26 August 2017, Cardiff, UK.
Oman Air’s Extreme Sailing Series team added to their tally of race wins and podium finishes on a day of snakes and ladders results on Cardiff Bay.
The second day of racing in the Welsh capital started with an improved breeze and the first four races produced four different winners – including Oman Air – in the tightly matched fleet of foiling GC32 catamarans.
The Phil Robertson skippered crew of Pete Greenhalgh, Nasser Al Mashari, James Wierzbowski and Ed Smyth were able to hold their overnight third place in conditions that early on provided some spectacular foiling for both crews and the many watching spectators.
“It’s great that we are still on the podium, and we were getting better later in the day,” said Robertson, who admitted to some frustration at a couple of below-par results despite finishing the day with two third place podium spots.
“We probably just overcomplicated some things early on. We figured that out and finished a bit stronger. Not the best day for us but one that we can put behind us and move on.”
The positive mood at the half-way point in the regatta was reinforced by Omani bowman Al Mashari. He said: “The wind was a lot better today and we got a win and two other podium positions, but we will aim to do much, much better tomorrow.
“Our boat handling and communication was good, we just perhaps need a little more luck. We can learn from everything today, do more racing and take the chance to take more points tomorrow.”
Overall the second day in Cardiff belonged to a super-consistent SAP Extreme Sailing Team, the Danish boat posting two wins on its way to the top of the leaderboard.
Early regatta leaders Alinghi also won two races, but were pushed down to second place with eight races sailed to date.
Oman Air is currently on top of the overall Extreme Sailing Series table, following back-to-back wins in the two Acts in Barcelona and Hamburg immediately before Cardiff.
In the Flying Phantom Series, the Oman Sail team of skipper Thomas Normand and crew Antoine Joubert came within a couple of metres of a race win in the highly competitive 13-strong fleet, but had to settle for second behind Series leaders Red Bull Sailing Team.
With two more days of racing at the Cardiff event – the concluding Act in the Flying Phantom season – Oman Sail holds sixth place, with a real chance of climbing the overall leaderboard from their current spot in fifth, with some teams above them having notably mixed fortunes in Wales.