Day 1 of the Extreme Series event at Muscat was a day of mixed fortunes for Dean Barker and crew.
Six races were sailed in a 10-14 knot sea breeze which made for some close and very tactical racing. Sitting handy at fourth at the top mark in the first race, they had a problem unfurling the gennaker and sailed the second downwind leg without it, finishing at the tail of the fleet.
Race two was dramatically different, bouncing back to a good second place, followed by some mid-fleet finishes.
Barker, James Dagg, Glenn Ashby and Richard Meacham, although far from happy with the day, were not dismayed. Dean Barker: “We are improving all the time.
“We always knew we would have a job on our hands to bridge the gap with the teams that have been sailing seriously for several months. We have had some useful preparation but not as much as some of them.
“We need to work on our speed upwind because on these short courses every quarter-of-a- boat length is huge in terms of crossing – or not.”
Extreme 40 racing is unlike any other regatta. The Extreme 40 catamaran is fast and responsive and makes for spectacular racing, The first two days are “non-public” days with racing in open water. Races last less than 20 minutes. Day 3-5 are public days and racing moves into the “stadium” – confined waters inside the harbour breakwater. Races last about 10 minutes.
· Bowman Jeremy Lomas injured an ankle in practice. It’s expected will be fit to race later in the regatta.
Extreme Sailing Series, Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat
Results after six races:
1 The Wave, 49 points
2 Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, 49 points
3 Artemis Racing, 49 points
4 Alinghi, 49 points
5 Oman Air, 42 points
6 Red Bull Extreme Sailing, 39 points
7 Luna Rossa, 38 points
8 Team New Zealand, 31 points
9 Niceforyou, 24 points
10 Team Extreme, 17 points
11 Team GAC Pindar, 9 points