Red Bull Extreme Sailing and Team New Zealand delivered the most outstanding performances on the penultimate day in act one of the Extreme Sailing Series at The Wave, Muscat, Oman.
(AUT) and the crew of Red Bull Extreme Sailing
were in fifth before the day started but are now on the podium in third place after 25 races.
"We are really happy now we are third overall and it's great for us," said Hagara. "We are almost beginners and it is the best result so far and I hope we can continue.
"We have a lot of experience in the Extreme 40 already and Craig [Monk] (NZL) is really strong so he can do a lot of things that we can not handle without him, and those last minute calls are a bit easier so overall we made a good improvement."
For Dean Barker
(NZL) and his crew on Team New Zealand
it was an even better day as they climbed from seventh to fourth in the rankings.
Barker said, "Today everything fell into place really well and we had a fantastic day on the water and managed to get some good solid results which was very pleasing for all of us."
"It was a day where in a lot of ways we had a little bit of luck, which seems to be an important ingredient here, and we had some good starts and the crew were solid all day. We might have started the regatta slow but each day it feels like we have improved a little bit and if we can carry on improving then we'll be satisfied."
A total of eight 'stadium' races were staged off The Wave, Muscat that saw six different teams claim at least one race win, Team New Zealand
scored two first places and the all-Italian team Niceforyou
secured their first race win of 2011.
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild
, helmed by Pierre Pennec
(FRA), were consistently good enough to hold on to their top place ranking, just seven points ahead of Terry Hutchinson
(USA) onboard Artemis Racing
. With 11 points for a win, and 22 points on the final race tomorrow, its wide open in the top half of the leaderboard.
The short and demanding courses raced within the constraints of the stadium saw the on-water umpires dish out multiple penalties for blocking and port-starboard incidents in the light 7-9 knot NE breeze.
The most dramatic incident of the day came when Torvar Mirsky
's, The Wave, Muscat
suffered a collision with Alinghi
, and very nearly ended up on the breakwater boulders. As Mirsky's crew called for water and tacked on to port, Alinghi
did not react quickly enough and crashed into their port hull.
The Wave, Muscat
will be back on the water today as they currently sit in fifth place overall. Only two points separate Luna Rossa
in sixth place and Alinghi
Out of the eleven teams in Oman, seven of them could still win act one of the Extreme Sailing Series with multiple races to come.
Away from the racing, the 11 Extreme 40 teams flew their dockside flags at half-mast yesterday and will do today as a sign of respect to the people of New Zealand who have been affected by the earthquake that struck Christchurch on Tuesday. With a Kiwi crew amongst the 44 sailors here, everyone's thoughts have turned to New Zealand and the challenges they now face.
Extreme Sailing Series, Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat
Day 4 Results after 25 races:
1 - Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, 194 points
2 - Artemis Racing, 187 points
3 - Red Bull Extreme Sailing, 183 points
4 - Team New Zealand, 176 points
5 - The Wave, Muscat, 165 points
6 - Luna Rossa, 163 points
7 - Alinghi, 161 points
8 - Oman Air, 143 points
9 - Team Extreme, 96 points
10 - Niceforyou, 75 points
11 - Team GAC Pindar, 43 points
View some great images from act one of the Extreme Sailing Series from Oman on our Facebook site.