Austrians in title contention after Oman Air win fifth Extreme Sailing Series stop

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    Red Bull Sailing have kept themselves in the hunt for the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series crown after finishing third behind winners Oman Air and SAP Sailing Team at the fifth Hamburg leg.

    The Austrian team, led by Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, are just seven points behind overall leaders Oman Air with three stops left on the 2017 calendar.

    Weather conditions were extremely tough for the sailors with only 16 races managed across four days on the Elbe, thanks to heavy rain and patchy winds right in front of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall.

    Red Bull Sailing Team performs during the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 in St Petersburg,  Russia, 2 September, 2016
    Red Bull Sailing Team performs during the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5 in St Petersburg, Russia, 2 September, 2016

    Hagara and Steinacher, however, used their veteran expertise to secure two race wins and several podiums with crew members Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott and Will Tiller to keep them in the title hunt.

    Helmsman Hagara said, “Normally we sail up to 30 races, but the conditions were brutal. The current of the Elbe and the presence of the city’s buildings made the race course unpredictable.”

    Tactician Steinacher added, “We are now perfectly matched, and today, we were able to overtake the two-time America’s Cup winners Alinghi and Land Rover BAR. In Cardiff, a victory is definitely possible.”

    Red Bull Sailing also secured the Speed Trophy in Hamburg for the top speed (23 knots) with the next stop taking place from August 25-28 in Cardiff, Wales.

    The Austrian junior team is heading for victory in the Flying Phantom Series with Olivia Mackay (helm) and crew Micah Wilkinson winning five of 17 races.

    Hamburg result

    1. Oman Air (Oman) 177 points
    2. SAP Sailing Team (DEN) 174
    3. Red Bull Sailing (AUT) 158
    4. New Zealand Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) 149
    5. Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing Academy (GBR) 149
    6. Alinghi (SUI) 147
    7. Team Extreme (GBR) 117

    Extreme Sailing Series 2017 (after 5 Acts)

    1. Oman Air (Oman) 54 points
    2. SAP Sailing Team (DEN) 54
    3. Alinghi (SUI) 50
    4. Red Bull Sailing (AUT) 47
    5. NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) 40
    6. Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing Academy (GBR) 40

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