Muscat: Racing at Muttrah, Morgan Larson’s new look crew on Oman Air hit their straps in the first few minutes of the opening race and swept to a fine victory.
After just a few day’s training in the new GC32, the team looked to have formed a strong and exciting bond which underpinned a second victory in the next race plus two further wins to post an emphatic score line of four wins in six races.
The breeze freshened to 16 knots before fading prompting Race Director Phil Lawrence to cancel the coastal race to Almouj which according to Larson, made for ‘some tight, challenging and fun’ racing in front of the crowds in Muttrah where Oman Air bowman Nasser Al Mashari lives.
“It was fantastic to sail in a new location here in Muscat, in front of the city,” Larson said. “It was a great call by the race director as the conditions were great – it was tight, challenging and fun.
“Going into today, we weren’t that confident but everything came together. We need to build on where we’re at now. It’s a long season so for us, we need to just take the right steps without cutting any corners, and even if in the short term we don’t get it right, we need to for the long term.”
By the close of day one, Oman Air had established a seven-point lead over second placed SAP Extreme Sailing Team with LandRover BAR, the new British team, mentored by former skipper of 2015 champions The Wave, Muscat Leigh McMillan taking third place with two outright wins.
For Al Mashari, scoring so many successes on home waters, in front of a crowd that included his brother, made the day a special one.
“We are very happy and proud with what we achieved today and hopefully if we carry on like this and push a bit harder, we might be able to win in Muscat,” he said.
“It was our best day in the boat since we started training in Dubai. Everything went well today, but there is still a lot more we can do.
“It was fantastic to be racing right in front of Muttrah and especially good to win the first race and the last one. It made me feel very proud.”
The fleet moves to the stadium race track off the Almouj Golf Course on Thursday with up to 20 more races still to come over the next three days.