The Wave, Muscat sailed an outstanding final day in Germany, at Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ presented by Land Rover. Three race wins and two podium finishes saw Britain’s Leigh McMillan clinch his third 2015 Act title after four spectacular days of racing in the heart of the city and extend his lead at the top of the overall Series leaderboard.
“We do enjoy the pressure of a final day,” said McMillan as he stepped off the boat after winning the day with 9.14 points per race according to the SAP Analytics, “We got out of the blocks well with a win in race one and that set the tone. It was an amazing performance by the team; everyone was so fired up this morning and it really showed on the water.”
But this wasn’t a case of The Wave, Muscat running away with the regatta. Pushing them all the way were Gazprom Team Russia who went into the final day of an outstanding event with fire in their eyes.
Helm Phil Robertson’s determination on the dock was unquestionable: “We’re going to go out there like a pack of hungry dogs,” he promised. And his team did not disappoint. Duelling with Danish crew SAP Extreme Sailing Team all the way through the last metres of the final double points race to take second overall, their best result to date, the young Russian crew picked up the Land Rover Above and Beyond Award for their effort.
The Danes, co-skippered by Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner, were third overall after being pushed down the rankings in the final race of the day by some tactical sailing by McMillan’s crew. This allowed Team Turx and Lino Sonego Team Italia to finish the Act on a high – with a first and second place respectively.
“I wasn’t particularly comfortable pushing them out of the final race but you just have to look at the overall Series leaderboard, and they are a major threat. We have to take whatever opportunity we can,” McMillan explained. But Køstner seemed unfazed: “The Wave, Muscat are afraid of losing points to us, so we take it as a compliment. They are scared of racing us later in the season.“
New to the Series for 2015 Hamburg, Germany delivered perfect Stadium Racing conditions that saw the fleet of nine elite level Extreme 40s race in everything from 8–30knots in blue skies to rumbling thunderstorms. With crowds of over 44,500 lining the HafenCity waterfront to watch, there was no shortage of drama.
After their dramatic capsize on Saturday, SAP Extreme Sailing Team continued to entertain with a crash on the start line today when their hull landed on top of GAC Pindar. Fortunately there was no serious damage or injuries to the sailors on either boat.
The young crew on-board Team Extreme Germany struggled to get to grips with the high performance catamarans but improved steadily throughout the weekend much to the delight of local fans.
With an eye firmly on the overall 2015 Series championship and three Acts remaining, The Wave, Muscat lead by a slim three-point margin over SAP Extreme Sailing Team. Red Bull Sailing Team round up the overall podium three points adrift in third.
The eight Act global Series will now move on to Saint Petersburg Russia, 20- 23 August.
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2015 overall standings:
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 47 points.
2nd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 44 points.
3rd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 41 points.
4th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 33 points.
5th Oman Air (OMA) 29 points.
6th Team Turx (TUR) 24 points.
7th GAC Pindar (AUS) 24 points.
8th Lino Songeo Team Italia (ITA) 18 points.