Set against the iconic Istanbul landmarks of the Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque, the consistently dominant Extreme 40 team from Oman, The Wave, Muscat powered to a fifth Act victory in the penultimate Act of the Extreme Sailing Series™. The eight-strong fleet provided a thrilling spectacle for the thousands of spectators gathered on the shoreline with extremely sharp, close-quarter manoeuvres.
In a dramatic incident, Land Rover sponsored Red Bull Sailing Team were forced to make an unexpected exit on day two of racing when their boat’s 19 metre high mast snapped, leaving them unable to compete in the next seven races of the day. Working through the night the shore crew refitted a spare mast and the team were back out on the water with determination on day 3 for the spectacular Bosphorus race, posting a second place. Despite this setback, the team hold onto third place overall in the Series.
In an addition to the usual race schedule, the Istanbul Act also hosted a spectacular exhibition race on the Bosphorus, where the fleet race from Europe to Asia, starting in front of the iconic Aya Sofya, the Blue Mosque and finishing in front of the VIP Extreme Club. Local entry, Team Turx rocketed across the finish line at 25.5knots, beating The Wave, Muscat much to the delight of the cheering crowd and setting a new benchmark speed record.
On the final day of racing, The Wave, Muscat thrived in what some of the sailors described as ‘perfect sailing conditions’, building on an already unassailable lead to finish the Act with 273 points, followed by Oman Air with 239 and SAP Extreme Sailing Team with 230.
During the course of the Act, the Omani team, skippered by Brit Leigh McMillan achieved an impressive 25 podium finishes out of 30 races sailed, translating into a winning ratio of 40% – a remarkable achievement and earning them the Land Rover Above and Beyond Award.
Presenting the Above and Beyond Award, Land Rover’s Global Brand Ambassador, Hannah White, commented: “The Wave, Muscat were clear contenders for the Above & Beyond Award for their sheer consistency of performance and exceptional skill whatever the conditions.”
All eyes are now set on the final Act of the Extreme Sailing Series 2015 which takes place in Sydney, Australia from 10-13 December.