Dean Barker expressed satisfaction with Team New Zealand's improved effort in the second leg of the Extreme Sailing series as he gets set to hand over the helm to Peter Burling for the next two regattas
Team New Zealand put in a strong last day in Muscat, Oman, securing two wins and a third in the double-points final, to claim second today..
After a fourth in the opening leg in Singapore last month, the Kiwis lifted to third on the overall points table.
Burling, the young star signed in the wake of the last America's Cup will take over at the helm for China in May and Russia in June as the skipper's duties are shared throughout the eight-event series.
Burling will be joined by his Olympic silver medal team mate Blair Tuke who will take over the crucial trimming duties from the vastly experienced Glenn Ashby.
The new wave of talent now faces the pressure cooker environment of the short, sharp Extreme Series which is sailed in non-foiling 40-foot catamarans. There were 29 races in Muscat across four days.
Barker's crew showed the growing confidence in the boat after a three-year absence from the series.
"We wanted to improve on Singapore; we wanted to sail well and get on the podium. We've achieved that and we're really happy," Barker said of the Muscat effort.
"There's still a lot of room to improve but, in saying that, every team struggled with the conditions here. Our crew stayed very positive throughout, even when it didn't feel like things were going our way."
With breezes lifting to 20 knots after a quiet first three days, local Team The Wave won the event, finishing just eight points clear of Team New Zealand who were able to snatch second from Alinghi.
The same three teams now dominate the points table heading to Quingdao, China, from May 1-4.
Extreme Sailing Series Act 2
Muscat standings after Day 4, 29 races
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 188 points.
2nd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 180 points.
3rd Alinghi (SUI) 179 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 176 points.
5th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 158 points.
6th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 153 points.
7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 145 points.
8th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 144 points.
9th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 137 points.
10th Oman Air (OMA 123 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 94 points.
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 overall standings
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 19 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) 18 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 16 points.
4th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 13 points.
5th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 9 points.
6th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 9 points.
7th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 9 points.
8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 8 points.
9th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 6 points.
10th Oman Air (OMA) 3 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 2 points.
Of these accolades, which would you like to win most?