The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016. Credit - Lloyd Images. by Mark Lloyd
Oman Air rise to third place at Extreme Sailing Series Act 6 after a second calm and sunny day in Madeira
Madeira might be new to the Extreme Sailing Series circuit in 2016 but there was nothing new about the exciting contest shaping up in the GC32 fleet after Oman Air posted two podium places in four races to stake their claim as a contender for honours.
Just four points separate the third placed Omani boat from joint leaders Alinghi and Red Bull Sailing Team after another calm and sunny day at Marina Funchal, on the south coast of the island where wind strength ranged from three to seven knots, curtailing the race programme once again.
Going into the day in fourth place, Morgan Larson’s team came out fighting and recorded their first win of the event, which was followed up by a second place in the third.
But after four races, the wind faded by which time, Oman Air had risen to joint third place with SAP Extreme Sailing Team on 48 points.
Skipper Larson described the conditions as tricky, with a strong current that twice pushed them over the start line early.
“We made a few mistakes but I am pretty happy with what we achieved today because it wasn’t easy out there,” he admitted.
“It was more a mental challenge today than a physical one but we did ok and I feel positive that we will come out well from this one if we sail well.
“Our boat handling and positioning were good and our communication didn’t let us down so we are really looking forward to the next few days especially as the forecast is for more wind.”
The crew of Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, James Wierzbowski and Nasser Al Mashari are new to Madeira sailing but are impressed by what they have encountered so far.
“It is sunny and warm so we are very happy and although our GC32 has not yet been up on its foils, we are hopeful that tomorrow might be the day – it doesn’t take much to get these boats flying,” said Omani bowman Nasser Al Mashari.
Racing in Madeira, comprising a mix of open water racing and the Series’ signature Stadium Racing, continues tomorrow Saturday 24 September just off the shore of Marina Funchal and concludes with a double points race on Sunday 25th September.
The free to enter public Race Village is open daily until Sunday but fans from further afield can enjoy multi-media coverage and live streaming of the on-the-water action online on Saturday September 24 and Sunday September 25.