Sailing: Red Bull clinch Extreme Sailing Series opener in Singapore
- Updated: February 8, 2015
February 8, 2015: Double Olympic gold medallists Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher and their crew on Red Bull Sailing Team won the opening Act of the Extreme Sailing Series after a total of 32 hard-fought races in Singapore’s Marina Bay.
The team from Austria led the table going into Sunday and held their nerve despite a charge from SAP Extreme Sailing Team in a cut-and-thrust battle that went down to the last few metres of the final race, with Red Bull eventually winning the Act by just five points.
The Wave, Muscat rounded out the podium positions on a day featuring 15-knot winds with gusts up to 21, but it was Red Bull who were left celebrating their place at the top of the nine-team table.
“We are all thrilled, it’s great,” said Hagara, who together with tactician Steinacher selected Red Bull Youth America’s Cup sailors Jason Waterhouse, Shaun Mason and Stewart Dodson to join them this season.
“The young guys did a great job and I think all of our experience was very helpful. Together as a team we kept everything together and it was perfect for us.
“This win showed us that we can do it. We didn’t have as much luck last season, but here everything went well for us. I think we now are making good decisions on the racecourse.”
SAP were on a mission, nailing confidence-boosting early races to take a deserved second place – their best ever finish.
Co-skipper Rasmus Kostner said: “It’s such a great job by the team and we are so happy with the second place. It has been a long time since a podium and this one feels so good.
“This regatta has been a long event under very shifty conditions. We have tried to improve throughout and have managed to get the most out of the challenging conditions. We definitely feel like we are doing a lot of things right at the moment and hope to be able to continue that.”
Leigh McMillan and his team from Oman are famous for their final-day comebacks, but Red Bull and SAP were not going to be muscled out, leaving the two-time Series champions in third place.
“We went out fighting, but went into the last race with a bit too much to do and didn’t get the strategy right from the start,” McMillan said.
“We’re a little disappointed to finish third but we can’t take anything away from Red Bull and SAP. It goes to show there’s a lot of talent out there. We’re still going to fight all the way through the season and we know we’re going to have our turn.”
The Extreme Sailing Series next heads to Muscat in Oman for Act 2 from March 11-14.
Extreme Sailing Series, Act 1, Marina Bay, Singapore
1 (232 points) – Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Jason Waterhouse, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson
2 (227 points) – SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN): Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Mads Emil Stephensen, Brad Farrand
3 (220 points) – The Wave, Muscat (OMA): Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari
4 (213 points) – Gazprom Team Russia (RUS): Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Alexander Bozhko, Aleksey Kulakov
5 (198 points) – Oman Air (OMA): Stevie Morrison, Nic Asher, Ted Hackney, Ed Powys, Ali Al Balashi
6 (182 points) – GAC Pindar (GBR): Seve Jarvin, Jack Macartney, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski
7 (180 points) – Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA): Lorenzo Bressani, Enrico Zennaro, Gabriele Olivo, Tom Buggy, Adam Kay
8 (166 points) – Beko Team Turx (TUR): Edhem Dirvana, Mitch Booth, Selim Kakış, Diogo Cayolla, Anıl Berk Baki
9 (156 points) – Team Aberdeen (SIN): Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Tom Dawson, Freddie White, Justin Wong
Source: Extreme Sailing Series (www.extremesailingseries.com); Editing by SportAsia