Sailing: Fine start by The Wave, Muscat

Sailing: Fine start by The Wave, Muscat
The Extreme Sailing Series 2015, Act 1, Singapore . The Wave, Muscat skippered by Leigh McMillan.

The Wave, Muscat have some unfinished business to sort out at this year's Extreme Sailing Series.

The 2015 edition of the series began yesterday at The Promontory at Marina Bay, and skipper Leigh McMillan's Oman-based team are determined to go one better and win the Singapore leg for the first time.

They finished a close second here last year to eventual championship winners Team Alinghi, who are not among the nine teams in the mix this year.

McMillan and his crew couldn't have got off to a better start on Day 1, earning victories in three of the eight races in windy conditions.

The Wave, who were series champions in 2012 and 2013, ended the day in pole position on 62 points, ahead of SAP (58 points) and Red Bull (53).

McMillan believes this year's Singapore race and the championship are there for the taking.

"I was actually disappointed to hear that Alinghi aren't part of the series," he told The New Paper at the event launch, yesterday.

"We've had hard-fought battles with them the past few years and we'd have liked the opportunity to beat them this time round.

"But we will still get a good challenge from the others, like Team Red Bull and SAP (from Denmark)."

There have been no changes to the crew on The Wave for 2015.

McMillan is once again supported by Nasser Al Mashari, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth and two-time British Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton, the only woman on the circuit.

"The crew is the same, but the boat has been given a re-fit, at last, after three years," said McMillan, who is in his seventh season in Extreme 40 racing.

"It looks like a fresh new boat, so now we can just do what we do best and keep fighting to be in front."

Oman is represented by two boats this year, with Oman Air making their debut in the series.

Oman Air skipper, Stevie Morrison, who arrived in Singapore from Miami where he is working on his Olympic 49er campaign at the ISAF World Cup Miami, couldn't wait to get started, although he is realistic about his team's chances this year.

"I think there will be opportunities for us and, hopefully, we can make the most of them," he said.

"At this stage, we have to keep improving each day. It's short racing in fast boats and that is what some of us are used to, so we're not at all fazed."

ACT 1 SINGAPORE, STANDINGS AFTER DAY 1 (8 RACES)

1st: The Wave (OMA), 62 points

2nd: SAP (DEN), 58 points

3rd: Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), 53 points

4th: Lino Sonego (ITA), 50 points

5th: Gazprom (RUS), 50 points

6th: Beko Team Turx (TUR), 46 points

7th: Oman Air (OMA), 44 points

8th: GAC Pindar (GBR), 43 points

9th: Team Aberdeen (SIN), 24 points


This article was first published on February 6, 2015.
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