The Oman Air team took Act 3 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff over the weekend, further extending their lead in the competition.

27 June

Following a tense finale, Oman Air did enough to hold off rivals Red Bull Sailing to win Act  3 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff.

Morgan Larson’s men went into the fourth and final day of racing in Cardiff Bay on 26 June with a commanding 17-point lead.

When they finished second in the first four races it looked like they would breeze to glory.

But, just as it looked like victory was sewn up, the Red Bull Sailing Team mounted a spirited comeback.

See pictures of all the racing action in Cardiff below

With the bit firmly between their teeth, Roman Hagara’s men turned on the afterburners winning one of the final four races and finishing second in the other three.

Clearly rattled, Oman Air recorded their worst result of the regatta in the final race of the day when they finished last in the seven-boat fleet.

However they had done just enough earlier on in the day to guarantee victory, sneaking the overall win by just six points after 29 races.

The victory is the second for the Omani-backed team in three Acts, adding to their success in the series opener on home waters of Muscat.

It also sees them extend their overall lead in the series standings after three events.

“We’re feeling fantastic,” said Larson. “It was a tough end to the day but we did what we needed to do. It’s great to come away with a win. Red Bull Sailing Team did an awesome job with their comeback, hats off to those guys. We’ve got a couple of weeks now to enjoy some time out before we regroup for Hamburg.”

Red Bull Sailing Team skipper Hagara, a veteran of the Extreme Sailing Series, said his crew’s comeback was proof that they can win the outright title.

The result also propels them into second on the overall scoreboard, leapfrogging Swiss crew Alinghi who finished fourth in Cardiff.

“We’re delighted – it was another final day that was almost perfect for us,” Hagara said. “Apart from being over the line in one race we did everything really well. This is a message to the other teams that we mean business. We have the crew to win the Series and now we just have to push.”

Denmark’s SAP Extreme Sailing Team scored their first podium finish of the 2016 season, sneaking ahead of Swiss crew Alinghi by winning the final double points-scoring race of the regatta.

“Winning the last double pointer to get our first podium of the season was a really nice way for us to finish here,” said co-skipper Rasmus Køstner. “We slid down the leaderboard early on in the day and had to dig deep to get it back so we’re really happy. It’s a real step forward for us – in the first two regattas we felt we were sailing well but didn’t get the results.”

He continued: “We always believed we could be one of the best teams on the Extreme Sailing Series but the beginning of the season was harder than we expected. This time everything came together.”

Taylor Canfield’s CHINA One went into the final day in second after an impressive string of results – but their dreams of finishing on the podium were left in tatters when they were disqualified from the sixth race of the day for sailing outside of the permitted racecourse area.

A third place in the final race couldn’t salvage the result for the team, racing in their first ever Extreme Sailing Series, and they had to settle for a disappointing fifth overall.

Diogo Cayolla’s Sail Portugal finished in sixth, just ahead of Land Rover BAR Academy led by 21-year-old Brit Neil Hunter.

The British team lost a full day of racing to gear failure.

Land Rover BAR Academy mainsail trimmer Will Alloway said: “We took a huge amount away from this weekend as a whole team. This Act in Cardiff has given us all a really good understanding of the boats as previously only a few of us have sailed foiling boats.”

He continued: “We learnt so much being here and we have taken away some really key points to work on ahead of Hamburg in a month’s time.”

The Cardiff regatta was a perfect showcase for the new GC32 catamarans, with consistent breeze and flat waters providing optimum conditions.

The cutting edge foiling boats hit speeds of up to 35 knots over the course of the regatta, providing a spectacle for the crowds that lined the shore to watch.

Thousands of people turned out over the four-day event to enjoy the stadium racing and soak up the festival atmosphere of the Race Village, with many even braving the rain on the final day.

The Extreme Sailing Series will now head to Hamburg, Germany, for Act 4 from 28-31 July.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 3, Cardiff standings

1st Oman Air (OMA) 300 points.
2nd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 294 points.
3rd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 286 points.
4th Alinghi (SUI) 282 points.
5th CHINA One (CHN) 274 points.
6th Sail Portugal (POR) 239 points.
7th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 161 points.

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2016 overall standings

1st Oman Air (OMA) 35 points.
2nd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 32 points.
3rd Alinghi (SUI) 30 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 25 points.
5th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 25 points.
6th CHINA One (CHN) 21 points.
7th Sail Portugal (POR) 20 points.
8th Team Turx (TUR) 11 points.

22 June

The third part of the Extreme Sailing Series begins tomorrow in Cardiff Bay.

Eight of the world’s sailing teams will compete for the coveted trophy during the event, which runs until 26 June.

This year’s racing will feature a new fleet of hydro-foiling GC32s replacing the Extreme 40.

The only British entry, Land Rover BAR Academy, currently lies in fourth place with 19 points.

They are behind leaders Oman Air, second placed Alinghi, and the Red Bull Sailing Team.

The 1000 x 250 metre racecourse can be viewed by spectators from the waterfront and Cardiff Bay Barrage.

Live coverage of the racing action can be watched via the Extreme Sailing Series website.

26 May

Act Three of the Extreme Sailing Series will be taking place in Cardiff Bay from 23-26 June.

Extreme Sailing Series Cardiff

The racing in Cardiff last year. Credit Extreme Sailing Series


Now in its tenth season, this year’s event has seen a new fleet of hydro-foiling GC32s replacing the Extreme 40.

Following racing in Muscat and Qingdao in China, Oman Air currently leads the pack with 23 points. Alinghi is placed second and third is the Red Bull Sailing Team.

The only British entry, Land Rover BAR Academy, currently lies in fourth place with 19 points.

Leading the UK squad is Welshman Bleddyn Môn, who is also a member of Sir Ben Ainslie’s senior America’s Cup crew.

Môn, 24, was training with the British Olympic sailing squad when he got a call from Extreme Sailing Series legend Leigh McMillan. The pair have partnered to foster Land Rover BAR’s handpicked young talent.

“We’re here as mentors to the youth we have so I guess my role fits in as skipper because I’m the youngest of the senior members,” said Môn.

“It’s great to have a young British team and we’re obviously always learning at the moment – the boats are new, the team is new – but it’s very exciting,” he continued.

Bleddyn Môn

Bleddyn Môn. Credit Extreme Sailing Series.


The shift from Extreme 40 catamarans to the GC32 provides Land Rover BAR with the perfect opportunity to get their sailors up to speed with the new foiling generation.

Môn is also looking to make the most of the home advantage in Cardiff next month.

“I’ve sailed there on the Extreme Sailing Series three times previously and it’s a great Stadium venue,” he said.

“Sailing inside Cardiff Bay, with all the crowds lining the shore, is an absolute buzz. In these new foiling boats it’s going to be very interesting indeed. We’re really looking forward to going there,” noted Môn.

This will be the fifth time that Cardiff has hosted the UK leg of the competition, which sees eight of the world’s sailing teams battle it out across three continents for the coveted trophy.

Spectators will be able to see the 1000 x 250 metre racecourse from the waterfront and Cardiff Bay Barrage.

For those who can’t make it down to the water’s edge, the racing can be watched via the Extreme Sailing Series website.

Following Cardiff, the racing will then move to Hamburg at the end of July. Other locations include St Petersburg, Istanbul and Lisbon before the grand finale in Australia in December.