A race win and two second places in a highly competitive opening to the latest Extreme Sailing Series event in Barcelona saw Oman Air tied in third place on the overnight leaderboard.
In what is showing all the signs of becoming a four or even five-way tussle for the top spot in Spain, the Oman Air team, in common with most of the other crews, posted a mixed bag of results in fresh conditions which saw the fleet of GC32 foiling catamarans hitting high-speeds of 20-plus knots.
After winning the Barcelona event last year the team of Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Stewart Dodson and Nasser Al Mashari have high hopes of a repeat performance.
Oman Air was leading the Act after winning the fourth race but slipped down the final order in some difficult conditions.
“There were some tricky big waves which were bouncing off the big seawall here in Barcelona, and that made it difficult to stay stable on the foils at times,” said skipper Robertson.
“We are a bit frustrated as we know we can be a lot better, but tomorrow is another day,” he added.
With three more days of racing to come Oman Air is tied on 57 points with their old adversaries Alinghi, with SAP Extreme Sailing Team second on 59 and Red Bull Sailing Team leading with 62.
With a third place finish at the opening Extreme Sailing Series event in Muscat back in March, followed by a second on Lake Garda last month, Oman Air headed to the Catalan capital tied on points in second spot overall with Alinghi, the duo just two points behind season leaders SAP.
Looking ahead the crew are ready to make a bid for the top spot. “We won a race today and took two second places, so we know we can match everyone in the fleet,” said Oman Air bowman Al Mashari.
“There is a long way to go here, and we will set out tomorrow to climb higher up the standings.”
Racing in Barcelona continues until Sunday.