Sultanate of Oman sails to triumph

Sultanate of Oman crossed the finish-line to win the GC32 class with just 56 seconds ahead of Alinghi.

Published: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 3:26 PM

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

Muscat — After three days of intense racing in the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour’s Cowes Cup, Oman Sail’s GC32 crew onboard Sultanate of Oman participated in the JP Morgan Round the Island Race, one of the world’s largest yacht races, taking the GC32 class honour and finishing second overall out of a 1,584 boat fleet.

Sultanate of Oman which is supported by the Ministry of Tourism and EFG Bank (Monaco), crossed the finish-line to win the GC32 class with just 56 seconds ahead of Alinghi with whom they had jostled for the lead all the way round the course in tough conditions.

The crew consisted of regular Paul Campbell-James, one of the UK’s most experienced foiling experts who stepped in for skipper and Olympian champion Leigh McMillan, Nasser Al Mashari, Ed Smyth, Alister Richardson and Pete Greenhalgh.

After breaking his hand at the GC32 Cowes Cup on Thursday, Leigh McMillan passed helming duties over to Paul Campbell-James (CJ), but it was McMillan’s coaching tips that resonated as they were hurtling around the back of the Isle of Wight crashing off waves at 30 knots, CJ said.

“Leigh McMillan spent some time with us all on Friday and it made a big difference. We hoped we would win and it helped that we had time in the boat. The crew did really well – they are the best in the game, and already leading the GC32 series, so it was a nice position for me to slip into.

“The back of the island was the most full on I have ever seen it – we were nose-diving just to slow the boat down so it didn’t do cartwheels. It wasn’t easy to sail in those conditions and it was physically exhausting, but we have all got massive smiles on our faces now.”

The next event of the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour is in Kiel, Germany from July 29 to August 2.

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