That could have turned out worse, but in their collision off Muscat, the NZ Extreme Sailing Team and the Red Bull Sailing Team got away without injuries. Both boats were so badly damaged after the crash in the fourth race of the day on Friday that the teams had to give up the sails for the rest of the day. The dominant Swiss team Alinghi was able to extend its lead at the same time and starts the final day as a strong front runner.
Demanding sailing conditions for the crews on the GC32 catamarans off Muscat
The two teams involved in the collision had been re-formed for the season and will not soon forget this third day of the first regatt of the year. The crash occurred during a hotly contested duel in the fourth race of the day at the Leemarke. The sailors were unharmed, but there was no longer any further participation on Friday. The oars on both boats were so badly damaged that they had to be repaired overnight in a single effort.
At top speeds of up to 30 knots, the Oman Air team has their hands full here
Red Bull helmsman Chris Draper from Great Britain reacted accordingly disappointed: "From our point of view this is extremely frustrating. We have heavy night shifts ahead of us to be able to get back on the water tomorrow. It is frustrating that we have to give up these points that could cost us dearly later in the series, so we'll be back tomorrow and fight as hard as we can. " Red Bull skipper Roman Hagar also admitted: "It wasn't exactly the best start to the season. Fortunately, nobody was injured."
As a result of a jury hearing, the Red Bull Sailing Team was disqualified in the late afternoon because it did not give the NZ Extreme Sailing Team enough space to round the mark on its course. While his team was busy with the repair work, the Olympic Nacra17 silver medalist and skipper Jason Waterhouse from Australia reviewed the collision from his point of view: "When you think of the Extreme Sailing Series, you think of action and a lot of wind. That's why you come to Oman - for this wonderful sea breeze, the scenery on land and these tight races. Today it was a little too tight. But that makes it so exciting and exciting to watch. " In fresh winds and sunshine, the foiling catamarans of type GC32 "flew" over the course at top speeds of up to 30 knots.
In a fresh breeze, the teams fought thrilling duels off Muscat
For races 14 to 18, the NZ Extreme Sailing Team received the average value of the races sailed up to that point and will be back in action on Saturday, as will the Red Bull Sailing Team. Ernesto Bertarelli's Swiss team Alinghi (194 points) starts the final day as the front runner. The best team on Saturday, however, was the SAP Extreme Sailing Team (184 points), which came second in the intermediate ranking and won all four races of the day. Helmsman Adam Minoprio, former match race world champion from New Zealand, said: "Today was just great. We are generally proud of our maneuvers in a lot of wind and we hope he stays. That would make the final day very exciting." This is also underlined by a look at the interim results: Only four points behind the SAP Extreme Sailing Team is the Oman Air team with the German fans of Match Race Germany well-known Match Race World Champion Phil Robertson from New Zealand in third place ahead of the Land's junior team Rover BAR Academy.
Once again the measure of all things: Ernesto Bertarelli's Team Alinghi