
The Omani race teams – The Wave, Muscat and Oman Air – were on form today for the opening races of the concluding 2015 Extreme Sailing Series™ Act in Sydney, Australia.

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With an 11-point series lead going into this final Act, Leigh McMillan and his crew including recently crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Sarah Ayton, on The Wave, Muscat were keen to retain their momentum at the top of the fleet and indeed they did, ending the day with three impressive wins.

However, it was team mates on Oman Air who really stole the show with two opening wins and a concluding star performance in the closing race of the day (race 8).

Stevie Morrison and his super-hot team including Nic Asher, Ed Powys, Ted Hackney and Ali Al Balushi sailed with the same passion they possessed in the previous Act in Istanbul, where consistent good performance resulted in a place on the podium alongside stable mates The Wave, Muscat.

A delighted Morrison said today was all about team work: “One of the things we set out to do at the beginning of the year was to form a strong team with a bunch of guys willing to push to the limits and back each other up. I think days like today make us realise that has happened.

“This year has been a great experience for me. It is an honour to be part of the Omani team. It has been a steep and huge learning curve because it has been a change of style of sailing for me and I have really enjoyed it.”

Despite the Omanis’ remarkable performance, it is the Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team who clocked up the most consistent results today to take the overnight lead. With a scoreline that includes two wins and two second places, the team – co-skippered by Rasmus Kostner and Jes Gram-Hansen – are pushing hard and are determined not to make McMillan’s life easy. They finish the day four points clear. For the SAP Extreme Sailing Team to win overall however, they will need to win the final, with The Wave, Muscat in 7th place or lower.

“It is great to have both Omani teams fighting on the podium because that’s what we’ve been trying to achieve all year. The idea now is to try to keep putting pressure on whoever is in the lead. SAP are out in front so we need to try to reel them in,” said McMillan, reigning two-time Extreme Sailing Series champion.

“We got into the swing of things after the first two races today, with a couple of bullets, which put us back in the hunt. Like everyone really, it didn’t go all our own way and it was a bit frustrating in the last race when we got a penalty, which cost us a second as well. All in all, it wasn’t a bad first day and hopefully we can improve on that and get into the lead tomorrow.”

With an impressive Sydney bridge backdrop, a racecourse set between the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Sydney Opera House, thousands of spectators will be back again tomorrow for the racing spectacle and to visit the Oman Tourism Pavilion that is set to throw open its doors at 0900 local time to the Australian public. It will be a voyage of discovery for visitors to Farm Cove who will learn about what the Sultanate of Oman has to offer the discerning traveller.

Live coverage of the racing here: http://www.extremesailingseries.com