Barcelona glory for Oman Air

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

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

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