(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Oman Sail's The Wave, Muscat battled light wind conditions on the opening day of the Act 6 of the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) in Cardiff, Wales, on Friday.
After a testing day, The Wave, Muscat, skippered by Leigh McMillan managed to finish third with 21 points.
Switzerland had a one-two finish after the first day's action - Real Team took the top spot on the leaderboard with 27 points, followed by Alinghi (23).
The Cardiff Bay course, which is one of the most compact stadium-styled venues on the 2013 ESS circuit, provided no more than just eight knots of breeze during all three races - at times, shutting down completely - as the sailors on board the eight teams had to keep pushing throughout the day in order to gain speed.
A tricky start in the first race saw McMillan and the crew on board The Wave, Muscat get jammed up with the main fleet, costing them dearly and forcing them to settle for a seventh-place finish.
But conditions soon improved a little and The Wave, Muscat regained its rhythm. A strong start in the final race saw it return to its winning form. The team took home its first win in Act 6 to finish six points behind leader Real Team.
McMillan said, ''Overall, it's been a difficult day, but that's what this kind of racing is all about. The wind was tricky and the hotel on the Bay kept getting in the way - we had the same problem last year as well.
''It's difficult to play the wind around it and know what's going to pay. When the wind suddenly shifts, it makes a huge difference on how you play the tactics around it, which is quite random and not easy to handle.''
Marginally behind The Wave, Muscat lies Austria's Red Bull Sailing Team, on No 4 with 20 points, followed by China Spirit on fifth place with 18 points.
The crew on board The Wave, Muscat is looking forward to improved conditions on Day 2.
Musab al Hadi, The Wave, Muscat's headsail trimmer, said, ''Our first day here has been a fairly long one as we waited for a long time for the wind. It finally did pick up and we had a couple of practice races followed by the official races.
''We sailed fairly consistently, but we know there is room for improvement and we are looking forward to doing better.''
Standings [after Act 6, Day 1]: 1 Real Team (27 pts), 2 Alinghi (23), 3 The Wave, Muscat (21), 4 Red Bull Sailing Team (20), 5 China Spirit (18), 6 SAP Extreme Sailing Team (18), 7 GAC Pindar (16), 8 Team Wales (13)