The Extreme Sailing Series 2013. Act2. Singapore. (Photo by Lloyd Images)

 

Oman Sail’s The Wave, Muscat is finding it tough in the very light conditions in Singapore, but remains upbeat with an eye on the overall season results. The mixed European and Omani crew received special support today from Oman’s Consul General in Singapore, a dignitary that was heavily involved in a joint project called the Jewel of Muscat, a hand-stitched traditional dhow.

Oman Sail’s The Wave,  Muscat is finding it tough in the very light conditions in Singapore, but remains upbeat with an eye on the overall season results. The mixed European and Omani crew received special support today from Oman’s Consul General in Singapore, a dignitary that was heavily involved in a joint project called the Jewel of Muscat, a hand-stitched traditional dhow.

 

The Extreme Sailing Series 2013. Act2. Singapore. The Wave Muscat skippered by Leigh McMillan with crewmates: Pete Greenhalgh (GBR), Hashim Al Rashdi (OMA),Ed Smyth (NZL) and Musab Al Hadi (OMA) in action during day 3 of racing. (Photo by Lloyd Images)

The focus remained firmly fixed on the overall series title for the crew of The Wave, Muscat despite another testing day in light shifty breezes in Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore.

After three days of racing in Marina Bay, Oman Sail’s Extreme 40 team is lying in third place overall but a place on the podium in any of the seven races completed eluded them for the first time in two seasons.

Once again it was Alinghi, helmed by Morgan Larsen who dominated the third day extending their lead to 27 points.

“We have a long term view,” said 2012 season champion Leigh McMillan, skipper of The Wave, Muscat, who has his eyes firmly on the overall series. “We hope to be in the top three by the close of racing on Sunday and if not, we know we can still bounce back from the situation and be in contention. It is a long season and there are six more events to go.

“It is fair to say that we have struggled with the conditions in Singapore, the Lake sailing experience of some of the guys in the fleet is really paying off this week. Most of the Extreme Sailing venues are difficult but Singapore takes it to another level,” he said.

The Extreme Sailing Series 2013. Act2. Singapore. The Wave Muscat skippered by Leigh McMillan with crewmates: Pete Greenhalgh (GBR), Hashim Al Rashdi (OMA),Ed Smyth (NZL) and Musab Al Hadi (OMA) in action during day 3 of racing. (Photo by Lloyd Images)

The progress of the Omani team is being closely watched; both at home in Oman where the racing is broadcast live on Oman’s Sport Channel, and in Singapore where the team received support from Oman’s Consul General in Singapore Mr Zakariya bin Hamed Al Sadi.

Mr Zakariya was involved in the Jewel of Muscat, a remarkable joint project between Oman and Singapore that saw the recreation of a 9th century hand stitched dhow (70,000 stitches!).

It sailed the Silk Route from Oman to Singapore to be gifted to the government of Singapore by the Sultan of Oman in celebration of the historic friendship between Oman and the Indian Ocean nations, and Singapore in particular.

“I am delighted to see the Omani team The Wave, Muscat taking part in such a big international event at this fantastic venue in Singapore,” said Mr Zakariya.

“The team carries a message introducing Oman and its capital Muscat to the world at large. I met the crew back in 2011 and today I am proud to see more Omanis racing and am also proud of what the team has achieved in the series especially winning the title last year!

“Having two Omanis as part of the team is evidence of the skills and expertise our sailors have had to develop to win selection in such a competitive event. It is also evidence of the success of our national project Oman Sail in its vision and objectives in developing the young Omanis in this sport.”

Zakariya’s visit gave Hashim al Rashdi and Musab al Hadi a boost; they are on a steep learning curve and after another tough day hopes remain high as the The Wave, Muscat goes into the final day tomorrow.

“We had a big issue with the start line so hopefully tomorrow we can get that right and we will need to stay out of trouble because we had too many penalties,” said Hashim. “We had very light winds today again which made it difficult for everyone. We are sailing well as a team but things are not going our way but we have one more day, we are going to learn from some mistakes and try to avoid any in the finals.”

Final racing is scheduled from 1500-1830 (SGT) and the finale from Singapore will be broadcast live on Oman TV’s Sport Channel from 1700-1830 (SGT) (1300-1430 Muscat time).

Muscat , The Wave in Singapore (Photo by Lloyd Images)

 

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

Boston Extreme Sailing Series (Photo by George Bekris)

Boston Extreme Sailing Series (Photo by George Bekris)

The ever changing conditions on the second day of racing at the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4 in Boston, resulted in a game of snakes and ladders for many of the 11 Extreme 40 teams and leaves Act 4 wide open going into the halfway stage tomorrow. After another seven races today there have been a significant number of place changes on the overall leaderboard, although Terry Hutchinson’s crew on Artemis Racing extended their lead at the top ahead of The Wave, Muscat by 7 points. So no change for the top two, however Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand strong performance today moved the Kiwi team up to 3rd place: “We were really happy with today,” commented Dean back on the dockside at Fan Pier. “We won four races and sailed in good shape for the rest. In the last race we copped a penalty and managed to fall back three places, so we were actually pretty happy with how we continued as it would have been easy to give up but we finished in 8th which is good, and an improvement on yesterday.”

The racing started out in really light and fluky winds. In the first race, won by Emirates Team New Zealand, three boats fell foul of the time limit rule for not finishing within 6 minutes of the winning boat. It wasn’t until the fourth race that the sea breeze really filled in and stabilized. Then the boat speeds picked up and the action moved up a few gears delighting the Boston crowd who turned out in force again today.

The Swiss team of Alinghi, skippered by Tanguy Cariou, after a mixed bag of results yesterday, came back strongly in the second half to climb from 9th to 6th place. Unfortunately, for Austrian skipper Roman Hagara, skipper of the popular Red Bull Extreme Sailing team here in Boston, a collision in the fifth race with Team GAC Pindar put them out of action with damage to their rudder system, and the team has dropped from 3rd yesterday to 8th. Undoubtedly, Hagara’s team will be seeking points redress as the fault for the collision sits with Team GAC Pindar.

For many of the teams new to the circuit, the experience of three events already under their belts is starting to pay as they accelerate up the learning curve. Italy’s Niceforyou is in a great battle mid-leaderboard, only 2 points behind Alinghi, and skipper Alberto Barovier is clearly enjoying the experience: “The racing is pretty tricky,” said Alberto. “We survived two days with a good consistency on results which is very good for us and an improvement on the other venues. We are looking forward to doing better tomorrow and the next day.”

The final race of the day was one of joy for Roland Gaebler’s Team Extreme who posted their first win of the regatta with American 470 Olympic silver medalist Bob Merrick onboard, and one of huge disappointment for the Pierre Pennec’s French team on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. The team crossed the line first but touched the finish mark and was instantly penalized, forcing them to re-cross the finish line. Pennec was visibly unhappy with his 6th place but the French team are still very much in the running having posted multiple 2nd places today, and maintaining their fourth place overall.

A day of frustration for many and joy for others but there are still many more points up for grabs and no one is placing any bets on which teams will be standing on the podium come Monday. “It’s just all about getting to Monday with a chance to win,” said Terry. “Everyone is so good but I am very hungry to win here.” And with more breeze forecast for the final two days, the action is going to get hotter and hotter.

Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino visited the Extreme Sailing Series Race Village at Fan Pier to see the action first-hand: “It’s very special to have the Extreme Sailing Series in Fan Pier,” said the Mayor. “Boston has a great harbour but to have these boats here is a very special time for us. We hope that the sailors have a great time and we hope that the event comes back in future. This could be the start of a great tradition in our city and I want to thank everyone involved in this for choosing Boston to be the place to come in America. In short this is awesome. There is no better place and time to be in America than on 4th of July on Boston harbour.”

The Extreme Sailing Series Race Village at Fan Pier was rocking until late last night culminating in a fantastic firework display and there is palpable party atmosphere in the build up to Monday’s Independence Day celebrations.

There is plenty of action still to see at Boston Fan Pier all weekend long and on the Fourth of July.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 4 at Fan Pier Boston, USA
Current overall standings after 14 races, Day 2 (1.7.11)

Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Sean Clarkson / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 114 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 107 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Adam Beashel / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 106 points
4th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 101 points
5th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 88 points
6th Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 78 points
7th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 76 points
8th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 70 points
9th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 69 points
10th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Bob Merrick 57 points
11th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Andrew Walsh / Jono Macbeth 44 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

Extreme Sailing Series Fleet in front of Galata Tower, Istanbul, Turkey (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Extreme Sailing Series Fleet in front of Galata Tower, Istanbul, Turkey (Photo by Lloyd Images)

LIVE COVERAGE THIS WEEKEND!!

Turkey’s national TV broadcaster, TRT, will be covering the Extreme Sailing Series live this weekend and TRT’s TV feed will be available on the Extreme Sailing Series website. TRT1 will broadcast live from Saturday between 1600-1650 CET and on Sunday 1700-1900 CET [see further details below].

It was another intense day on the Halic estuary at the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 3 in Istanbul, with gusty conditions and tight race courses resulting in a few collisions and numerous close calls. Luna Rossa has been craned out tonight to check for damage after crunching into Team GAC’s back beam and then another knock with Artemis Racing inflicting some damage to the aft port hull. However, Max Sirena’s team who have dropped from 2nd overall to 4th place will be back racing tomorrow as will Ian Williams’ Team GAC Pindar.

The team that started the second day on top, Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing, has extended their lead even further from 1 point yesterday to 19 points today after another seven races. The other two event podium places are now currently occupied by Alinghi, skippered by Tanguy Cariou and helmed by Yann Guichard, in 2nd: “The first two events were very difficult for us as we are a new team,” explained Guichard. “We need to get to know how to work together. We are improving every day, in every race so we are happy till now, everything is coming together well.” But they will have to keep raising there game in this fiercely contested field as the Swiss team are on equal points with Dean’s Barker’s Kiwi team Emirates Team New Zealand going into the halfway stage tomorrow, as Guichard conceded: “The game is really tight out there. It’s fun, very fun but you you’re not allowed to make one mistake!”

Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Watch the ‘Skipper Snippets’ video.

Overall series leaders Groupe Edmond de Rothschild from France bounced back from a difficult start yesterday – 7th this morning – up to 5th by the end of play today. And Roman Hagara’s Austrian Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team also climbed two places: “It was a little mad on the water today,” said Hagara. “Lots of up and down, lots of close finishes and close marks roundings. You can see some teams leading on one race and finishing last on the next one. The general level of the fleet is going up and that’s good to see five different winners out of seven races today. I’m really happy with my team, we’re having fun and loving it here. That’s the first time we are racing in Istanbul and it’s absolutely fantastic.”

The conditions were similar to yesterday with 7-10 knots of breeze and some fierce gusts that quickly turned these 40-foot Extreme 40 racing machines into one big handful for the 44 sailors representing some of the best in the sport. The short two-lap races lasting just 10-12 minutes, saw the sailors grappling with their huge gennakers as they flew into the downwind mark and it required slick handling to avoid a major incident: “The racing is pretty brutal out there but we keep improving,” said Barker. “We had a couple of shockers, but you know, you need to deal with what you get and try do do things a little bit better each time, and make less mistakes. Of course there’s a lot we can do better, but we jump on every opportunity we can and try to make the best out it.”

The Wave, Muscat (Photo by Lloyd Images)

The Wave, Muscat (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Alberto Barovier’s team Niceforyou scored two 2nd places today lifting them from 11th place into 10th. The all-Italian team enjoyed their first race win in Muscat and it is sure another one is on the cards as the team gets to grips with the Extreme 40 under the tutelage of 2010 series winner crew member, Mark Bulkley.

Tomorrow Act 3 moves up a gear into stadium sailing format as the doors open to the public here in Istanbul. For now the 44 sailors are resting, bruised boats being patched up, but the 11 Extreme 40s will all be back in front of the public tomorrow.

Check out the Extreme Sailing Series Channel for the latest video compilation from Act 3, Istanbul including the action from day 1.

TRT LIVE COVERAGE:
TRT1 TV channel covers all the major sporting events including football and Formula 1 and on Sunday TRT will cover the Monaco Formula 1 live before switching to the on-water racetrack here in Istanbul for the final day’s racing. TRT1 will broadcast live coverage from 1700-1900 CET on Sunday and 50 minutes coverage on Saturday between 1600-1650 CET. The coverage will obviously come with TRT’s Turkish commentary but follow the English race blog on the home page.

Extreme Sailing Series – Act 3, Istanbul
Current overall standings after Day 2 (26.5.11)

Position / Team / Skipper & crew / Points
1st Artemis Racing (SWE), Terry Hutchinson / Rodney Ardern / Morgan Trubovich / Julien Cressant 116 points
2nd Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey 97 points
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Glenn Ashby / James Dagg / Jeremy Lomas 97 points
4th Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena 95 points
5th Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 95 points
6th The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Torvar Mirsky / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri 87 points
7th Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk 78 points
8th Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari 76 points
9th Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / Nicholas Heintz 64 points
10th Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 64 points
11th Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Mischa Heemskerk / Jono Macbeth 55 points

Extremem Sailing Series Fleet (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Extreme Sailing Series Fleet (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Artemis Racing in race mode (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Artemis Racing in race mode (Photo by Lloyd Images)

The first public day of ‘stadium’ racing saw the 11-boat Extreme 40 fleet racing bang up to the shore in front of the spectators and VIPs on day 3 of Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat. Terry Hutchinson and his crew on Artemis Racing had an exceptional day elevating them from fifth overall at the end of yesterday to second place overall today – they are now just three points adrift of the leaders Groupe Edmond de Rothschild: “We had a brilliant day on the water today, there were a lot of people on the shore line – close enough to hear them cheering on the finish line. I have never experienced something like that before. It was a first!” said Hutchinson back on shore. “The stadium racing format delivered everything it promised – short and intense races right in front of the spectators. When you have a good day you love it, when you have a bad day you hate it, and we absolutely loved it today!” Pierre Pennec and his all-French crew, after yesterday’s storming performance, had an average day but they have clung on to the top of the leaderboard after 17 races.

Dean Barker’s Team New Zealand scored their first ever Extreme 40 race win today, although they still remain 7th place in the rankings: “It’s nice to win one but we have to do it a few more times,” said Dean Barker. “We clearly feel the improvement but still need to do a lot better.” Germany’s Roland Gaebler scored his best regatta result so far with a third place putting some big smiles on the faces of the Team Extreme crew.

Whilst the racing played out within meters of the shore, the public Race Village came to life with the Beach Football League and the Red Bull Freestyle shows. And if the public couldn’t get to The Wave, Muscat to see the live action, then they could watch it on national TV as Oman TV broadcast live throughout the afternoon.

Today’s conditions were less challenging than on the previous two days with 7-9 knots of NNE breeze, but the 44 sailors had to contend with racing on shorter and tighter race courses within the confines of the ‘stadium’. Five fleet races were staged today, ending with a round of one-on-one match races, and today’s performance has seen a number of place changes on the overall rankings. The home team of The Wave, Muscat retain their 3rd place but took a while to find their form today, as did the Alinghi team – two 4th places being their best result today – dropping them two places 4th overall. Oman Air went into today’s racing in 6th place and Sidney Gavignet’s team will be disappointed to now be in 8th place. But they are only 1 point behind Dean Barker’s Team New Zealand, who in turn are only 1 point behind Luna Rossa who climbed 2 places on the leaderboard today after storming out of the starting blocks of the first race to secure their first race win.

Luna Rossa racing on day 3 (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Luna Rossa racing on day 3 (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Whilst the best sailors in the world did battle on the Extreme Sailing Series, the future of Omani sailing talent took to the water in Optimist dinghies – each Oppie represents one of the Extreme 40 teams – in the ‘Try Sailing’ sessions and were delighted to be presented to the public on the Extreme Sailing Series main stage at the end of the day.

Extreme Sailing Series, Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat
Day 3 Results after 17 races:

1st Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, 133 points
2nd Artemis Racing, 130 points
3rd The Wave, Muscat, 124 points
4th Alinghi, 121 points
5th Red Bull Extreme Sailing, 120 points
6th Luna Rossa, 103 points
7th Team New Zealand, 102 points
8th Oman Air, 101 points
9th Team Extreme, 59 points
10th Niceforyou, 37 points
11th Team GAC Pindar, 29 points

Extreme 40 sailing series first leg at the Wave Muscat Oman.22nd February 2011. (Photo © Lloyd Images)

Extreme 40 sailing series first leg at the Wave Muscat Oman.22nd February 2011. (Photo © Lloyd Images)

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.