Seven years ago, Robert skippered the first winner of the Extreme 40 series with Basilica and followed that up with a second place as skipper of TEAMORIGIN. And now he is back as skipper of Team DUQM Oman. The creators of the Extreme 40 took the biggest, fastest sailing boat in the Olympics then made it twice as big and even faster and brakes do not come as standard.
“Things have obviously evolved in the five years I have been away with more competitive teams and a much bigger fleet. I think the racing is probably a little more start dependent and everything has got a lot more professional and the manoeuvres are critical. It will be a lot harder than it used to be and we have focused on getting the boat handling nailed down. I will have to get used to the new race format and the reaching starts and focus on making it happen for us on the water.
I’m very happy to be racing with Team DUQM Oman, we've got a great team and its great to be back racing Extreme 40s, fingers crossed we can carry on in the series during 2013. Its tough racing but we are getting back into it more and more each day."
Team DUQM Oman was only put together a few weeks ago so Rob had to put a team together and jump into the action with no practise since 2008 - in at the deep end to say the least.
Will Howden (Mainsail) has years of experience in the Extreme 40 and came second last year competing on The Wave. Will raced for nine years in the Tornado Class and is one of the most experienced short course multihull sailors in Britain.
Nasser Mashari (Bowman) Oman’s most experienced Extreme 40 sailor, Nasser also sailed with Rob for Oman Sail’s Tour de France campaign having spent over a month together in a 30ft boat offshore, Rob and Nasser still remain friends!
Andrew Walsh (Headsail)
As an experienced member of Skandia team GBR, Andrew has also won a number of National and European titles in high performance dinghies. This will be Andrew’s 4th Extreme 40 series.
Bleddyn Mon (Tactician)
Welsh 49er young sailor, competed on The Wave in 2012 and the youngest tactician on the circuit at just 20 years of age with ambitions of Olympic Gold.
About Team DUQM Oman
Duqm, a land area of 1,777km2 to the southeast of Oman with 80 km of coastline along the Arabian Sea, is a Special Economic Zone (a geographical region that has economic and other laws that are more free-market-oriented than a country's typical or national laws), the biggest in fact in the Middle East and North African region and among the largest in the world. The Duqm Special Economic Zone is an integrated project that includes an international deep-sea port managed by the Port of Duqm Company; a state of the art dry dock and ship repair facility operated by Oman Dry Dock Company; and the development of several thousand hectares of industrial zone, a city for over 100,000 inhabitants, an international airport and a tourist area. Duqm, thanks to its strategic location is an ideal starting point for any regional and international hub centre.