ROFF Cascais Sailing Team training on their home waters.

– Act 5 Porto starts tomorrow – follow online on the official http://www.extremesailingseries.com/website and watch the live video stream from 1700-1800 BST (GMT + 1) / 1800-1900 CEST daily from the 26 – 28 July.

– Pierre Pennec returns to Extreme Sailing Series™ at the helm of the Swiss-flagged Realteam.
– Win Extreme Sailing Series™ kit from official clothing partners Marinepool! Click here for more info.
– Watch the preview video here.

With less then 24 hours before the start of Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Porto, the teams have spent today making final preparations to their Extreme 40s in the technical area at Douro Marina and putting in some last minute training time on the water before proceedings get underway tomorrow (Thursday 25th July). There is plenty of anticipation and excitement dockside with official Extreme Sailing Series weather partners WetterWelt predicting 8-12 knots of breeze with gusts up to 15 knots for the first two days racing.

How to follow the Extreme Sailing Series, Act 5, Porto ONLINE

Racing takes place over four days from the 25-28 July kicking off with a day of open water racing and the official skippers press conference before moving into stadium mode where the Douro River will provide the playground for the eight Extreme 40s from the 26-28 July.

The Extreme Sailing Series website homepage will go into race mode on day one and will serve as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for live video, results and news as well as an interactive live blog where fans can leave their comments.

From the 26 July, the ‘Stadium Racing’ will be streamed live to the website with expert commentary from sailing expert and Olympic commentator Richard Simmonds and analytics from technical partner SAP. This streaming is also available on all iOS devices (iPad, iPhone) from 1700-1800 BST (GMT + 1), 26-28 July.

Winner's of the Act in 2012, The Wave, Muscat out in training in Porto, Portugal

How to follow the Extreme Sailing Series, Act 5, Porto ONSITE

The free to enter public Race Village is located on Porto’s Douro Riverbank near the iconic Dom Luís I iron bridge designed by one of Eiffel’s partners, Téophile Seyrig, where the Extreme 40 fleet will race close to shore on the public days, providing the perfect viewing platform for ‘Stadium Racing’.

The public Race Village will provide a host of entertainment throughout the day including music, public bar and food stalls, a resident DJ, live commentary in English and Portuguese throughout the racing, a Range Rover Sport TDV6 HSE car display as well as a zone dedicated to children. The on-water entertainment will be complemented by the main warm up act, the NeilPryde Windsurf Racing Series.

 

The new addition Pierre Pennec tests the Portuguese waters in training onboard Realteam.

For the full event schedule visit the dedicated Porto page on the official website, here.

Pierre Pennec returns at the helm of the Swiss-flagged Realteam

Pierre Pennec, one of the most experienced Extreme 40 sailors having finished the Series in second and third in 2011 and 2012 respectively with Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, is to join Realteam for Act 5, Porto as helmsman for this event.

Pennec, who is looking forward to taking up the challenge alongside the Swiss entry commented, “I have often come across the team onboard the Décision 35 and they seem very well structured, I am impressed with their level of performance and focus. I thought that with my Extreme 40 experience, I might be able to bring something to the team and things have progressed naturally from there. Jérome got in touch a while ago about coaching and sailing and I am delighted to be joining the team for Act 5 which is shaping up to be a tough competition!” Read more online here.

Win Marinepool Kit!
Extreme Sailing Series is  giving away some exclusive Extreme Sailing Series team kit from official clothing partners Marinepool – perfect for a day on or off the water! They have one summer bundle for men and one for women up for grabs.

 Click here for more details and to enter.

 

Extreme Sailing Series Rankings to date

OVERALL

(Results updated after each race)

RANK TEAM
1 Alinghi 27
2 The Wave Muscat 26
3 Red Bull Sailing Team 24
4 SAP Extreme Sailing Team 20
5 Team Korea 16
6 GAC Pindar 16
7 Realteam 14
8 Team X Invitational 13

.

Alinghi are out to defend their Series lead on the Portuguese waters in Porto.

Extreme Sailing Series Asia Fleet In Muscat  (Photo by Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OC Events)

Extreme Sailing Series Asia Fleet In Muscat (Photo by Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OC Events)

Six Extreme 40 catamarans, three countries, 24 sailors: all on a whistle-stop tour of Asia. The inaugural Extreme Sailing Series Asia finished on Friday 5 February with the 2009 European Champions Oman Sail Masirah being presented the new Series trophy by royalty in the Sultanate of Oman. DON’T MISS THE WORLD SPORT SHOW, CHANNEL 4, SATURDAY 13TH FEBRUARY (more info below)

Oman Sail's Masirah night-sailing in Singapore during the Extreme Sailing Series Asia.
Oman Sail’s Masirah night-sailing in Singapore during the Extreme Sailing Series Asia.
OC Events

OC Events took the award-winning circuit to the region to demonstrate what a future full-scale circuit with shoreside entertainment, VIP hospitality and, of course, the on-water sailing, could deliver to the region. For this first Asian series, the objective was to engage with the media and commercial sectors, whilst at the third and final event in Muscat, a two-day ‘Extreme Beach Event’ took it up a level engaging the public as well.

“This first Extreme Sailing Series Asia exceeded all our expectations. The spectacular sailing conditions in all three locations brought us tight racing by some of the very best sailors and demonstrated the potential to venue partners, key opinion formers, government officials and the media what a full-scale series could bring to their region in future years,” commented Mark Turner, CEO OC Group, owners of the organising company OC Events. “We developed the European circuit in exactly the same way, starting small with a focus on the VIP and media side and four years later here we are with a multi-stop European tour that saw over 200,000 people watch the action in person in 2009. We made the call to go for this first opening series in pretty tough economic times, but we believe our investment will be successful and are already in discussion with potential new venue and series partners for the 2010/2011 tour,” he concluded.

The Extreme Sailing Series Asia circuit received widespread media attention, not only in the countries it visited, but internationally as the media were entertained by the personalities as well as the action on the water. World Sport (formerly Gillette World of Sport), the internationally distributed sports programming, will include Muscat in this week’s show which will go out on UK Terrestrial broadcaster Channel 4 this Saturday (7:30am) and the following Tuesday (01:30am) and across Europe. There has been regular coverage from the series on TV channels including a daily live feed on Oman TV, ITV Meridian and Sky Sports (UK), Eurosport and Euronews (FRA), ATV, ORF 1 & 2 (AUT), Media Corp (SNG) and Mediaset (ITA).

The Extreme 40s set off at the start of the Around the Island Race in Hong Kong
The Extreme 40s set off at the start of the Around the Island Race in Hong Kong
Marco Hong/OC Events

The reach will increase from March 2010 when a 26-minute programme will be distributed and air on channels including Sky Sports (UK), Sport + (FRA), ESPN (Pan-Asia) and Fox Sport (pan-USA & South America).

The circuit began in Hong Kong (20-24 November), racing out of the prestigious Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club for five days including a day with the 200-plus fleet for the annual Around the Island Race, where the Extreme 40s took line honours.

Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team on Day 1 at Singapore
Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team on Day 1 at Singapore
Daria Giuliani/Chili-Sports.com


The six catamarans were then packed up and transported to Marina Reservoir, right underneath the World’s tallest observation tower in Singapore (11-15 December), the first time the stretch of water had been used for a professional sport event.

The series concluded last week in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, where the home team Masirah lifted the inaugural championship trophy. Three days of racing in front of a VIP setup, was followed by an ‘Extreme

Thousands gather on the beach on the first public day of the Muscat event
Thousands gather on the beach on the first public day of the Muscat event
Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OC Events

Beach Party’ with over 2,000 people gathering at Al Hail beach for a five-a-side football competition, volleyball matches, the Muscat round of the Red Bull Street Style competition as well as watching the racing, which took place in front of government statesmen and royalty for the Omani weekend.

“It’s been exciting introducing new people to the circuit,” commented Emily Caroe, PR Director of OC Events Extreme Sailing Series. “There’s nothing better than welcoming a non-sailor to the circuit, be it World record-breaker Assafa Powell in Singapore or a female journalist in her traditional dress who has never even stepped on a boat before. Persuading them to conquer their fears and step onto an Extreme 40 was not easy, but by the time your back is turned, they are on the helm, or trimming and shouting for the hull to fly even higher. It’s such a great experience and provides them with a unique story.”

Fleet racing on day 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series Asia at The Wave, Muscat.
Fleet racing on day 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series Asia at The Wave, Muscat.
Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OC Events

Seventy journalists attended the three, five-day events, and when conditions allowed stepping onboard and racing in the fifth man positions onboard the six Extreme 40s. Andreas Tzortzis, from international magazine, Red Bulletin, raced with double Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson onboard Rumbo Almeria. “That was absolutely fantastic. You are absolutely in the thick of it and that is an experience you don’t normally have in sailboat racing unless you are racing yourself. As a spectator, or even as a journalist you don’t nearly get so close so it gives you an understanding of the amount of pressure they are under. It is absolutely astonishing.”

There have been over 180 pieces of quality coverage from the three events, with press junkets at each venue to experience Extreme racing first hand. Journalists attended from Sina.com, China’s leading online portal which ran daily reports, China Boating, The Business Times and Today Newspaper all visited the opening event in Hong Kong. An international visit of GCC media attended the final event in Muscat including journalists from Men’s Passion, Ahlan and Al Rai in Kuwait, the Qatar Tribune, Ohlala Magazine, Bahrain Confidential and Areej Magazines in Bahrain, Business Traveller and City Times in the United Arab Emirates.

“Our goal was to bring a select group of journalists who could experience first hand an Extreme Sailing Series event. Thanks to the support of the Muscat Municipality, they had the chance to see a public facing event with all the activities on Al Hail beach as well as the racing,” commented Caroe.

The six skippers competing in the Extreme Sailing Series Asia
The six skippers competing in the Extreme Sailing Series Asia
Marco Hong/OC Events

Thierry Barot, skipper of China Team was impressed with his first venture into Extreme 40 sailing: “It was very impressive, right in front of the public but still this sport is very intense, delivery is very high in terms of tactics and strategies. I really believe it is the future of sailing. This is what sailing needs in term of development – the Extreme Sailing Series is a sport in itself.”


And as the Asian tour comes to an end, the next begins. The Extreme Sailing Series Europe starts in earnest in May 2010 with the first venues being announced shortly.

Oman Sail In Muscat (Photo by Lloyd Images/Oman Sail)

Oman Sail In Muscat (Photo by Lloyd Images/Oman Sail)

In just ten days time the final of the Extreme Sailing Series Asia will kick off at The Wave, Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman, with six international teams competing for the inaugural title. The Series will end on a high with the Extreme Beach Party, a two day grand finale for the public over the Omani weekend.

Khamis Al Anbouri, bowman on Oman Sail Masirah, currently topping the leaderboard, is looking forward to returning to his home port. “We are pumped up and ready to take on the World!” he laughed. “It’s great to be coming back to Muscat and for the home crowd to see first hand the five other top teams competing on the circuit. They are promised an awesome spectacle.”

Six teams, racing radical 40-foot catamarans, started their battle for the inaugural title in Hong Kong at the end of November, before heading to Singapore mid-December… And now they arrive in the Sultanate of Oman for the grand final that takes place from the 1st-5th February. Global brands such as Red Bull and BT back two of the racing teams, and China has also entered a team for the first time.

Going into the deciding round, Pete Cumming (GBR) and his crew onboard Oman Sail’s Masirah have a 5-point lead over Nick Moloney’s (AUS) BT, tied with new team China Team, skippered by Thierry Barot (FRA). Just one point behind them, also tied, is The Wave, Muscat, helmed by Paul Campbell-James (GBR) with Omani powerhouse Nasser Salim Al Mashari (OMA) as his bowman and newcomer to the Extreme 40 circuit, Red Bull Extreme Sailing, skippered by double Olympic Gold medallist Roman Hagara (AUT) with his Olympic crew Hans-Peter Steinacher (AUT) as tactician. In sixth place is another double Olympic Gold Medallist, Shirley Robertson (GBR) skipper of Rumbo Almería joined by double Olympic Silver Medallist Ian Walker (GBR).

bt-by-th-martinez

Nick Moloney on BT In London (Photo by Th Martinez/OC Events)

 
The Extreme 40 multihulls are ‘speed machines’ that race close to shore on tight courses, unlike most sailing events – and in this final event they will be competing in short, exciting, 15-minute races starting each day at The Wave, Muscat from 2pm. Race Director, Gilles Chiorri (FRA) will be throwing everything at the teams including possible speed trials, slalom courses and even some match racing – an interesting prelude to the much-anticipated mammoth multihull battle between America’s Cup antagonists Alinghi and BMW ORACLE Racing. (Note: traditionally match racing is only competed in monohull boats).

His Excellency Eng. Sultan Hamdoon Al Harthi, Head of Muscat Municipality said “The Extreme Sailing Series Asia is the first of a number of high profile sporting events that will be taking place in Oman this year and we are looking forward to watching some of the world’s best sailors compete right on our shoreline. Oman has a rich maritime heritage and this event is a perfect tool to help showcase the potential of the Sultanate as a key sailing location internationally.”

The first three days of racing will be dedicated to hosting VIPs, national and international media, while the 4th and 5th February will see Al-Hail beach, to the West of the capital Muscat, transformed into the ‘Extreme Beach Party’. Each morning from 10am there will be a five-a-side football tournament featuring members of the Omani national football team, winners of the 2009 Gulf Cup of Nations, volleyball matches, the Red Bull Street Style team for the Muscat leg of the international leg of the freestyle football competition, ‘try-sailing’ sessions, as well as family activities, food stands and entertainment.
 
Roman Hagara, skipper of Red Bull Extreme Sailing, has edged up the leaderboard, finishing second overall in Singapore after a disappointing sixth at the first event in Hong Kong where they struggled to overcome gear failure problems. “We are ready to race and proud to be invited to this beautiful country. It is not our first visit and we look forward to meet a lot of friends. I am sure that we will enjoy it. We expect a competitive but fair race.”

The Asian circuit follows hot on the heels of the award-winning Extreme Sailing Series Europe that, in just three years, has become a top five fixture in the international sailing calendar. The fleet which will race in Muscat includes three double Olympic gold medallists, a double Olympic Silver Medallist, 29 World Championship titles, 9 round the world navigations, 23 Olympic games attended and 10 America’s Cup sailors.
 
OC Events, organisers of the series, has brought the circuit to the Middle East and Asia for the first time to demonstrate the potential of a full-scale series in 2010/2011. Mark Turner, CEO of OC Group, explained, “Developing a series here in the Middle East is the next step in the evolution of this ground-breaking circuit. Never before has there been top-level racing, right in the heart of cities, within metres of the shore, designed to entertain the public, media and VIP’s – not just other sailors. It’s unique for the cities and it is unique for our sport.

“The GCC region is ideal for high-integrity sailing events and we are bringing the circuit here to demonstrate to key stakeholders and the media what a full scale circuit with top level on-water action coupled with high-end VIP corporate hospitality and an all-inclusive shore side entertainment package can deliver. The Muscat event promises to be a spectacular conclusion to this inaugural Extreme Sailing Series Asia.”

The Extreme Sailing Series Asia: Muscat is supported by the Muscat Municipality and Oman Sail, the Ministry of Tourism backed initiative to reignite the Sultanate’s maritime heritage and inspire young Omanis to achieve their potential through sailing.

Current standings after two events:

1 – Oman Sail Masirah: Pete Cumming (GBR)
2 – BT: Nick Moloney (AUS)
3 – China Team: Thierry Barot (FRA)
4 – The Wave, Muscat: Paul Campbell-James (GBR)
5 – Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team: Roman Hagara (AUT)
6 – Rumbo Almería: Shirley Robertson (GBR)

Extreme Sailing Series Asia Fleet (Photo by Guy Nowell/OC Events)

Extreme Sailing Series Asia Fleet (Photo by Guy Nowell/OC Events)

misarah1

 

 

It was all clear at the top of the leaderboard at the end of five days of racing in Singapore under a kaleidoscope of weather as Oman Sail’s Masirah took their second consecutive win at the Extreme Sailing Series Asia. But the battle for second raged on through the afternoon with Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team finally taking second place with The Wave, Muscat in third.

The final day of racing in Singapore started with a light two knot wind and the six teams tactically fighting their way around the racecourse, searching for the best possible winds. The skippers and crews were tested by the Race Committee as they began two races with the more challenging downwind starts as the wind picked up to a more consistent 10 knots. But just before the start of the fifth and final race of the day, there was plenty of drama as a thunderstorm struck the reservoir soaking the sailors and the VIP guests onboard to the skin.

The heavy downpour was relentless, forcing the Race Committee to abandon the race and the day’s sailing for safety reasons as lightening powered down over Marina Reservoir. With the abandonment called, the calculators were out as the valuable last race double points were added to the previous race, but Masirah remained firm at the top of the leaderboard, continuing their domination of the Extreme 40 fleet. This win capitalises on their European crown in November and their win two weeks ago in the first leg of this Asian circuit in Hong Kong at the end of November.

Pete Cumming, skipper of Masirah, commented, “It’s been a really good week for the team and we are thrilled with the win. We would like to thank the Singapore Authorities for giving us the opportunity to sail here and to everyone who helped to make this event possible.”

Masirah was presented with a Merlion statue and orchids by Singapore Olympic swimmer and Nominated Member of Parliament Joscelin Yeo, who was the Guest-of-Honour for the day. Said Joscelin, who had earlier experienced sailing on the Extreme 40s, “I didn’t know what to expect as extreme sailing is not a common sport here in Singapore. It was very exciting and the adrenaline rush I felt was amazing. People are probably surprised that we can do something like this in Singapore and it shows that we as a country are open and exposed to new sporting events and ideas. It is definitely something I would like to experience again!”

With racing every afternoon, the past five days have been busy for the international fleet of Extreme 40 sailors. Every morning they have taken VIP and media guests out sailing on the reservoir, to experience first hand what it is like to race onboard an Extreme 40. Guests have included government officials, TV crews, journalists, key opinion formers from the business and sailing worlds here in Singapore, as well as youth sailors in the Singapore Olympic sailing squad.

Masirah’s win brings their score in the overall Extreme Sailing Series Asia scoreboard to a perfect 12, but the real battle is for second place with four teams in contention. BT and China Team and tied in second place with 7 points apiece and Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team and The Wave, Muscat just behind with 6.

“The response in Singapore has been phenomenal. The facilities here at Marina Bay are world class and I think it is tailormade for an event like the Extreme Sailing Series. I think we have really helped people understand what we are trying to do with the staging of this event and we hope to come back next year with a full-scale event,” concluded John McKenna, Commercial Director of OC Events.

Sailor Quotes:

Paul Campbell-James, The Wave, Muscat:
“This is the first time we have ever done downwind starts and we struggled to get a grip of them. We are learning, the main reason why we are here. We were unlucky not to get third in Hong Kong, to get third here is an improvement and hopefully we’ll win in Oman.

“Third is a good result overall because in the whole series there is us, BT, Red Bull and China Team all vying hard. So a great incentive going into Oman.”


Hugh Styles, Helm, China Team:
“It’s been a rollercoaster here, pouring rain and lightening to soaring heat, no wind to lots of wind. There are one incident when we nearly capsized because there was so much breeze.

“Six boats means that it is really intense on the racecourse, lots of entertaining guests who step on with wide eyes, but leave with enormous smiles on their faces.

“For us with our racing we have had probably more race wins than we have ever had as a team, so really exciting for us and we’ve sailed consistently. A few bits of bad luck, but we are a new team and building ourselves into a better unit, so really exciting. We have come fourth overall, so really looking forward to the next one, looking to step it up and always get in the top two, fighting for the lead and looking forward to the next opportunity.”


Thierry Barot, Skipper, China Team:
“Today, was not a perfect day. It was a little bit difficult for us. Problem for the right positioning and a real gamble with the wind which was turning everywhere, but it is part of the sport!

“We’ve had big improvements since Hong Kong, missing some luck today, but looking forward to Oman.

“Singapore was fantastic, the scenery was quite amazing with buildings all around with the amazing architecture so close to us. The chance to have the public around us next time will be great, a 360 degree amphitheatre; a fantastic venue. I really hope that we will be back next year.”


Pete Cumming, Skipper, Masirah:
“A really special event for us. Our latest recruit Nasser, who has been with us for eight months in the Oman Sail Team, so for him to be up against the best sailors in the World and do the business here in Singapore, he is a real credit for our team and the standard of sailors that are being produced in Oman Sail.



Nasser Salim Almasari, Bowman, Oman Sail Masirah:
“Today was the last day here in Singapore and we are extremely happy. It is important to raise our flag to the top of the sky! We are looking forward to sail in Oman and Insha’allah we will win there too.”

Roman Hagara, Skipper, Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team:

“Two regattas down, one to go and probably the most exciting one for the team as we are going to sail in our home waters in Muscat. We are really looking forward to the final event in Oman. A chance to sail in our home waters, it is going to be great to sail in front of our home crowds, we are hoping a lot of peole to come down and support us and the Omn Sail project and a chance for the team to see where they can get with their sailing. We are trying to inspire the young Omanis and for them to see these great boats come back to Muscat will be great.”

“The weather fits our style, we are light winds specialists and we had some good starts. It was a good day for us. It has been really nice here, with a great backdrop with the big wheel and close to the F1 racetrack. It is really, really outstanding and I hope we come back here next year.

Tan Wearn Haw, Trimmer, China Team:
“This sailing in Singapore is very convenient. I don’t have to fly half way round the World so I can just roll out of bed each morning! Most of the sailing is normally off the East coast or on the open sea so it is amazing that we managed to race right in the middle of the city, something so different!”

The Extreme Sailing Series Asia now moves on to Muscat, Oman, for the third and final leg from 1st-5th February 2010.

Final Leaderboard for Round 2 at Singapore:
1. Oman Sail’s Masirah 121 points
2. Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team 111
3. The Wave, Muscat 100
4. China Team 92
5. BT 87
6. Rumbo Almeira 77

Overall Leaderboard after Round 1 & 2:
1. Oman Sail’s Masirah 12 points
2. BT 7
2. China Team 7
4. The Wave, Muscat 6
4. Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team 6
6. Rumbo Almeira 4