Cardiff  © Nick Treharne

Cardiff © Nick Treharne

 

The UK round of the award-winning Extreme Sailing Series™ now in its sixth year will be staged in Cardiff the capital of Wales between the 24-27 August, 2012. In a three-year deal, Cardiff won the bid to host the UK event of this global sailing circuit that is only one of four events with ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Special Event status, positioning the city alongside the other seven premium international sporting venues hosting an Extreme Sailing Series Act in 2012. The host venue agreement with Cardiff City is backed by a Welsh Government grant for 2012-2014.

The Extreme 40 catamarans, raced by many of the world’s best sailors, will race on Cardiff Bay over four days with the event open to the public between the 25-27 August as the Extreme 40 fleet race in the circuit’s action packed ‘stadium’ format.

Executive chairman of the organising company behind the series, Mark Turner of OC ThirdPole, said: “The circuit continues to represent perfectly the developments in the world at large, with its balance of east and west, different cultures and languages and variety of conditions.

“Year on year the commercial value to the host cities of securing this event for the host venues has steadily increased, and this is reflected in 2012 developments. A pro-active and innovative host venue is critical to the success of the event, and we are very excited in this respect by the partnership with Cardiff and the Welsh Government.”

Cardiff Council’s Executive Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure Cllr, Nigel Howells commented: “It’s great news that Cardiff has secured the Extreme Sailing series for the next three years, as a council we will do all that we can to support the event.

“Cardiff has proved time and time again that it can play host to a variety of world class sporting events. From top class football and rugby to newer events like Extreme Sailing. Since the opening of Cardiff International White Water (CIWW) in 2010 more and more watersport events are coming to Cardiff, which is helping to attract a new audience to Cardiff and Wales.”

The 2012 Extreme Sailing Series will be staged at 8 different international venues across three continents, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators. Alongside other significant media exposure, once again a dedicated TV series will be produced and broadcast on up to 40 channels around the world, including CNBC, Bloomberg, Channel 4 (UK), Sky (UK), Al Jazeera, Fox (Latin America, Australia Middle East), ESPN, Sport+ (France), RAI (Italy).

As we enter the final countdown to the first Act in Oman, the 2012 team line-up will be revealed this coming weekend at the Dusseldorf Boat Show.

2012 Calendar & Host Venues:
Act 1 : Muscat, Oman 28th February-2nd March
Act 2 : Qingdao, China 17th-20th April*
Act 3 : Istanbul, Turkey 7th-10th June
Act 4 : Porto, Portugal 5th-8th July
Act 5: Cardiff, UK 24th-27th August
Act 6 : Trapani, Italy 13th-16th September
Act 7 : Nice, France 18th-21st October
Act 8 : Brazil 29th November-2nd December

Due to official Chinese naval activities in the port of Qingdao, Act 2 will now be staged between 17th-20th April instead of the 19th-22nd April as previously communicated

 

Extreme Sailing Series Boston  Artemis and Red Bull (Photo © George Bekris)

Extreme Sailing Series Boston Artemis and Red Bull (Photo © George Bekris)

Team Pindar ( Photo by George Bekris )

Team Pindar ( Photo by George Bekris )

Today thousands of spectators filled the Extreme Sailing Series™ Race Village and were treated to a spectacle of 49er racing followed by eight first-class, action-packed Extreme 40 races. A good sea breeze allowed the Extreme 40s to showcase how this style of stadium racing really works, with live onboard commentary from US sailor Cam Lewis and Britain’s Andy Green.  The start/finish area located just a few meters off the shore gave the public a close-up view of all the action and the home crowd were truly behind Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing, cheering the team home every time. Fifth man guest Dennis Piretra was impressed by the public support: “We could see people up and down the docks watching with a lot of people really engaged. It’s not just a social event they are really enjoying the sport.”

Check out the video of Red Bull Air Force skydiver Jeff Provenzano landing at the Race Village before hitching a ride with the Extreme 40

A six-boat 49er fleet showcased the Olympic class that will compete in the Olympics for the third successive time in a row in 2012, with three teams from the USA and three from Canada (see below). As the Extreme 40 circuit returns to European waters in August, the European 49er class will form part of the circuit competing for the 49er Europe Cup at the Extreme Sailing Series.

The top five places on the overall leaderboard remain unchanged with Artemis Racing holding the top spot, although three races from the end of day the Swedish team momentarily lost their lead to The Wave, Muscat. Leigh McMillan had a wobbly start to the day posting a 9th and a 6th giving Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand to chance to overhaul the Oman team. But a last place in the fifth race of the day for the Kiwis, gave McMillan’s team the opportunity to get back. Check HERE to hear what his rivals and friends have to say about the British sailor who is currently riding the wave…

Max Sirena’s Luna Rossa team had a better day, leaving them just 4 points adrift of the French at the halfway stage. However, the ‘stand-out’ team of the day was the Swiss team Alinghi, posting three race wins: “It is the first time in the season that we have three race wins in one day, so we are very happy,” said Tanguy Cariou. “The beginning of the event was quite tough for us and we were disappointed with that but we have tried to close the gap. We have been more aggressive with our sailing and had some good starts.”

Britain’s Ian Williams, skipper of Team GAC Pindar, nearly scored their first race win of Act 4 and were leading round the final top mark in the fourth race of the day before a twist in the gennaker spoiled ruined that prospect. However, the team’s improved performance today allowed them to leap-frog Roland Gaebler’s Team Extreme on the overall leaderboard.

Going into the penultimate day 22 races have been staged so far and with a potential 12-14 races still on offer the teams have plenty of points to play for. What is clear now is that every point counts.

49er Teams at Act 4, Boston:
Trevor Parekh/Matt Dubreucq – CAN
Zach Brown/ Thomas Barrows– USA
Rob Frost/Tom Arbuckle – CAN
Mike Brodeur/Tom Carlton – CAN
Jon Goldsberry/Charlie Smythe – USA
Max Fraser/Dan Morris – USA

Extreme Sailing Series Act 4 at Fan Pier Boston, USA
Current overall standings after 22 races, Day 3 (2.7.11)

Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Sean Clarkson / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 169 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 159 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Adam Beashel / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 158 points
4th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 156 points
5th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 151 points
6th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 148.2* points
7th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 141 points
8th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 114 points
9th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 106 points
10th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 83 points
11th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Bob Merrick 72 points

Extreme Sailing Series Boston Fleet (Photo by George Bekris)

Extreme Sailing Series Boston Fleet (Photo by George Bekris)

The opening day of the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4 at the Fan Pier in Boston proved to be a challenging one as the 11 Extreme 40 teams made their USA debut.  Finding the best lanes of pressure and speed was the big ask of the day as the breeze fluctuated in strength and direction with the Fan Pier backdrop throwing in some wind holes for good measure, especially at the finish area only metres from the shore and the crowds.  For some it presented opportunities, for others lost opportunities, rapid places changes were the order of the day but on top by 1 point was US sailor Terry Hutchinson, driving Artemis Racing: “It’s nice to come off today in this position but you know the racing is only going to get harder not easier and we’re mindful that we’ve got probably another 25-28 races to go.  It is intense and full on the entire time,” said Terry. “Boston is such an awesome city to sail in and provided a great race track today.”

Extreme Sailing Series Skippers (Photo by George Bekris)

Extreme Sailing Series Skippers (Photo by George Bekris)

It was a great comeback for British sailor Leigh McMillan who took over as skipper and helm of The Wave, Muscat. In 2010 McMillan helmed Ecover into third place overall but at this morning’s press conference he was reticent about his hopes at his first 2011 event. These were quickly dispelled with a win in the first race and two more out of the seven races staged on the opening day: “I really just wanted to take it easy and in a way we did but when the race starts you just have to take every opportunity as it comes and that’s what we did,” said Leigh. “We didn’t have good starts but it was very shifty conditions and there were a lot of opportunities to overtake which is where we came into our own and made big gains in all of the races. I did not expect at all to be in second place so I am really thrilled with the day and thrilled to be sailing with these guys.”

Roman Hagara’s Red Bull Extreme Sailing pulled off two race wins in the final two races and consistency in the earlier races secured third place overall going into the second day.  No doubt his team was inspired by the Red Bull Air Force skydivers who provided a stunning opening stunt to kickstart racing. The two parachutists performing loops on their descent, releasing smoke flares before landing on the floating pontoon right in front of the crowds with impressive precision.

Special guest and two-time Velux 5 Oceans victor, Brad Van Liew, dropped by to experience his first Extreme 40 ride as guest 5th man: “First time being at an event, let alone getting a ride and with Dean Barker so really a fun thing to do. For those that came down to the venue to watch its fantastic because we’ve had all these huge lead changes. Great fun to watch and even more exciting to see up and close.”  For Brad who is more used to racing ocean-going monohulls, the lightweight Extreme 40s came as a breath of fresh air: “These things can go from 0-20 knots in a couple of boat lengths and they can also go from 20-0 knots in a couple of boat lengths so when they sail into a windless hole, they pile in on top of each other which reconsolidates the race. I can imagine sailing one in 25 knots would change your ‘fun-meter’ level!”

With Act 4 being part of the Boston Harborfest 4th July celebrations there is plenty for the public to enjoy over the coming days with 49er sailing, music on the main stage every night, street performers and more skydiving from the Red Bull Air Force.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 4 at Fan Pier Boston, USA
Current overall standings after 7 races, Day 1 (30.6.11)

Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Sean Clarkson / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 60 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 59 points
3rd Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 54 points
4th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 46 points
5th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 44 points
6th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Adam Beashel / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 43 points
7th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 41 points
8th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 35 points
9th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 28 points
10th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 26 points
11th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Bob Merrick 25 points

Red Bull (Photo by Paul Wyeth)

Red Bull (Photo by Paul Wyeth)

In Numbers:

–  9 events confirmed for 2011 circuit spanning North America, Europe, Arabia and Asia.
–   Mix of venues from iconic cities and unconventional ‘stadiums’, to established sailing destinations and emerging sailing markets.
–  10 top class teams representing 8 nations, and a dozen different nationalities of sailors.
–   5-day events offering a unique mix of ‘open-water’ racing and with high octane ‘stadium’ racing – high sporting integrity, but entertaining non-sailors and sailors alike too.
–  Fleet racing, figure of 8 duels, time trials, match racing and other formats of racing will continue to be used – but always short, sharp and punchy!
–  ‘Money can’t buy’ VIP experiences on and off the water – pioneering 5th man spots remain a key value of the event.
–  8-hour programme of entertainment (on and off the water) on every public-facing day.
–   12 x Optimists, 8 x 49ers, and at least 3 other classes of ‘support act’ over the season including windsurfers, kiteboarders,…
–  5-year vision and key developments planned for 2011

2011 Videos

In Detail: Changing the way sailing is seen

On the eve of the World Yacht Racing Forum in Estoril (Portugal), the Extreme Sailing Series™ unveiled a great package of interesting and varied host venues, and top level professional sailing teams and skippers for 2011. The award-winning and ‘ISAF Special Event’ circuit is going truly global as it enters its fifth year, with 9 events spanning 3 continents, over 11 months and 10 teams representing 8 nations. A core objective of the event remains to be the most commercially sound way for brands and host venues to benefit from the great offer that professional sailing can present. This philosophy has been at the heart of the product since its inception in 2006, with the vast majority of teams since 2007 being sponsorship funded. The 2011 package provides a global sponsorship platform, at a very accessible budget level, and with a queue of sailors keen to compete.

“The circuit has come a long way since 2007 when we had just 4 European events and 5 teams,” commented Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of organisers OC ThirdPole.  “We continue to attract new top sponsored teams, sailors and, importantly, major new venues where we can showcase the sport with our game-changing ‘stadium’ format.  The choice of venues for 2011 has been our core commercial team focus since the end of 2009. We are getting closer to the perfect mix of established iconic cities, premium venues, great sailing destinations and emerging (sailing) markets.

“We continue to maintain the mix of sporting integrity and entertainment. We have shown inshore sailing can actually be fun to watch for the non-sailor as well as the sailor! Part of the DNA of the circuit since the beginning, our 5th man spot remains one of the sport’s greatest assets – be it for sponsors clients, media, TV cameramen, or prizewinners drawn from the general public,” he concluded.

The 2011 global circuit, which kicks off in Muscat in February 2011 and concludes in Singapore in December, is entering a new phase of development as part of a five year vision, after a challenging but successful 2010. Turner explains, “iShares was acquired by BlackRock at the end of 2009, which meant an end to the founding partnership of the event. We committed to running a test event in Asia and what was another successful European season in 2010 without a main partner. That was a big investment for our OC ThirdPole business, but one we believed in,” said Turner.

“Going forward we now have some meaningful host venue partnerships, strong teams, and a long term business plan with funding in place which will allow us to continue to develop the Extreme Sailing Series™ across all areas over the next five years – on the water, the shore-side public entertainment package and the media platforms,” he promised.

In addition to the host venue partnerships, and local sponsors for each event, OMEGA returns as Official Timekeeper, Marinepool join as Official Technical Clothing Supplier, and Pol Roger as the Official Champagne Supplier for the series. Further partners at both series and local level to be announced in the New Year.

A circuit spanning North America, Europe, Arabia and Asia

The 2011 Extreme Sailing Series™ kicks off in the Sultanate of Oman in February, as part of the annual Muscat Festival, before heading to China for Act 2 (location to be announced separately). The gateway between Europe and Asia, and European City of Sport for 2012, Istanbul, will host the third Act before the Extreme 40 fleet travels to the United States of America for the first time, to Boston’s waterfront in time for the July 4th celebrations.

Cowes Week welcomes the Extreme 40s for the fifth consecutive year for Act 5, ahead of a return to the Sicilian port of Trapani, for the second consecutive year. The French round will be staged on Mediterranean waters in Nice before Almería, in Andalucia, Spain hosts the penultimate event and the 2011 circuit will be decided in Singapore in mid-December.

10 Teams Representing 8 Nations, with sailors from more than 12 countries, and from diverse backgrounds (Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup, Olympic Gold medalists, World Match Racing Tour etc..)

Diversity and quality are once again hallmarks of the Extreme Sailing Series line upTwo-times runner-up Groupe Edmond de Rothschild returns (skipper as yet unknown); new entry Luna Rossa has snapped up last year’s winning skipper Paul Campbell-James as helm, with the boat skippered by America’s Cup winning sailor, Max Sirena. Oman Air Masirah, returns, skippered by French Volvo Ocean Race veteran Sidney Gavignet; double Olympic Gold Medallist Roman Hagara enters for the second season with his Red Bull Extreme Sailing team.

Britain’s Ian Williams, two times winner of the World Match Racing Tour joins Team GAC Pindar; another new Italian entry, Team Nice, led by Alberto Barovier and 2010 winners, The Wave, Muscat return to defend their title, this time skippered by emerging star Torvar Mirsky.

Alinghi returns to the fleet after winning in 2008, skippered by experienced Extreme 40 tactician Tanguy Cariou; Paul Cayard’s Artemis Racing is skippered by American Terry Hutchinson and finally, new to the 2011 circuit will be Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Kiwi America’s Cup winner, Dean Barker, who experienced Extreme 40 racing for the first time at the final event in Almería this year.

Event Format and new Class Rules

In 2011, each Act will generally consist of five days of racing as opposed to four days in 2010, and three in 2009. Each Act will be true to the core aspirations of the Extreme Sailing Series™ ethos – mixing ‘open-water’ racing with ‘stadium’ short-course racing in front of the public, including all the various disciplines and courses used already from fleet racing to match racing, straight line duels and speed trials. A large investment will be made again in the on-water umpiring – essential for ensuring the fans know the results as they watch, rather than wait for post-event protests.

Turner confirmed, “We are committed to maintaining the highest sporting integrity, as we have done since 2007. Recently taking control of the Extreme 40 Class from the creators, TornadoSport, has allowed us to also develop the rules of both event and boats in unison, to ensure a more equal chance to win, and also drive down many of the costs for the teams. We’ve limited sails (and dropped the price), decreased support costs with a central Tech Zone and team, and are managing all shipping logistics centrally as well as a host of other detail changes that all affect both return on investment for team sponsors, and ensure sporting equality regardless of budget size.”

The new Class rules are published this week. A typical full budget for a competitive year long campaign will range between 450k and 650k Euros, plus a boat at c.100k Euros per year (charter or depreciated purchased cost over 4 years).

Developing further the public events side, the organiser has committed to providing an eight-hour mix of entertainment on ‘public’ days. On the water a number of support acts, like the Olympic 49er class, windsurfing and kiteboarding, will build up to the main Extreme 40 headline act. A strong local community and charity campaign in each venue will see children given the chance to get on the water each morning. Wrapped around the on-water competition will be a comprehensive on-shore entertainment programme within the race village from interactive entertainment to music, alongside bars and food outlets.  Music acts will also take centre stage under the Extreme Sailing Series ‘Sailing Remixed™’ banner at a number of the venues.

A global event such as this has a significant ‘footprint’. The environmental audit of the 2010 event is nearing completion, and will be used as the benchmark to improve all aspects of the event’s energy, waste and water footprint going forward. Initiatives from 2010, such as minimizing bottled water, are being analysed and evolved for 2011. This particular challenge has no finish line, but the race has begun.

And for the fans off-site, live commentary and audio from the boats will be streamed online, with possibility of live TV in some venues still under consideration. A new iPhone ‘app’ will also be launched during Q2, complementing a wide range of communication channels used by the event. Video online will continue to feature strongly, via YouTube and syndicated channels – especially for the short action clips the event is best known for. The current global TV programming platform will continue to be developed, but now also in HD format.

In 2010 Extreme Sailing Series has attracted coverage in over 120 countries in 13 languages including on CNN (Intl), UK Terrestrial station Channel 4, Bloomberg (Intl), Sky Sports (UK, NZ), Fox Sport (Australia), Sport+ (France) and ESPN (Brazil), with over 60hours of airtime for each programme in the five part series.

2011 Calendar & Host Venues:
Act 1: 22-24 February, Muscat, Oman (20-21 ‘open-water’ racing*)
?Act 2: 15-17 April, China (13-14 ‘open-water’ racing)
Act 3: 27-29 May, Istanbul, Turkey (25-26 ‘open-water’ racing)
?Act 4: 30 June – 4 July, Boston, USA (all days public event)
?Act 5: 6-12 August, Cowes, UK (all days public event)?
Act 6: 16-18 September, Trapani, Italy (14-15 ‘open-water’ racing)?
Act 7: 30 September – 2 October, Nice, France (28-29 ‘open-water’ racing)
?Act 8: 12-16 October, Almeria, Spain (all days public event)?
Act 9: 9-11 December, Singapore (7-8 ‘open-water’ racing)
* ‘open-water’ racing means that the Race Manager can use whatever part of the arena is best for racing – once the public village is open in ‘stadium’ mode there are sometimes constraints in this respect in order to ensure the fans can see all the action.

2011 Confirmed* Teams & Skippers:

Team Name/ Nat Skipper Name (Nat.)
Alinghi/ SUI – Tanguy Cariou (FRA)
Artemis Racing/ SWE – Terry Hutchinson (USA)
Emirates Team New Zealand/ NZL – Dean Barker (NZL)
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild/ FRA (As Yet Unknown)
Luna Rossa/ ITA – Max Sirena (ITA)
Oman Air Masirah/ OMA – Sidney Gavignet (FRA)
Red Bull Extreme Sailing/ AUT – Roman Hagara (AUT)
Team GAC Pindar/ GBR – Ian Williams (GBR)
Team Nice/ ITA – Alberto Barovier (ITA)
The Wave, Muscat/ OMA – Torvar Mirsky (AUS)
*initial entry period closed today, 13 December, however late entries may be permitted under the Notice of Race, up to a maximum of 11 boats, plus three wildcards for use by the organisation. The annual objective of Extreme Sailing Series™ is 8 quality teams.

 

Franck Cammas on Groupama 3 Wins The Route du Rhum 2010 (Photo Copyright AFP)

Franck Cammas on Groupama 3 Wins The Route du Rhum 2010 (Photo Copyright AFP)

When he brought the giant 31m trimaran Groupama 3 across the finish line off Pointe-a-Piitre, Guadeloupe today (Tuesday)under perfect sunshine and light breezes Franck Cammas (FRA) won the 9th edition of the Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale, the 3542 miles transatlantic race from Saint Malo for solo skippers which takes place every four years. Cammas crossed the finish line at 16..h 16..min 47. Secs (CET paris// 15h 16 mins 47 secs GMT,// 11 hrs 16 mins 47 seconds local time) The elapsed time for the course, after starting Saint Malo at 1302hr (CET/paris) Is. 9 days 3 hours 14 mins 47 seconds The average speed over the course on the water was. 20..39 knots for the actual course sailed of 4471 miles. . The course record of 7 days17 hrs 19 mins 6 seconds was set in 2006 Cammas adds his name to the legend of the ‘Rhum’ as successor to Mike Birch, Marc Pajot, Philippe Poupon, Florence Arthaud, Laurent Bourgnon, Michel Desjoyeaux and Lionel Lemonchois

Cowes Action (Photo by Paul Wyeth / OC Events )

Cowes Action (Photo by Paul Wyeth / OC Events )

It’s all to play for in Almeria this week as the final event of the Extreme Sailing Series™ 2010 circuit kicks off on 9 October. Just four points separate the top four boats at the top of the leaderboard and two Omani, one French and a British team are all hoping to step onto the top podium position at 6.30pm on 12 October.
 
For the second year running, Almeria, on the Southern coast of Andalucia, Spain, will once again host the finale to the Extreme Sailing Series™. Eight teams will line up, including two new entries: a return to the circuit for Mitch Booth (NED/AUS) with his Spanish team, Rumbo Almeria, co-skippered by Guillermo Altadill (ESP), and Dean Barker (NZL) will skipper the first antipodean entry, Emirates Team New Zealand.

Event Director Gilles Chiorri commented, “With 103 races down and up to 30 more to come, Almeria will test the teams in new ways. There will be a mix of racing, some outside the harbour walls in ‘open water’ before the teams start the stadium battles right in the heart of the port from 3.30pm each day. For the teams that were there last year, they know that there is very little room for run-off and mistakes are punished hard. It will be challenging for the teams and exciting for the spectators. A perfect Extreme Sailing Series™ venue.”

Paul Campbell-James and his crew onboard The Wave, Muscat, leads the Championship standings, snatching the overall top spot from Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, following some aggressive racing tactics on the last day in Trapani. “We are there to win and it all comes down to the end of the season. It isn’t quite going to be one on one racing, but not far off and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some fairly aggressive sailing by both teams,” Campbell-James commented.

“We are at every event with the sole purpose of trying to be on the podium and that is how we will start Almería. We will be conservative at the beginning but, as we did in Cowes and Trapani, keep the pressure on until we take the top spot overall. The best thing about the team, every time we go out, we enjoy it, and that’s really the key to our success,” Campbell-James finished. If Campbell-James manages to secure overall victory, it will be an impressive win for the youngest skipper on the circuit in his first full Extreme Sailing Series season – racing against some of the best names in the sport.

But there will be three other teams battling to stop them reaching the top… With two wins apiece for The Wave, Muscat and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, the Omani team currently leads the overall standings with 28 and 27 overall points respectively. Yann Guichard and his crew had to settle for second place overall last year, but the French team will be going for an all-out win this time. As proven many times over, when Guichard’s team get into their stride, they can be unstoppable. Mike Golding’s Ecover Sailing Team lies in third place with 25 points and in fourth, Oman Sail Masirah, skippered by Loick Peyron, with 24 points. With eight points for an event win in Almeria, the whole podium is open.

Joining the eight-strong fleet of professional sailors will be the co-creator of the Extreme 40 class, Mitch Booth, with Guillermo Altadill, a multi-disciplined round the world navigator with seven circumnavigations to his name.

“For several years I have been involved in multihulls, in ocean races as well as in Olympic Games when the Tornado was an Olympic class. I have always believed that the show and spectacle in sailing was there and last year I came to Almería to watch the Extreme Sailing Series. I told Mark Turner [Chairman of organisers OC ThirdPole] that I had the intention of having a team and one day take part in the circuit. I believe it’s fantastic and a show not only for the professionals but also for the public who come to watch the events.”

The second new team joining the circuit will be from New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand. Barker will be joined by two regular ETNZ teammates, Winston Macfarlane, who raced in the 2009 Extreme Sailing Series in Cowes, and Jeremy Lomas, the regular bowman for the team. The final addition will be Australian double Olympic Silver medallist and multihull specialist, Darren Bundock.

Luciano Alonso Alonso, the Andalucian Minister for Tourism commented, “The winner of the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series will be decided at the event next week in Almería. Andalucía is once again the host of a top sports event and Almería is going to be making headlines in the world of sailing. I’m particularly pleased because in Almería there will be two new teams competing, Rumbo Almería, with the name ‘Andalucia’ on the sail, and Emirates Team New Zealand. Therefore on behalf of the Junta de Andalucia I want to thank the organizers of the Extreme Sailing Series for bringing the top international sailors to Almería.”

In 2009, the Almeria event attracted over 85,000 spectators, over the same traditional family-centric Puente del Pilar weekend. Once again, the commercial port in the heart of the city will be transformed with bands, childrens activities and food and drink outlets.

Overall Series Standings:

The Wave, Muscat 28
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 27
Ecover Sailing Team 25
Oman Sail Masirah 24
Groupama 40 12
Red Bull Extreme Sailing 12
The Ocean Racing Club 8
Team GAC Pindar 3

Extreme 40's Race In iShares Cup In Hyeres, France (Photo by Lloyd Images / Oman Sail)

Extreme 40's Race In iShares Cup In Hyeres, France (Photo by Lloyd Images / Oman Sail)

Whilst football fans around the world obsess about the selection of their World Cup national squad, all bar one of the Extreme 40 teams have now confirmed their ‘squads’ for the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series that kick-offs in a week’s time on the south coast of France at Sète from 27th-30th. Eight international teams will be on the start line to battle it out over five events across Europe this summer. At the mercy of the on-water referees, the teams racing their high-speed 40′ catamarans will be hoping to avoid any ‘sending offs’! But on race courses that on average only equal the size of six football pitches, the teams are constantly engaged in close combat that frequently result in punishable infringements.

(Photo by Thierry Martinez/Sea&Co/OC Events)


Across the fleet of 32 sailors there are two double Olympic Gold medallists, 61 World and 37 European Championship titles, 20 Round the World navigations, 20 America’s Cups sailed and 39 sailing records held or broken amongst the 14 nationalities.

Three top French skippers will be taking the helms of Extreme 40s this year – Franck Cammas, Yann Guichard and Loick Peyron. Franck Cammas, fresh from his Jules Verne Trophy record-breaking circumnavigation, will drive Groupama 40. Cammas will be joined by former America’s Cup sailor Tanguy Cariou (FRA) as his tactician: “We’ve spent the winter capturing the Jules Verne Trophy with an amazing team onboard Groupama 3, and so Groupama 40 looks pretty small!” Cammas joked. “But we like these close-quarter regattas. Our business is all about sailing so, big or small, in a team, or alone, it’s not important. It’s all about the sailing.”

Experienced offshore multihull sailor, Yann Guichard will once again be helming the Gitana Team entry, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. Guichard finished an impressive second last season: “2009 was the year we discovered the Extreme Sailing Series and the style of Extreme 40 regattas: the notion of sport as a spectacle! We soon learnt that consistency pays and to perform well in this series and to post good results, you need to navigate really well and not have any on-the-water contact with your competitors.”

(Photo by Yvan Zedda / Gitana SA)


The final French skipper is ‘Mr Multihull’ himself, Loick Peyron who recently helmed Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup. Peyron has ‘jumped ship’ from one Oman Sail Extreme 40 to the other and for 2010 will skipper and helm Oman Sail Masirah. Peyron will be joined by the 2009 skipper, now trimmer and team manager, Pete Cumming (GBR). The Sultanate of Oman, as in the previous seasons, has a second entry in the circuit with The Wave, Muscat, skippered by British talent Paul Campbell-James (GBR). An experienced matchracer, ‘CJ’ demonstrated his aggressive starting talent on the winter Asia tour. Joining him will be the first Omani who has progressed through the Oman Sail Academy and now racing as a professional sailor, Khamis Al Anbouri (OMA).

(Photo by Mark Lloyd)


Following his debut in the inaugural Asian Extreme Sailing Series, double Olympic Gold Medallist Roman Hagara (AUT) will be joined by his Olympic crew Hans-Peter Steinacher (AUT) for the Red Bull Extreme Sailing entry. Racing alongside Hagara will be Gabriele Olivo (ITA) and David Vera (ESP), both of whom participated in the last Volvo Ocean Race with the Spanish Telefonica team. Red Bull Extreme Sailing boasts a good balance between offshore and inshore racing experience and talent and will be strong contenders for a podium position.

Veteran Extreme 40 sailor, Nick Moloney (AUS) is back as skipper of the new entry Team GAC Pindar. From the America’s Cup to the solo Route du Rhum and Vendée Globe, and the Jules Verne Trophy, Moloney has seen it all! Helming the British entry Team GAC Pindar is British Tornado sailor Andrew Walsh. Joining them will be Fraser Brown (NZL), another very experienced Extreme 40 player and Team Pindar’s Olly Smith (GBR): a promising combination of talent.

Finally, one of Great Britain’s most accomplished single-handed sailors ever, with two IMOCA World Champion titles, a third in the solo Vendée Globe, Mike Golding returns to the circuit with an all-British line up in the Ecover Sailing Team. Golding will receive a shot in the arm from the combined Olympic Tornado talents of Leigh McMillan, Team GBR’s catamaran helmsman at both the Athens and Beijing Olympics, and Will Howden. Golding commented: “Training has gone really well. Will and Leigh have a great synergy onboard, so it has been a very smooth process working in the role changes. 2009 was a learning curve for all of us, and I hope this year will see us raise the bar in terms of performance on the water. Leigh will be fantastic on the helm, and we intend to make an impact on the leaderboard this season”.

(Photo by Mark Lloyd)
And with just one final team racing under the flag of The Ocean Racing Club in Slovenia, due to announce early next week, there will now be eight teams on the start line: “It’s a hugely impressive line-up again this year, the quality and depth of experience of the sailors increases year on year and guarantees us some spectacular action,” said Event Director, Gilles Chiorri. With more days racing than ever before, the four-day events will challenge every aspect of tactics, speed and finesse for the top international sailors.

Trampani (

Trampani , Sicily (Photo by Th. Martinez/Sea&Co/OC Events)

 

Trapani, on the west coast of Sicily (Italy), will be one of the new venues for the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series Europe. As the award-winning Extreme Sailing Series enters its fourth year, the announcement of Trapani as a new host venue demonstrates the continued attraction of this exciting sailing formula to European venues. The event will take place in the very heart of the port of Trapani, right in front of the public and VIPs and just metres from the shops, bars and restaurants of the town.

The Extreme Sailing Series circuit provides spectacular on-water action close to shore, as well as a shore-side public entertainment package: “To confirm Trapani as a new destination for the Extreme Sailing Series circuit, is another great development,” said Gilles Chiorri, Race Director of OC Events, the organising company. “Trapani became well known to the sailing world when it hosted Acts 8 and 9 of the Louis Vuitton Cup series in 2005 and left a lasting impression as the city opened its arms to the sailing world with thousands of public supporting the event. We are looking forward to bringing the Extreme Sailing Series to this location and hope that we will be welcomed with the same enthusiasm and support that was clearly demonstrated in 2005,” concluded Chiorri.

The Extreme Sailing Series Trapani event will be the penultimate event to the 2010 circuit over 23-26 September ahead of the final event that will, once again, be hosted in Almeria, Spain, over 9-12 October following their 5-year commitment to the circuit in 2009. The Provincia Regionale di Trapani has committed to an initial two-year agreement and will provide financial, logistical and operational support as Host Venue Partner. The President of Provincia Regionale di Trapani, Mr. Girolamo Turano commented: “2010 will be a great year for Trapani as we host top nautical events including the Garibaldi Tall Ships regatta in April and the Extreme Sailing Series in September. We have followed the success of the Extreme Sailing circuit over the past three years and are delighted to be hosting the penultimate round in 2010 – the beautiful waters and strong winds will no doubt provide an excellent situation for the top international teams, racing right in the heart of our harbour: perfect for spectators.”


Included in the logistical and operational support package are technical area and moorings for the Extreme 40 fleet, a race village with public attractions, Media Centre and VIP Lounge by the Piazza Garibaldi, race management and media boats, discounted accommodation for the teams, marketing and promotional support and personnel.

The Extreme Sailing Series is recognised as providing a high return on investment (ROI), the Spanish host venue of Almeria carried out an Economic Impact Report in 2009 confirming that the event had generated 2.7m Euros of return on their investment. Over 75,000 spectators attended the Spanish event in 2009, boosting the combined audience to over 200,000 spectators in 2009. A total of 15,000 tourists visited the city over the period of the 2009 Almeria event, 92% because of the event and 80% of visitors expressed their intention to return. Hotel occupancy was up by 19.2% compared to the same period in 2008.


The circuit, then known as the iShares Cup, won the European Sponsorship Award’s Best Business to Business Sponsorship in 2008 and was short-listed for the Sports Industry Association’s best Sponsorship of a Sports Event. The 2009 European series delivered in excess of 5.9m Euros of media value, a 40% increase on 2008, and the Extreme Sailing Series Europe circuit is watched by thousands of viewers around the world thanks to a TV series produced by host broadcasters Sunset&Vine|APP.

Trapani is the capital of the Province of Trapani and attracts thousands of tourists to marvel at the medieval architecture of the old town. The city is still an important fishing port and the Extreme Sailing Series Trapani event will be based in the harbour, with the Extreme 40s racing just metres off the harbour wall.

The Extreme Sailing Series continues to go from strength to strength having just concluded the inaugural Extreme Sailing Series Asia circuit in Hong Kong, Singapore and Muscat (Oman), the focus now switches to the European series. The Extreme Sailing Series Europe circuit will take in five venues across the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy with ongoing discussions in the final stages for a possible sixth event. With the announcement today of Trapani as the Italian host venue, the remaining 4 venues will be announced over the coming weeks.


Eight to ten teams including a fascinating cross section of the world’s best sailors – Olympians, America’s Cup sailors and World Champions – are expected to compete in the 2010 European series which continues to see the top sailors in the sport battling it out for victory. The 40-foot catamarans are confined to short and sharp race courses – the risk of collision or capsize is ever present and over the past four years this circuit has delivered some of the most dramatic inshore sailing footage ever seen.

For more information on the Extreme Sailing Series Europe click here: www.extremesailingserieseurope.com

For more information on the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta, click here: www.garibalditallships.com


Picture Credits: Th. Martinez/Sea&Co/OC Events