The pressure mounted on the final day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 in Cardiff, and it was more than apparent out on Cardiff Bay. Leigh McMillan helming The Wave, Muscat was in the hunt for his fourth straight win, to match the Alinghi record set in 2008, and things were generally going his way until the fourth race of today. A penalty at the start of that race for infringing the leeward boats put McMillan at the back of the nine-boat fleet. In a single moment, the door opened even wider for their stable-mates Oman Air, skippered by US sailor Morgan Larson, and Austria’s Red Bull Sailing Team to get back in the frame. Two races later Oman Air went into the lead by just 2 points leaving McMillan and Hagara on equal points.
Going into the final double-points race, all eyes were on the two Omani teams and the Austrians. Morgan Larson ensured his team got the best start, McMillan was also fast off the start line but for Hagara it was a false start – the team’s hopes of their first 2012 Act win were over as the fleet sailed away. “We tried to win the Act here and we had a good chance,” said Hagara. “We were leading on the first two days, but then on the third day we had a bad day, no good starts at all so we had to fight all the way then we had a false start in the last race today. We had a chance to win, but the OCS was really hard.”