The Wave, Muscat make stunning start at Extreme Sailing Series Istanbul
MUSCAT, Oct 2: Leigh McMillan let team grit do the talking when The Wave, Muscat opened their bid for the Extreme Sailing Series’ Istanbul crown with a clean sweep of seven podium places plus a further four from Stevie Morrison on Oman Air.
Winners of the first Istanbul event in 2012 and now intent on making Extreme Sailing Series history by winning four consecutive Acts in a season, McMillan and his crew of Nasser Al Mashari, Sarah Ayton, Ed Smyth and Pete Greenhalgh quickly hit their straps, posting a resounding 188m victory in the first race.
This was followed immediately by two more bullets and then a fourth win in Race 5 and with three other podium places to count, The Wave, Muscat closed the day with a healthy nine point lead over SAP Extreme Sailing Team with three days racing remaining.
“We were very happy with the way we sailed today and it was great to get a few wins under our belt,” McMillan said. “The conditions were awesome and we were consistent but there is a long way to go yet and we have to focus on the next four days.”
As they raced down the Bosphorus Strait with Europe on one side and Asia on the other, the Extreme 40 crews experienced fresh but shifty winds which provided classic racing conditions. “It was very enjoyable because although it was shifty, we had flat water and because it is a big course, we were able to make sure our boat handling and team work were up to scratch. I would say our teamwork was exceptional,” said Al Mashari.
“We hope for more of the same tomorrow though it would be nice to have a little more sunshine.” Racing on the open water race course close to the entrance to the Bosphorus felt like ‘normal sailing’ said Oman Air skipper Stevie Morrison, who enjoyed one of his best days of the season with three second places and a third to lie in fourth place overnight.
“This bigger course gives us time to think which feels slightly more like normal sailing and that suited us nicely. It was a great days racing and we are looking forward to tomorrow because the conditions are forecast to be the same.”
Live coverage of the Extreme Sailing Series Istanbul starts on Friday at 14:30 local time (GMT+3) with live 3D graphics and frequent Twitter updates @extremesailing @OmanSail.
Further west in the Mediterranean, Nathan Outteridge and his crew on Sultanate of Oman, who are standing in for McMillan for the final event in the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour in Marseille, were lying in third place, 11 points behind leaders Alinghi, with everything to play for going in to the penultimate day tomorrow. The team needs a top three in Marseille to win the season title.