Team Oman Air are heading to America’s west coast determined to steer their Extreme Sailing Series fortunes towards the top of the podium at the season’s penultimate event.
The experienced crew of the high-speed GC32 foiling catamaran will be aiming to carry forward their exceptional final day form at the last event in Cardiff, UK – when they won three of the last four races including the double-pointed final – to the next venue in San Diego.
The Oman Air team of skipper Phil Robertson, Stewart Dodson, James Wierzbowski, Nasser Al Mashari and Pete Greenhalgh sit in third place on the overall season table, with just the US ‘Act’ and season ending showdown in Mexico to come.
While back-to-back regatta victories still offer the crew a mathematical chance of overcoming the six-point deficit to season leaders Alinghi, a more realistic goal is to overhaul the second placed SAP Extreme Sailing Team who have only a four-point advantage.Oman Air mainsail trimmer Greenhalgh, who has the most experience of any sailor on the Extreme Sailing Series, said: “We will be going there to win as many races as we can. We are really looking forward to it.
“With the overall results the way they are, we need Alinghi or SAP, or both, to make some fairly big mistakes for us to get in to the top two – they have been very consistent this season so that will be a big ask.”
San Diego in southern California was a new racing location for all the Extreme crews last year, and delivered unexpected though spectacular and breezy racing conditions. The Act was won by the Danish flagged SAP team, helping propel them to the overall 2017 title.
“We were very close to winning the Act in Cardiff. We were performing well and winning races, so we know we can perform at the front of the fleet,” said Oman Air bowman Al Mashari.
“At times we know we have not been as consistent as we would have liked, but we are determined to turn that around and do our best to put in a winning performance in San Diego,” he added.
Racing in San Diego will be from 18 to 21 October, followed at the end of November by the double-pointed season decider in Los Cabos, Mexico. In the overall season standings Oman Air are currently in third place with 51 points, with Alinghi leading on 57 points and SAP second with 55.