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)

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)

In brief

  • The tender and selection process for venues interested in hosting an Extreme Sailing Series™ event in 2012-2015 has begun.
  • The bid process closes 13th May 2011, with Host Venue decisions made by 1st July.
  • The Extreme Sailing Series™ is delivering ever increasing tangible, year-on-year, benefits for Host Venues – boosted further by the new global year-long format.


In detail

With the first Act of the Extreme Sailing Series™ 2011  finishing last week in Oman, the organisers have opened the next round of Host Venue selection process for prospective cities and regions that wish to host an event in 2012 and beyond. The award-winning and innovative circuit provides Host Venues with an outstanding value-for-money destination marketing package, alongside direct economic benefits.

Entering its fifth year, the Extreme Sailing Series™ attracts some of the biggest names in the sport to compete onboard the visually exciting Extreme 40 catamarans – the headline act of an all-encompassing shore and on-water entertainments package that appeals to a diverse audience. In 2011, the circuit spans North America, Europe, Arabia and Asia, with nine premium venues hosting 11 competing teams with sailors from 17 nations. World record holders, America’s Cup champions and seasoned Olympians, representing their sponsor brands such as Prada, Omega and Red Bull, will battle it out in front of the crowds, VIPs and the international media.


 
© Jean-Marie Liot/DPPI/OC Events
 

The event brings sailing to a whole new audience, with high adrenalin-fuelled stadium racing just metres from the shore with day-long entertainment in the public Race Village. VIPs are treated to the best seat in sport, with the chance to sail as a ‘5th man’ onboard the Extreme 40s during racing.

In 2011, four new host venues of Qingdao (China), Istanbul (Turkey), Boston (USA) and Nice (France) have signed up to the circuit, as the fleet returns to previous host venues of Muscat (Oman), Cowes (UK), Trapani (Sicily), Almeria (Spain) and Singapore. All host venues enjoy the direct and indirect benefits of having thousands of spectators visiting the event, as Don Luciano Alonso, Minister of Tourism, Trade and Sports for the Andalucia government explains: “The hotels were 90% full, 75,000 spectators watched the event… The results we have witnessed make it clear that we made the right decision when we bought the Extreme Sailing Series™ for Almeria.” An independent report commissioned by the region confirmed a 5 times ROI on their financial investment.


  © Paul Wyeth/OC Events

Each Act gives the Host Venue a solid international platform to showcase the region and its marine facilities to the world, as well as promoting the sport of sailing within their local community. The Extreme Sailing Series™ is proud to leave a lasting legacy in each location, activating charitable, volunteer and try sailing programmes for all ages and experience levels.

Prior to the opening Act at The Wave, Muscat, Oman Sail, CEO, David Graham commented: “The value of hosting such events is enormous in terms of inspiring even more Omanis to discover sailing and writing the next chapter of Oman’s maritime history. We expect to bring many new visitors to Oman and many others to see the country through the global media coverage the event will generate.”


© Th.Martinez / Sea & Co
 

The venues visited by the Extreme Sailing Series™ are a vital element for its continued success and expansion, and the organisers recognise their importance by providing a powerful Destination Marketing package delivering excellent, proven ROI. In 2010, a significant number of venues from around the world approached OC ThirdPole directly to secure a spot on this year’s circuit, with those chosen now forming a mix of iconic cities, premium venues, great sailing destinations and emerging (sailing) markets.  

As of today, proposals are welcomed from cities and regions that feel they can offer what it takes to host a great Extreme Sailing Series™ event for the next three years, beginning in 2012. Bids will be evaluated on the same criteria that were applied to select the 2011 venues. First and foremost, a suitable venue that can facilitate the ‘stadium’ racing concept, strong support from local governments and authorities, the ability to attract tens of thousands of spectators and a solid regional and national marketing and communications plan. To receive the Host Venue Tender document that outlines the full rights package and criteria, please email sarah.collins@octhirdpole.com

Paul Campbell-James and Muscat Crew Wins Extreme 40 Cowes (Photo by Mark LLoyd / Lloyd Images / OC Events)

Paul Campbell-James and The Wave, Muscat Crew Wins Extreme 40 Cowes (Photo by Mark LLoyd / Lloyd Images / OC Events)

Paul Campbell-James on The Wave, Muscat has won the UK Round of the Extreme Sailing Series at Cowes Week – the first ever regatta win for the youngest skipper on the circuit – claiming an OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean watch as part of the prize as top Skipper for the UK round.  Thirty-six races over six days in front of 60,000+ spectators – the UK round of the five-stop circuit has delivered everything that the Extreme Sailing Series is about. Spectacular, adrenalin-pumping action on the water, enthralling the thousands of spectators who packed into the Extreme Race Village at Egypt Point and along The Esplanade.

The conditions throughout the event have demanded the utmost focus and physical effort from the nine competing teams and today was no exception with 20-25 knots of south-westerly breeze across the short race course and a choppy sea state.  Classic conditions for a potential pitch-pole or capsize and the crews knew it, racing with one reef in the mainsail and an extra fifth pro crew to add a bit of extra weight. The top mark proved a dangerous turning mark as they hoisted their giant gennakers to head downwind at full pelt – the crews ready in a second to ease the sails if the bows dug into the waves too deep.

Going into the fifth and final double points race of the day, Paul Campbell-James and his crew had almost done enough to keep the lead from Britain’s Mike Golding, but they had to finish the race – zero points and Ecover would claim the top spot. As it was the team did enough, scoring a 4th in the final race, to win the UK round of the Extreme Sailing Series on 249 points: “We knew if we capsized it would be the end of the regatta so pretty pleased to get through it,” said a relieved Campbell-James on the podium. 

Extreme 40 Sailing Series Fleet (Photo by Paul Weyth/ OC Events)

Extreme 40 Sailing Series Fleet (Photo by Paul Weyth/ OC Events)

But the Ecover team is ecstatic with their second overall place, their best result to date and appreciated the home crowd support: “It’s been great to have the support from the shore – you can even hear the yells and shouts from on board the boat,” said Golding. Tornado Olympic sailors Leigh McMillan and Will Howden have bought a new performance level to Mike’s team, who stepped back to allow the McMillan take the helm. It was a shrewd move and Golding’s team are really starting to gel, and will certainly be a force to contend with in the future.  Yann Guichard’s men on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, winners at the first round in France, always excel in light airs but struggle at times in heavy conditions. A final win in the last race would have lifted their spirits to secure third overall on the podium.

A real battle developed mid-leaderboard between Loick Peyron on Oman Sail Masirah, Red Bull Extreme Sailing and Groupama 40. Only a handful of points separated these three going into the final race. Peyron secured fourth overall, although he never really got into his stride here, and Roman Hagara on Red Bull Extreme Sailing claimed 5th and although lacked consistency they, nonetheless, scored six bullets, ahead of the fastest man round the planet Franck Cammas on Groupama 40.  Groupama 40 provided the most dramatic moment of the UK round on the second day when the 40-foot catamaran careered towards the concrete sea wall without steerage. Franck and the crew had no option but to leap to safety.

Team GAC Pindar, who had the satisfaction of claiming some race wins here, proving that when they get it right they are competitive, finished in 7th place ahead of Roland Jourdain’s Veolia Environnement who is competing in the UK round as a one-off experience (for now!).  For the co-creator of the Extreme 40 class, Mitch Booth and the Team Ocean Racing Club, it proved to be a disastrous regatta, breaking their front beam ahead of the penultimate day and then having to sit and watch the other eight boats have some of the best racing this circuit has ever seen.

The Wave, Muscat’s victory here means they now share the top spot on the overall Series leaderboard with 14 points apiece.  Two points behind Oman Sail Masirah on 12 points.

Next stop for the Extreme Sailing Series is Kiel in Germany between 26-29 August.

Franck Cammas and Groupama 40 Crew In The Water After Collision with Boat and Wall ( Photo by Mark Lloyd / Lloyd Images / OC Events )

Franck Cammas and Groupama 40 Crew In The Water After Collision with Boat and Wall ( Photo by Mark Lloyd / Lloyd Images / OC Events )

There was plenty of dramatic action on day two of the Extreme Sailing Series at Cowes Week today. With 18-20 knots of breeze, gusting over 20 at times, the nine teams were racing right on the edge, demanding 100% concentration and a constant rush of adrenalin for both the sailors and the spectators from the near capsizes, near misses and some not so near misses…
 
In race 11 (the fourth inshore race of today), approaching the windward mark Yann Guichard’s Groupe Edmond de Rothschild hit Franck Cammas’ Groupama 40 wiping out both rudders, leaving Groupama with no steerage whatsoever. Groupama 40 were heading straight for the shore at speed and for safety the crew leapt into the water to avoid the impact of hitting the sea wall – deciding they would prefer getting wet than being thrown forward on the boat and potentially injuring themselves. Groupama 40 has sustained both rudder and daggerboard damage and it will be a long night for the shore team to get them back racing tomorrow. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild has lodged a protest which the jury will hear and award redress if relevant.

 

 
Paul Campbell-James, the youngest skipper on the circuit at just 28, ensured The Wave, Muscat finished inside the top four in today’s races including the morning offshore race and the five inshore races this afternoon held off Egypt Point. Two wins this afternoon, two seconds and two third places put them top of the Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard on 85 points: “We got good starts which is a big part of today and we were pushing really hard downwind when we needed to. Sometimes we were so close to capsizing but you have to push it hard at times and back off at others.”

Yesterday, British skipper Mike Golding said he didn’t mind if they didn’t score any ‘bullets’ today, stating finishing inside the top four was more important. But his helm Leigh McMillan and the crew had other ideas – posting a win in the offshore race in the morning, then two further bullets in the penultimate and ultimate race of the day to finish in second place with 80 points. This kept the home crowd, who packed into the Extreme Bar and along the shoreline, happy as they cheered Golding’s crew all the way.

The Wave, Muscat At Cowes Week Extreme 40 Sailing (Photo by Paul Wyeth /  OC Events)

The Wave, Muscat At Cowes Week Extreme 40 Sailing (Photo by Paul Wyeth / OC Events)

All the skippers talk about the importance of consistency but yesterday’s leader Loick Peyron on Oman Sail Masirah found his top form elusive today, only posting a third place in the second race this afternoon which leaves Peyron’s team in third place overall with 74 points – 7 points ahead of Guichard’s team in 4th.

Double Olympic Gold Medalist Roman Hagara had another day of mixed fortunes – one race win and a second place in the penultimate race, keeps them in contention in the middle of the leaderboard in 6th place, five points behind Mitch Booth’s The Ocean Racing Club who did well in this morning’s offshore finishing in second. Another frustrating day for Roland Jourdain’s Veolia Environnement who had rudder problems before the start of the first race then had to drop the mainsail between races to sort out another problem. The team unpracticed in the art of Extreme 40 racing, put a reef in early and raced cautiously throughout the afternoon, although the 1989 Formula 40 World Champion demonstrated why he clinched that title with a couple of great starts.