Three-time champions Alinghi dominated on the racetrack today, Wednesday 14th March, in the first day of the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series™.
Having lost out to Danish syndicate SAP Extreme Sailing Team last year, the Swiss team dominated from race one, determined to prove themselves straight off the start line.
Consistent sailing across four races saw the experienced Alinghi crew finish within the top two on each occasion. The team’s helm – Arnaud Psarofaghis – explained that they set out to start the season as they mean to go on.
“Our goal this morning was to begin the season well. The fleet is really strong so every race is going to be important this year. We’re going to talk about why we didn’t win all of the races tonight,” he said with a broad smile.
Racing off the coast of Muscat, Oman, the fleet of high speed foiling GC32 catamarans navigated difficult conditions on the racecourse. Light, shifty winds made for tricky competition, with the second race of the day abandoned due to the weather.
Sailing on home waters, the conditions didn’t faze Oman Air as they battled Alinghi for the top spot throughout the day. Leading the fleet for the first half of race one, the Omani team – consisting of seasoned Series professionals – made best use of their knowledge of the stunning waters off the Muscat coastline.
“It was great to be racing on home waters – we know them well,” said Omani sailor Nasser Al Mashari. “When the Omani crowds come out and watch us, it definitely makes us stronger. There’s still three more days to go, we’ll just keep pushing and pushing.”
The Omani team finished second in today’s rankings.