Local sailor wins in China and now lead's the Extreme Sailing Series.
An ecstatic Leigh McMillan and his crew on board The Wave, Muscat won Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series in China with a race to spare, a feat rarely achieved on the circuit, and move into the lead for the overall Series. Having missed put on a medal in the 2008 Olympics, where the sailing was also hosted on the waters of Qingdao, McMillian was pleased to leave with a victory.
Watched by over 55,000 spectators The Wave, Muscat started the day immediately with a win, and then a pulled off a brilliant recovery from a poor start in the next race to post a third. Skipper Leigh McMillan lives who now lives in Southampton having moved from the Isle of Wight where he attended Ryde School commented, “We are thrilled to have won here in Qingdao and to have a second and a first place for the first two events is very good stuff for us. We weren’t necessarily expecting to win here. It’s been a tight competition and Red Bull Sailing Team have been performing very well this week and always getting closer and closer, and pushing us harder and harder.”
This is McMillan’s first full season skippering The Wave, Muscat, “I was coaching last year until there was an injury here in Qingdao, to David Carr aboard Oman Air, and that gave me an opportunity to go racing. I stayed on Oman Air for the rest of the regatta and then got the opportunity to skipper The Wave, Muscat later in the season. So it’s fantastic to win here in Qingdao. I spent lots of time here with the Olympics but came away without a medal, so it’s great to leave here this time with a victory in the Extreme 40s.”
The Wave, Muscat now leads the competition overall after the first two of eight Acts. “It’s early days, but if we can keep posting podium positions we have a good chance overall. Everyone is doing a great job, especially the guys ashore, and big thanks to the The Wave, Muscat for backing us through the season and we hope we can keep it up for them.” Concluded McMillian.
The Wave, Muscat’s Rachel Williamson also from Southampton is one of the first female sailors to race an Extreme 40 since double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson. In a test aimed at keeping opportunities open for new talent, the teams in the Extreme Sailing Series sail with five full time crew rather than four, and Rachel talks about getting the call to join The Wave, Muscat and her Extreme 40 experience so far. Click here
The 2012 Extreme Sailing Series global tour will take place over nine months, with eight events spanning three continents – once again in Oman, Europe, Asia and new for 2012, South America. The opening event was held at The Wave, Muscat, before travelling to China, Istanbul, Portugal, the UK, France, and Italy before concluding in Brazil in December. The next leg of the Extreme Sailing Series will be Istanbul, Turkey on 7-10th June.