Barcelona glory for Oman Air
Muscat - Oman Air scored its first Act win of 2017 with a solid display in Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) that concluded in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday.
Just ten points separated ESS heavyweights Oman Air, Red Bull Sailing Team, SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi going into the final double-points scoring race, leaving victory anything but certain.
However Phil Robertson’s Oman Air sealed the Act 4 in style, sailing a flawless race to cross the line with a lead of more than two minutes over closest rival SAP Extreme Sailing Team.
The win followed Oman Air’s trio of third-place finishes in the previous Acts this season. Besides Robertson, the crew comprised Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari and James Wierzbowski.
Three wins in six races saw Austria’s Red Bull Sailing Team claim the second podium spot, finishing just six points behind Oman Air, while second in the final race was enough to secure third for the Danish crew of SAP Extreme Sailing Team.
A third place also meant that SAP Extreme Sailing Team moved to the top of the overall leaderboard at the halfway mark of the ESS, tied on 43 points with Alinghi, while Oman Air in third reduces the gap to the leaders to just one point.
“We probably couldn’t have finished in a better way to be honest,” skipper Robertson said. “It was a tough day out here and pretty tricky conditions - pretty light, lumpy and shifty as well. The key again was the starts. When the pressure was on, we delivered.”
In the Flying Phantom Series, which was held prior to GC32 racing, the Austrian crew of Red Bull Sailing Team saw off French teams Cup Legend and Solidaires en Peloton to take the regatta win. Oman Sail's Flying Phantom duo of Thomas Normand and Ahmed al Hasni finished in fifth place.
The battle for the ESS top spot will recommence in Hamburg, Germany, from August 10 to 13, before the global Stadium Racing tour heads to Cardiff, UK, from August 25 to 28.
Act 4 standings: 1 Oman Air (233 points), 2 Red Bull Sailing Team (227), 3 SAP Extreme Sailing Team (221), 4 Alinghi (214), 5 NZ Extreme Sailing Team (191), 6 Land Rover BAR Academy (190), 7 FNOB Impulse (159), 8 Team Extreme (129).
ESS overall standings: 1 SAP Extreme Sailing Team (43), 2 Alinghi (43), 3 Oman Air (42), 4 Red Bull Sailing Team (37), 5 Land Rover BAR Academy (32), 6 NZ Extreme Sailing Team (31). Flying Phantom Series [Barcelona Act]: 1 Red Bull Sailing Team (171), 2 Cup Legend (165), 3 Solidaires en Peloton (157), 4 Culture Foil (146), 5 Oman Sail (135), 6 UON (134), 7 Lupe Tortilla (134), 8 EVO Visian ICL (126), 9 Masterlan (119), 10 Flying Frogs (102), 11 Back to Basics (86), 12 Red Bill II (82).
The members of Oman Air crew celebrate after winning the Act 4 in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday