EXTREME SAILING SERIES: AN EXCEPTIONAL YEAR!
That's it... After seven legs raced in the four corners of the earth, the 2012 season of the ExtremeSailingSeries has given its verdict. This year, the winner is called The Wave, Muscat!
However, we had to wait until the last moment to know who had won the 2012 edition of a series which was particularly hard fought. As proof, there was just 0.2 of a point difference between The Wave, Muscat and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, second in Act 7, which was raced at Rio. Leigh McMillan and his men aboard The Wave, Muscat really wanted to win this last Act and show that their 2012 victory was fully deserved. "Just before the start (of the last leg), we spotted a few nice gusts of wind on the right of the course, so we prepared for a committee boat start. But the wind finally dropped, and it all seemed to be over for us." Starting in last place, the Oman boat nevertheless succeeded in finding new gusts and getting into the first three in less than two minutes...to take victory!
With three wins already this season, the crew of The Wave, Muscat was the big favourite at Rio. All they had to do was sail without taking too many risks and finish in the top six, to win over the whole season, which they did in the best possible way. The battle for second place in the ExtremeSailingSeries was much more hard-fought, and was decided on the very last leg, which counted for double points. Four crews could still win this last Act and claim a place on the final podium. The stakes were therefore huge for this ultimate joust. Each crew was moreover in a winning position at one moment or another in the leg: the Austrians from the Red Bull Sailing Team, the Frenchmen aboard Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and the two Oman boats. With no less than 10 victories, Pierre Pennec's French crew finally finished second at Rio, and third over the whole of the season, just behind Oman Air.
Roman Hagara and the Red Bull Sailing Team were the big losers at Rio. They missed the podium of the last Act after having lost two places in the last 100 metres of the final race, and finished fourth over the whole season... Which just proves that no race is won until the finish line!
2013 is now looking promising, with eight boats in contention this year. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild has announced that it will not be present, preferring to dedicate itself to its offshore programme. We will have to wait a few more days for details of the programme for 2013, as well as the crews that will be racing, but we can bet even now that the racing will once again be cut-throat...
Overall classification of the 2012 ExtremeSailingSeries
Position / Team / Points
1. The Wave, Muscat 76.5 points
2. Oman Air 65 points
3. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 64.5 points
4. Red Bull Sailing Team 59 points
5. GAC Pindar 45.5 points
6. SAPExtremeSailing Team 42 points
7. Alinghi 35.5 points
8. ZouLou 28 points