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The third act of the #extreme Sailing Series 2016 gave spectators – and the seven elite teams – a thrilling lesson on big breeze foiling in a tight stadium. #omanair won the stop in #cardiff on Sunday by holding off a charging Red Bull Sailing Team, while SAP #extreme Sailing and Alinghi were third and fourth. Now, only three points separate #omanair at the top of the overall standings from Red Bull in second, with the next stop in Hamburg, Germany coming up on 28–31 July 2016.
CARDIFF (Wales) – The wind was wild on the final day of the Extreme SailingSeries stop in #cardiff on Sunday and the seven elite teams had to go to the limit in front of the tens of thousands of spectators. Red Bull Sailing overtook both the dual America’s Cup winner Alinghi and Team SAP in the last seven races with results of 1/6/3/2/2/1/2. But #omanair – which had been impressive throughout the week’s windy conditions – kept their heads against the charge from the Austrians.
The result clinched the podium for the team from Oman, while not only giving the Austrians a strong second place in the regatta, but securing second place free and clear for Red Bull in the overall standings – an improvement after entering #cardiff tied in the points for the number two spot. SAP Extreme Sailing rounded out the Welsh podium in third.
The four-day #cardiff regatta was the hardest sailing of the season so far, and even #omanair skipper Morgan Larson admitted, “It was easy to get into trouble” with the team’s trimmer nearly getting washed overboard and their GC32 foiling catamaran almost colliding with China One earlier in the week. And they weren’t alone. Every team had their challenges, perhaps the most jawdropping occurring on day two, when Land Rover Ben Ainslie #racing experienced severe gear failure with the spine of their GC32 catamaran breaking.
Mastering those conditions was just one of the reasons Red Bull Sailingskipper Roman Hagara was beaming with his team’s second-place finish on Sunday, as well as with setting the regatta’s speed record, a blistering 34.2 knots. "That was one of the toughest races of my career, and we fought as a team to catch up with #omanair at the end. This boat produces an incredible amount of power, and in these conditions it's a brutal sail on the foils. One error and you’re cut off – or upside-down in the water. Now we can push for the lead at the next stop in Hamburg.”
The next stop of the Extreme Sailing Series – which in 2016 is flying on foils for the first time with the introduction of GC32 catamarans – is Hamburg, Germany at the end of July.
Overall ranking after three of eight acts: 1. #omanair 35 points, 2. Red Bull Sailing Team 32, 3. Alinghi 30, 4. SAP Sailing Team 25, 5. Land Rover BAR 25, 6. China One 21, 7. Sail Portugal 20, 8. Team Turx 11
Photos free of charge. Credit: Mark Lloyd for Red Bull Content Pool
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