Oman Air Sneaks Victory At Extreme Sailing Hamburg
Published: Wednesday, 03 August 2016
The 2016 Extreme Sailing Series in Hamburg (July 28-31) saw Morgan Larson and his team on Oman Air snatch victory from the hands of Alinghi by just one point.
(Photos: Lloyd Images / Extreme Sailing Series - Oman Air)
In an afternoon where Mother Nature toyed with the fleet on the River Elbe, Arnaud Psarofaghis and the Swiss team of Alinghi dared to dream. They finished the race in third place and looking over their shoulders saw Larson at the back of the pack.
A nail biting match race to the finish line between Larson and Land Rover BAR Academy saw the young Brits almost outwit the experienced Stadium Racers, but Larson held his nerve to pip them to the post, and with it took spoils in Hamburg.
“It was a feeling of relief more than anything, as we had so much pressure on ourselves during that race – not the kind of pressure you like to put on yourselves. Fortunately it worked out and we could start breathing again,” says Larson. “Hamburg was tricky, it tested us in many ways, but I think all of the teams will come out stronger from being here. We will have to go away, look at our notes, come back and improve.”
“We have four Acts to go so we’re going to have to sail better to try and gain some points on Oman Air,” says Psarofaghis. “It was a bit disappointing for us but I think we did the best we could. Oman Air are a really strong team, and they came back just at the end so I think they deserved the win and well done to them.”
(Red Bull Sailing Team)
The battle for third was just as tense between SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Red Bull Sailing Team, the former having the point advantage at the start of the day. Second place in the race for the Austrians and fourth for the Danes leaves the teams tied on points, but it’s advantage for Red Bull Sailing Team in the rankings.
“It came down to the last race again. We got a great start and we had to make sure that Alinghi didn’t overtake us. We had one boat between us and SAP Extreme Sailing Team, which was working until the end of the race”, comments Red Bull Sailing Team Skipper Hagara. “The biggest problem for us here was to get the starts right. We didn’t have great starts and we always had to catch up and try and get the points in. If you want to compete against Alinghi and Oman Air, you have to start better.”
The young match racing talent on CHINA One finished fifth overall after posting some impressive results throughout the week, and have been tipped as a team to watch this season as they get ever closer to the podium with each passing Act.
Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira showed some moments of brilliance throughout the week, the crowd pleasers taking maximum points in the final double points race to finish on a high, while the youth team of Land Rover BAR Academy posted some good individual results as they work towards emulating the success of their senior racers including Sir Ben Ainslie.
Over 45,000 spectators flocked to the Race Village over the event as Larson and his team of Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, James Wierzbowski and Nasser Al Mashari, took their third Act win of the Series, and with four Acts to go this year, they are the team to beat.
Next stop is St Petersburg, Russia from Sept 1-4 as the fleet launch into the second half of the season.
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4, Hamburg standings:
1st Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 188 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 187 points.
3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Jérémy Bachelin, Adam Piggott, Brad Farrand 166 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi De Felice, Renato Conde 166 points.
5th CHINA One (CHN) Taylor Canfield, Chris Steele, Hayden Goodrick, Dan Morris, Fredrik Aurell 157 points.
6th Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira (POR) Diogo Cayolla, Luís Brito, João Matos Rosa, Nuno Barreto, Frederico Mello 149 points.
7th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Neil Hunter, Will Alloway, Adam Kay, Oli Greber, Elliot Hanson 121 points.
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2016 overall standings:
1st Oman Air (OMA) 47 points.
2nd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 42 points.
3rd Alinghi (SUI) 41 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 34 points.
5th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 31 points.
6th CHINA One (CHN) 29 points.
7th Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira (POR) 27 points.
8th Team Turx (TUR) 11 points.