Team Oman Air reigns supreme in Palma
Team Oman Air celebrated in Palma, on Saturday after a winning performance at Spain’s largest sailing event saw it go top of the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour leaderboard.
There were smiles and cheers all round as the crew members received their trophy at a spectacular prize-giving for the Copa Del Rey MAPFRE regatta in the Mallorcan capital presided over by King Felipe VI of Spain.
The crew produced a memorable display as it won half of the regatta’s 20 races over four intense days on the Bay of Palma, and finished in the top three in every race.
After sharing the lead at the end of the opening day, Team Oman Air then moved ahead of the chasing pack with a hat-trick of race wins on the second day.
In what had developed into a head-to-head tussle with its Swiss adversaries on Alinghi, skipper Adam Minoprio and Nasser al Mashari, Stewart Dodson, Pete Greenhalgh and Adam Piggott held a three-point lead going into the final day and then sealed the deal with victories in the last two races to take the win by a clear five points.
Along with its victory in the opening round of the GC32
Racing Tour in Sardinia, Italy, Team Oman Air is now on course to realise its ambition of winning the 2019 Tour title in what is Oman Sail’s tenth anniversary year. “It was a great day on the water today for Team Oman Air,” said Minoprio.
“We managed to get three seconds and two firsts with some very close racing with
Alinghi. We were able to extend our lead to win the regatta, a fantastic day.
“It’s been a great week of racing with some very, very close racing with Alinghi, but the team’s done a great job and we have been very consistent and managed to be on the podium in every race and win half the races, so a very, very good week.”
He added, “Over half the way through the season and we have got ourselves into a good spot with Alinghi for the overall championship with two events left – there’s going to be some great racing to come.”
Overall Team Oman Air leads the Tour by virtue of its Palma victory, though it is level on points with Alinghi.
Long-standing team member Mashari said the hard work is paying off. “We have worked very hard at getting good communication and good boat handling on the water, and on teamwork as well, that was our goal and it worked and we won.
We are looking forward to the next event in Lake Garda and we will try and do even better.”
Greenhalgh, Team Oman Air’s tactician and mainsail trimmer, said, “It’s a great feeling to be on top of the leaderboard with Alinghi behind us.”
The penultimate round of the GC32 Racing Tour will take place on Lake Garda, Italy, from September 11-15.