S'PORE DOUBLE FOR TEAM ALINGHI
For four days, they braved the strong, unpredictable winds at The Promontory@Marina Bay.
Two of the 12 teams even got more than they bargained for last Saturday when a big gust of wind caused a collision near the finishing line.
But, after the final day of the eight-stop Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) 2014 yesterday, the sailors couldn't wait for a return to sunny, windy Singapore next year.
"This is an incredible place to sail," said Team Aberdeen Singapore skipper Nick Moloney.
"This venue is the encompassment of the stadium format - wind, bumps and scrapes.
"It's amazing for spectators and really difficult to sail with all the wind shifts around the buildings. No spot in the world lets us sail like this. For the sailors, it was completely full on."
Team Alinghi continued their dominance in the Singapore leg, as they cruised to victory after the final eight of 29 races yesterday.
The Swiss-flagged catamaran, who also won here last year, were uncatchable in the ESS' opening stop after four days of racing, notching 217 points from 29 races.
Alinghi had reigned supreme over the other 11 teams since the second day and won the leg with the final "double-points race" to spare.
Last year's overall series winner The Wave, Muscat, finished second, 24 points behind. Realstone, another Swiss team, were third with 178 points.
"Every year, the wind conditions are really challenging, which makes us showcase a lot of skill here," said Alinghi helm Morgan Larson.
"This is about as good as it gets (in the ESS). I think everyone enjoyed the last four days, and we're all looking forward to coming back."
The 42-year-old American said that despite his team's dominance, the level of competition was a couple of notches higher this year.
"The most important aspect is that we are the only team with the exact same five members from last year," Larson said.
"We know each other, we know the course; credit to the boys for pulling it together."
Team Aberdeen Singapore made a solid comeback after Saturday's crash with the Groupama team.
The local catamaran earned 25 points in the final two races to leapfrog Australia's GAC Pindar into 11th place.
"It's a great way to come back from what happened (last Saturday)," said Moloney.
"There was a bit of concern around the camp after the incident, but I spoke to the guys and told them what they had to do.
"When we finished fourth in the last race to move into 11th, I was just delighted."
The next stop for the ESS is Muscat, Oman, in three weeks' time.