A determined Team Oman Air are already looking forward to their next event on the calendar after a frustrating final day at the GC32 World Championships in Portugal saw them slip down the leaderboard. Having led the 10-strong fleet of high-speed foiling catamarans after the first of four days of racing, and then maintained second place up to the start of Sunday’s deciding races, a disappointing run of results saw Oman Air finish in fifth place.
With a win in Sardinia last month at the opening event of the GC32 Tour season to their credit, the Oman Air crew of skipper Adam Minoprio, Nasser Al Mashari, Peter Greenhalgh, Stewart Dodson and Adam Piggott are now looking to return to form at the next regatta.
This is the Copa Del Rey Mapfre in Majorca at the end of July, where the Oman Air team and the other GC32 crews will be able to showcase their skills at the Mediterranean’s well-established and prestigious multi-class regatta.
“It was a tough day here and very frustrating,” admitted New Zealand skipper Minoprio, reflecting on a disappointing second half of the event. “The wheels just fell off a bit, for whatever reason."
“We weren’t sailing the boat slowly, we weren’t doing bad manoeuvres. We thought we were using the same tactics and decision making that worked so well over the first two days, it just seemed that every time we rolled the dice to try and get past someone it just went against us.”
And he added: “We are definitely looking forward to Palma so we can right some of the wrongs of this week, and try and get up back to the top of the leaderboard and feel good about ourselves.”
It’s a positive view echoed by Omani teammate Al Mashari, who said: “It is only the second event of the season and we will learn from it and look forward to the next one in Palma where we will be trying to push harder.”
Team Oman Air - which is also supported by EFG Private Bank Monaco - are now second in the overall 2019 season standings, tied on points with INEOS Rebels UK skippered by four-time Olympic gold medal winner Sir Ben Ainslie. However, their old adversaries aboard Alinghi now have a lead of three points at the top of the table after a dominating win in Lagos, Portugal, which saw the Swiss team crowned 2019 GC32 World Champions in a standalone event which also counts towards the GC32 Tour.
Another Swiss entry, Team Tilt, whose crew included America’s Cup winner Glenn Ashby, finished second in the world championships, with INEOS taking third ahead of Volvo Ocean Race winner Franck Cammas’ NORAUTO team.
Team Oman Air and the GC32 Tour return to action at the Copa Del Rey Mapfre in Palma, Majorca from July 30 to August 3, with two further events scheduled for the season.