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Oman encounter tough conditions

Oman encounter tough conditions

Sultanate of Oman were sitting in equal third place, three points behind leaders Armin Strom Sailing Team with three days of racing still remaining.



Published: Fri 26 Jun 2015, 3:39 PM

Last updated: Sun 12 Jul 2015, 5:03 PM

Oman Sail’s GC32 ‘Sultanate of Oman’ in action. — Supplied photo

Muscat — Oman Sail’s GC32 “Sultanate of Oman” new look crew encountered a fresh ‘ocean wave’ as they flew their hulls on the Solent during day one of the Cowes Cup in the Isle of Wight, UK, a Press release said.

With a victory in Austria last month under their belts, when the race course was a tranquil Alpine lake, Sultanate of Oman and the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour fleet, were confronted by tricky tides and a 13 knot breeze on one of the world’s most challenging race tracks, adding a new dimension to their education on how to win on foils.

Skipper Leigh McMillan, born and brought up on the Isle of Wight, learned to sail on the Solent and knew what to expect, but he and his crew of Nasser Al Mashari, Ed Smyth, Peter Greenhalgh and Alister Richardson were still tested by the conditions.

“It was home waters for me and it was great fun being back on familiar tides but the weather was a massive factor and limited our opportunities to overtake, especially later in the day, but it was great to be back on the Solent,” said McMillan who posted two outright victories in six races on the first of the four day event.

“It was a tricky start to the day because the wind was marginal for foiling, the tide was building up and there seemed to be a lot of weed wrapped around the foils but we had some good battles in first couple of races and one great foiling race.”

The swift change from Extreme 40 Racing — where the same crew swept to victory on The Wave, Muscat at the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff for the third consecutive year — to GC32 racing proved to be challenging.

“Our starts let us down, which cost us quite badly in the later races. Our communication was not as good as usual and we need to work on getting everyone in the right place for the start, and getting the power on more quickly but we should be better tomorrow.

“We are still learning but we are not too far off the pace. If we can get the starts right, we can win races and there is a long way to go.”

For Nasser Al Mashari, the challenge is on to master the GC32 in all conditions and today on the Solent represented good progress for the team. “This is a good fleet and so we are learning a lot from everyone. Hopefully we can get our starts right tomorrow and work our way up the leaderboard.”

By the close, Sultanate of Oman were sitting in equal third place, three points behind leaders Armin Strom Sailing Team with three days of racing still remaining.


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