A nerve-jangling final day’s racing in Fushan Bay saw skipper Leigh McMillan on The Wave, Muscat lock horns with rivals Morgan Larson on Alinghi and emerge triumphant to retain their China crown of the Extreme Sailing Series 2013 Act 3 in Qingdao.
It was the hardest and closest racing they had ever been part of, said Musab Al Hadi, one of five Oman Sail crew who fought hard throughout all four days to return The Wave, Muscat to the top of the podium following the frustrations in Singapore.
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A classic match race between Larson and Oman Sail’s Leigh McMillan in the final race saw the lead – and Qingdao honours – change hands at crucial times and before the final leg, lying in fourth place The Wave, Muscat looked to be defeated before they made a late surge into second to earn the win.
Skipper Leigh McMillan paid tribute to his winning team of Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Musab Al Hadi and Will Howden saying the disruptions at the start of the week, where regular Omani crew Hashim Al Rashdi was taken ill with appendicitis and was replaced by Howden, had made little difference to team dynamics.
The Qingdao win leaves The Wave, Muscat in second place overall on the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard, trailing Alinghi by just one point. The two boats will resume their duel in Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Istanbul (Turkey) from June 20 to 23.
Extreme Sailing Series - 2013 Act 3 Qingdao Final standings after Day 4, 26 races
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 202 points
2nd Alinghi (SUI) 200 points
3rd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 191 points
4th GAC Pindar (NZL) 181 points
5th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 168 points
6th Team Korea (KOR) 163 points
7th Realteam (SUI) 154 points
8th China Team (CHN) 145 points
6 May 2013 9:05