The Wave, Muscat Wins Extreme Sailing Series
Published: Tuesday, 15 December 2015
British multihull racer Leigh McMillan was officially crowned the most successful skipper in the nine-year history of the Extreme Sailing Series in Sydney (Dec 10-13) when he clinched an unprecedented third championship title. McMillan and his crew on The Wave, Muscat completed his hat-trick with yet another convincing win in Sydney Harbour.
(Photo: Lloyd Images/SAP Extreme Sailing Team, The Wave, Muscat, Red Bull Sailing Team)
Denmark’s SAP Extreme Sailing Team took second and Austria’s Red Bull Sailing Team claimed third place.
“We live for days like today, it was absolutely awesome,” says McMillan. “It means so much to me, I just feel so chuffed about the way it’s gone. Sailing with the team and building those relationships has been incredible.”
The key to The Wave, Muscat’s success not only lies in McMillan’s experience on the helm but in the consistent performance of his outstanding crew including British double Olympic gold medallist and current ISAF World Sailor of the Year Sarah Ayton, America’s Cup sailors Pete Greenhalgh and Ed Smyth and Omani sailor Nasser Al Mashari.
(Photo: Lloyd Images/The Wave, Muscat)
With the act and 2015 Series crown decided by mid-afternoon, the battle raged for the remaining podium positions.
Second-placed SAP Extreme Sailing Team almost lost it all to Austria’s Red Bull Sailing Team in the closing moments of the final, double-points race, after a collision with Gazprom Team Russia disabled the Danish team’s steering system knocking them out of the race.
The Danish co-skippers Rasmus Kostner and Jes Gram Hansen could do nothing but watch as Red Bull Sailing Team raced on, taking as many valuable points as possible from the Danes.
“It was horrible,” says SAP Extreme Sailing Team Skipper Jes Gram-Hansen. “Just after the collision we didn’t know how it would go with the points. But to finally get the result we wanted after all our hard work feels fantastic. We are so proud of the journey we have been on over four years with SAP, starting as rookies and now second on the circuit is just fantastic."
(Photo: Lloyd Images/SAP Extreme Sailing Team)
Sydney Harbour produced superb conditions for racing, with a number of near-misses including GAC Pindar, Lino Sonego Team Italia and Oman Air all coming close to capsizing.
Leading the chasing pack in Sydney, Oman Air, Team Turx and Gazprom Team Russia finished the act in fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
The Sydney act and the end of the 2015 season sees the Extreme Sailing Series bid farewell to the Extreme 40 catamarans as Series originators and organisers OC Sport usher in a new era with the GC23 hydro-foiling catamaran as the weapon of choice from the start of 2016.
(Photo: Lloyd Images/Red Bull Sailing Team)
Over the last nine years the series has seen millions of spectators and thousands of VIP guests watch the racing from the shore. In 2016 the Extreme Sailing Series is set to continue to break new ground and innovate as it brings cutting edge foiling boats into its unique city-centre stadium racing settings.
Extreme Sailing Series 2015 overall results:
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 87 points
2nd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 74 points
3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 70 points
4th Oman Air (OMA) 58 points
5th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 51 points
6th Team Turx (TUR) 44 points
7th GAC Pindar (GBR) 43 points
8th Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) 42 points
Extreme Sailing Series 2015 Sydney results:
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 20 points
2nd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 18 points
3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 16 points
4th Oman Air (OMA) 14 points
5th Team Turx (TUR) 12 points
6th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 10 points
7th Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) 8 points
8th GAC Pindar (GBR) 6 points