It was all clear at the top of the leaderboard at the end of five days of racing in Singapore under a kaleidoscope of weather as Oman Sail's Masirah took their second consecutive win at the Extreme Sailing Series Asia. But the battle for second raged on through the afternoon with Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team finally taking second place with The Wave, Muscat in third.
The final day of racing in Singapore started with a light two knot wind and the six teams tactically fighting their way around the racecourse, searching for the best possible winds. The skippers and crews were tested by the Race Committee as they began two races with the more challenging downwind starts as the wind picked up to a more consistent 10 knots. But just before the start of the fifth and final race of the day, there was plenty of drama as a thunderstorm struck the reservoir soaking the sailors and the VIP guests onboard to the skin.
The heavy downpour was relentless, forcing the Race Committee to abandon the race and the day's sailing for safety reasons as lightening powered down over Marina Reservoir. With the abandonment called, the calculators were out as the valuable last race double points were added to the previous race, but Masirah remained firm at the top of the leaderboard, continuing their domination of the Extreme 40 fleet. This win capitalises on their European crown in November and their win two weeks ago in the first leg of this Asian circuit in Hong Kong at the end of November.
Pete Cumming, skipper of Masirah, commented, "It's been a really good week for the team and we are thrilled with the win. We would like to thank the Singapore Authorities for giving us the opportunity to sail here and to everyone who helped to make this event possible."
Masirah was presented with a Merlion statue and orchids by Singapore Olympic swimmer and Nominated Member of Parliament Joscelin Yeo, who was the Guest-of-Honour for the day. Said Joscelin, who had earlier experienced sailing on the Extreme 40s, "I didn't know what to expect as extreme sailing is not a common sport here in Singapore. It was very exciting and the adrenaline rush I felt was amazing. People are probably surprised that we can do something like this in Singapore and it shows that we as a country are open and exposed to new sporting events and ideas. It is definitely something I would like to experience again!"
With racing every afternoon, the past five days have been busy for the international fleet of Extreme 40 sailors. Every morning they have taken VIP and media guests out sailing on the reservoir, to experience first hand what it is like to race onboard an Extreme 40. Guests have included government officials, TV crews, journalists, key opinion formers from the business and sailing worlds here in Singapore, as well as youth sailors in the Singapore Olympic sailing squad.
Masirah's win brings their score in the overall Extreme Sailing Series Asia scoreboard to a perfect 12, but the real battle is for second place with four teams in contention. BT and China Team and tied in second place with 7 points apiece and Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team and The Wave, Muscat just behind with 6.
"The response in Singapore has been phenomenal. The facilities here at Marina Bay are world class and I think it is tailormade for an event like the Extreme Sailing Series. I think we have really helped people understand what we are trying to do with the staging of this event and we hope to come back next year with a full-scale event," concluded John McKenna, Commercial Director of OC Events.