Alinghi leads Extreme Sailing Series Muscat
Published on March 14th, 2018
Muscat, Oman (March 14, 2018) – Three-time champions Alinghi dominated on the racetrack today in the first day of the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series. Having lost out to Danish syndicate SAP Extreme Sailing Team last year, the Swiss team ruled the waves from race one, determined to prove themselves straight off the start line.
Consistent sailing across four races saw the experienced Alinghi crew finish within the top two on each occasion. The team’s helm – Arnaud Psarofaghis – explained that they set out to start the season as they mean to go on.
“Our goal this morning was to begin the season well. The fleet is really strong so every race is going to be important this year. We’re going to talk about why we didn’t win all of the races tonight,” he said with a broad smile.
Racing off the coast of Muscat, the fleet of high speed foiling GC32 catamarans navigated difficult conditions on the racecourse. Light, shifty winds made for tricky competition, with the second race of the day abandoned due to the weather.
Sailing on home waters, the conditions didn’t faze Oman Air as they battled Alinghi for the top spot throughout the day. Leading the fleet for the first half of race one, the Omani team – consisting of seasoned Series professionals – made best use of their knowledge of the stunning waters off the Muscat coastline.
“It was great to be racing on home waters – we know them well,” said Omani sailor Nasser Al Mashari.”When the Omani crowds come out and watch us, it definitely makes us stronger. There’s still three more days to go, we’ll just keep pushing and pushing.”
The Omani team finished second in today’s rankings.
Fighting to defend their 2017 title, SAP Extreme Sailing Team climbed the ranks with each race. Having started the first race with an OCS, the team needed to make serious progress on the course in the remaining races. Leaning on their long Series experience, the Danish outfit scored a third place finish overall and the team is now hot on the heels of main opponent Alinghi.
“We got the OCS out of the way early. If you’re not over the line at least once, you’re never pushing the line hard enough,” explained helm Adam Minoprio. “It cost us a lot, but we were generally fighting in amongst the fleet. We’ve shown that we’re in the mix, we’re pushing hard and we’re not holding back.”
The wind is expected to pick up as racing continues through March 17.
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Standings after Day 1, 4 races
1st Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey – 46 points.
2nd Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Stewart Dodson, Nasser Al Mashari – 42 points.
3rd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Køstner, Adam Minoprio, Julius Hallström, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason – 38 points.
4th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Will Alloway, Leigh McMillan, Oli Greber, Adam Kay, Mark Spearman – 33 points.
5th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Chris Draper, Ed Powys, Neil Hunter, Dan Morris, Rhys Mara – 33 points.
6th NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) Jason Waterhouse, Will Tiller, Harry Hull, Luke Payne, Guy Endean – 32 points.
7th Team México (MEX) Erik Brockmann, Tom Buggy, Alex Higby, Tom Phipps, Danel Belausteguigoitia – 28 points.
2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ calendar
March 14-17 – Act 1, Muscat, Oman
May 24-27 – GC32 World Championship, Lake Garda, Italy
June 14-17 – Act 2, Barcelona, Spain
July 5-8 – Act 3, Portugal
August 9-12 – Act 4, St Petersburg, Russia
August 24-27 – Act 5, Cardiff, UK
October 18-21 – Act 6, San Diego, USA
November 29-December 2 – Act 7, Los Cabos, Mexico
Background: The Extreme Sailing Series is in its twelfth season, with this year’s eight event tour travelling through Middle East, Europe and the Americas. The platform used is the one design foiling GC32 catamaran, with the format highlighting ‘stadium’ short-course racing in front of the public.