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Three-time Extreme Sailing Series™ champions Alinghi were crowned winners of the opening Act of the 2018 Series today, their first win in Muscat in their eight-year history in the event.
After four days of consistently strong sailing in Oman, the Swiss team extended their lead on the fleet of super-fast foiling GC32s, closing the Act with a six-point lead.
Consisting of experienced Series sailors Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey and Timothé Lapauw – the team sailed unchanged from last year. It proved a magic formula that saw the Swiss squad finish second in the Act’s final race, worth double points.
Co-skipper and helm, Arnaud Psarofaghis, was elated as his team stepped off the water. “We gave it our all on that last one and it paid off. We knew the Act would end in that final race, and we’re really happy. It’s the only time we beat SAP Extreme Sailing Team today, but it was the right time to do it,” he said.
Locked in a fierce battle with the Swiss, Danish-flagged SAP Extreme Sailing Team stormed through the fleet in today’s racing, finishing within the top three in all races but the last. For the 2017 victors, it was a bittersweet end to Act 1.
Helm Adam Minoprio commented on falling at the final hurdle: “When it counted in the last race, we messed it up,” he said. “We had the Act there for the taking. It was down to who won the last race, that’s all we had to do. I’m pretty disappointed with myself. We sailed a perfect day until then. We made a silly time-on-distance error that made us late to the startline, giving Alinghi the Act.”