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Breezeless calm keeps Oman Air at bay on opening day of Extreme Sailing Series Madeira

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Breezeless calm keeps Oman Air at bay on opening day
Breezeless calm keeps Oman Air at bay on opening day

Just one race was possible as the wind struggled to reach 5 knots and Morgan Larson’s crew, sitting at the top of the overall 2016 leaderboard with a lead of five points, edged over the finish line in fourth place to open their Act 6 account.

“The course has been set close to the shore which is designed to compromise the wind and make things tricky but today nothing really materialised,” said Pete Greenhalgh, mainsail trimmer and tactician. 

“We had a good start in that one race and were leading half way up the reaching leg but got rolled by Red Bull Sailing Team at the first mark and slipped back down the fleet. 

“We then had a chance to double tack on the bows of the Queen Elizabeth cruise liner which was on the edge of our course and although we didn’t quite manage it, we still pipped the Portuguese on the finish line. 

“But it is slow boat sailing,” he added. “And very tactical with lots of veins and holes in the wind so it will come down to lining yourself up nicely with those, staying smart and keeping communications going when the boat has almost stopped. 

Bowman Nasser Al Mashari, who with the rest of the Oman Air crew Ed Smyth and James Wierzbowski, is visiting Madeira for the first time was in no doubt about the impression the Madeira Islands had made on them all. 

“This is a really lovely place – hot and sunny but we would like more wind,” he said. 

“We will do ok here if we stay calm and smooth and we are confident of a good result if we get some good sailing.”

Racing in Madeira, comprising a mix of open water racing and the Series’ signature Stadium Racing, continues tomorrow Friday 23 September just off the shore of Marina Funchal and concludes with a double points race on Sunday 25th September.

The free to enter public Race Village is open daily from 22-25 September but fans from further afield can enjoy multi-media coverage and live streaming of the on-the-water action online on Saturday September 24 and Sunday September 25.