Leading from race one, The Wave, Muscat’s (TWM) total domination of the Act 7 in the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) in Istanbul, Turkey came to a crescendo on Sunday with one of the most impressive results in the history of the series.
After 31 hard-fought races over four days at the mouth of the Bosphorus, British helm and two-time ESS champion Leigh McMillan led his crew to an impressive 25 podiums.
McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth and Nasser al Mashari averaged 9.1 points per race – the highest in an Act since the beginning of 2013 – to clinch the title with two races to spare.
On the final day of racing, TWM thrived in near-perfect sailing conditions, building on an already unassailable lead to finish the Act with 273 points, followed by Oman Air (239 pts) and SAP Extreme Sailing Team (230).
It was the fourth successive win for TWM in the series and it took the team closer to the overall title, which will be decided in the final and eighth Act in Sydney, Australia from December 10-13.
“It’s so satisfying when the teammates gel and it all works so nicely. When the conditions are this good, you can’t help but love winning,” said McMillan on the dock after also scooping up the Land Rover Above and Beyond Award for the team’s efforts.
It was double delight for the Oman Sail teams as Oman Air notched up its best result of the year so far with a runner-up finish. Led by Steve Morrison, Oman Air was on the podium 18 times over the four days, capping off its performance with a win in the final double-points race.
Oman Air skipper Morrison was delighted with his team’s second-place finish. “What a result. It’s our first podium this season and it feels really good. We have been nearly there a couple of times, but nearly there isn’t good enough. So, I am ecstatic because it all came together today,” said Morrison.
Going into the double-points final Act in Sydney, TWM has an 11-point cushion at the top of the ranking after winning five events on the eight-leg global tour.
Hoping to challenge TWM for the series title, SAP Extreme and Red Bull Sailing Team will need to find another gear as McMillan and his crew continue to demolish the opposition.
TWM bowman Nasser al Mashari, who is also a regular on Oman Sail’s GC32 Sultanate of Oman, said, “It has been a great week with Sultanate of Oman winning the GC32 title and Oman Air joining us on the podium.”
Act 7 results: 1 TWM (273 pts), 2 Oman Air (239), 3 SAP Extreme Sailing Team (230), 4 Lino Sonego Team Italia (201), 5 GAC Pindar (188), 6 Red Bull Sailing Team (183), 7 Team Turx (167), 8 Gazprom Team Russia (156).
Overall standings: 1 TWM (67 pts), 2 SAP Extreme (56), 3 Red Bull (54), 4 Oman Air (44), 5 Gazprom (41), 6 GAC Pindar (37), 7 Lino Sonego (34), 8 Team Turx (32).