Tag Archives: extreme sailing series

Oman Air storms home to win on sensational final day

by Extreme Sailing Series.

Morgan Larson stormed home to an extraordinary win in the opening Act of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ in Muscat on Oman Air, alongside the team, which includes Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth and Omani national Nasser Al Mashari. Together the team won over 50% of the races sailed, more than any other team in Series history, as the Extreme Sailing Series officially completes the biggest transition of the last ten years. The flying GC32s have well and truly arrived.

Larson summed up the week: “It was a phenomenal week for the whole team and obviously great to do that here on home waters. We sailed at the highest level we have, so it’s going to take a lot of work for us to improve on from here. We know that a few of the other teams have some things to do and when they get that right, they’re going to be right there with us. We know they’re going to push and we have to keep on getting better.”

Muscat saved the best for last, cranking up the breeze for the final two races that literally saw the eight GC32s flying around the track, and at times teetering on the edge. Charging into the final race, four boats – SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Land Rover BAR Academy, Alinghi and Red Bull Sailing Team – were gunning for the podium positions, and a betting man would have thought it was SAP’s day. But the Danes missed a mark rounding, and when realising their error, crash-gybed, almost loosing their bowman Renato Conde in the process. Their mistake resulted in zero points in the race and a tumble down the rankings to finish in fifth.

A visibly dejected co-skipper Jes Gram-Hansen commented: “We are very disappointed right now. We’ve been second throughout the whole of the regatta. We had a great start, and were leading the race and then unfortunately we didn’t take the right course, we thought we were heading to the finish and there was still one lap to go. We made a major error. Saying that we sailed well, and have been throughout the whole regatta. Oman Air sailed really strong all week, but I think we should have been on the podium.”

Red Bull Sailing Team, who came into the day in fifth place, elevated their game, charging out with the bit between their teeth to take victory in the first two races of the day as well as the final double-pointer, and more importantly, second overall. Skipper Roman Hagara commented: “It was a really tough day. We started quite well but it came down to the final race, and we put everything into it. In the end, it was perfect for us.”

Land Rover BAR Academy, with 2015 Extreme Sailing Series winner Leigh McMillan at the helm alongside skipper Bleddyn Môn, took third place in the final race, and third place overall, leaving Alinghi three points back in fourth.

McMillan commented: “I’m feeling pretty pleased with a podium finish for the Academy at the first event of the season. Being a brand new team, and this, for a lot of the guys, is the first time they’ve sailed a boat like this. It’s just a fantastic result. Everyone on the team has been performing really well and the experience they’re gaining in such a short period of time is huge.”

The 19 races wwwd over four days delivered a sensational opening Act to the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series, as Andy Tourell, Event Director summed up: “The switch to the GC32 catamaran is the biggest transition the Series has ever been through, and Muscat has delivered near perfect conditions to get the Series off to a fantastic start. The competition on the water has been fierce, with the form guide all but ripped up as the fleet get to grips with flying. Next stop is China, where we will see more open water racing combined with our unique Stadium format.”

With seven Acts left on the global tour, and plenty of skills for the fleet to perfect as the year goes on, the 2016 Series looks set to go from strength to strength. Next stop, China, 29 April-2 May.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 1, Muscat standings after Day 4, 19 races (19.03.16)

Position / Team / Points

1st Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 217 points.

2nd Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Brad Farrand 184 points.

3rd Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Bleddyn Môn, Leigh McMillan, Ed Powys, Adam Kay, Neil Hunter 175 points.

4th Alinghi (SUI) Ernesto Bertarelli, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 172 points.

5th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi De Felice, Renato Conde 166 points.

6th CHINA One (CHN) Taylor Canfield, Chris Steele, Shane Diviney, Hayden Goodrick, Luke Payne 153 points.

7th Team Turx (TUR) Edhem Dirvana, Stevie Morrison, Cem Gözen, Alister Richardson, Anıl Berk Baki 140 points.

8th Sail Portugal (POR) Diogo Cayolla, Bernardo Freitas, Javier de la Plaza, Luís Brito, Winston Macfarlane 138 points.

The 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ was officially launched today in Dubai

by extremesailingseries.com

The 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ was officially launched at the Dubai International Marine Club today (10 February) with a full line-up of eight world-class teams, from eight nations confirmed.


As the Series heads into its tenth year, some of the world’s top sailors are preparing to take-off on a new fleet of GC32 catamarans, as the Series welcomes a new generation of foiling boats.

Touching down in eight iconic urban city centres, the Portuguese capital Lisbon makes its debut as a new Stadium Sailing racecourse and looks set to be a venue highlight for 2016. Alongside the Portuguese city will be seven other tried-and-tested city stadium settings, that have attracted more than one million spectators to the Extreme Sailing Series over the last nine years.

Event Director Andy Tourell commented on a landmark year. “2016 marks the tenth year of competition for the Extreme Sailing Series and it is going to be a milestone year for us in more ways than one, not least the change of racing platform to the GC32 which brings with it a whole new dimension to the racing and public experience.

“We have a chance to diversify our format, combining tradition-breaking and award-winning Stadium Racing with the incorporation of match racing, plus the chance to open up the racecourse in some venues, allowing these boats to really stretch their legs – starting with a 20km coastal race to start the season in Muscat, Oman,” he added.

The competition on the water promises to be fierce and action-packed with America’s Cup legends, Olympic heroes and world champions preparing to do battle at close quarters. Among the crews will be veterans of 13 Olympic campaigns and 22 America’s Cup campaigns. Between them they also hold 27 World Championship titles, 27 European Championships and 106 National titles.

On the grid for the new season are 2015 runners-up SAP Extreme Sailing Team co-skippered for a fifth year by Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner from Denmark, who have boosted their on-board talent with Italian Pierluigi De Felice, a multiple World Champion and three-times America’s Cup sailor.

SAP’s 2015 sparring partners, Red Bull Sailing Team, skippered by Austrian double Olympic gold medallist Roman Hagara with Hans Peter Steinacher calling the tactics will also return to the starting blocks.

2008 and 2014 Extreme Sailing Series champions from Switzerland and two-time winners of the America’s Cup Alinghi will return to the circuit armed with foiling expertise after coming second in the 2015 GC32 Great Cup. Team principal Ernesto Bertarelli will be sharing helming duties throughout the season with young Swiss talent Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI).

“Using the GC32 this season will be a great change to the circuit,” commented Psarofaghis. “It’ll be even more interesting on the small racecourses, with the boats coming in at more than 25 knots. We really like the Series and, with the switch to the GC32, it’s a really good opportunity for us. We know the boats well after a year racing on the GC32 circuit, but the other teams will catch up quickly.”

Alinghi’s former helmsman Morgan Larson will head up the Omani entry, Oman Air, alongside three of the five winning crew from the 2015 season. The Land Rover BAR Academy squad, announced two weeks ago, will be led for the first two Acts by the 2015-winning skipper and most successful sailor in Series history, Leigh McMillan, who will mentor the Academy sailors alongside experienced Extreme 40 crew Bleddyn Môn, Ben Ainslie and the Land Rover BAR senior team.

Edhem Dirvana, skipper of Team Turx, returns for his second year on the circuit, and for the first time, a Portuguese team led by three-time Olympian and 2015 Team Turx crew Diogo Cayolla, will make its debut.

Cayolla spoke passionately about the teams’ objectives. “Our main aims with this campaign are to develop Portugal’s talented sailors and to show people in our home country exactly what high-performance sailing is about,” he said.

“The combination of a team and the venue provide the perfect platform for us to do that. The Extreme Sailing Series is by far the most commercially-developed sailing platform where you can show off your brand, your country and your sailors. I don’t see any other circuits as global as this one.”

The global www

The fleet will once again do battle on a global www, taking in three continents over the next 10 months, bringing foiling to urban city stadiums for the first time. After the season-opener in Muscat in March – where the eighth team will be revealed – the fleet will travel to China’s Olympic Sailing City, Qingdao in May, a venue that has become a firm favourite on the Series calendar over the years.

Returning to Europe in June, the Series touches down on UK shores in Cardiff for Act 3 for the fifth consecutive year, an event that attracted record numbers of spectators in 2013, with over 120,000 people taking front row seats around Cardiff Bay. Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “This event is proving to be a spectacular event in the summer events calendar. We look forward to welcoming Extreme Sailing back to Wales again for the fifth year. In previous years, the event has provided Cardiff with a global position alongside other premium venues such as Singapore, Istanbul, Nice and Boston and has given us the opportunity to promote Cardiff Bay internationally as a world class sailing and water sports venue.”

The German metropolis of Hamburg will host Act 4 in July following its impressive debut in 2015, before the Series heads to the spectacular skyline of St Petersburg, Russia for Act 5 at the start of September, and onto Istanbul, Turkey for Act 6 just three weeks later.

New to the calendar for 2016 Lisbon/Oeiras, Portugal will make its debut as the penultimate Act of the year, before the Series comes to a crescendo at the final Act in Australia in December.

– See more at: http://www.extremesailingseries.com/news/view/the-extreme-sailing-series-launches-a-landmark-10th-season-with-new-boats-t#sthash.OCTTDnw4.dpuf

The end of an era

by sailingscuttlebutt.com


In 2007, the Extreme Sailing Series™ stormed onto the professional racing scene and changed the world of sailing forever, with it’s pioneering Stadium Racing format.

From Asia, the Middle East, South America, the USA, Russia, Europe and Australia, over the last nine years the Series has visited 25 international destinations including Rio de Janeiro, Venice, Amsterdam, Singapore, Hamburg, Sydney, Marseille and Boston.

Attracting the world’s best sailors to race in high-performance Extreme 40 catamarans, in 2016, the Extreme Sailing Series™ will celebrate its tenth anniversary, reinvigorating itself with the introduction of the ‘flying’ catamaran: the GC32.

This video looks back at the last nine-years. The end of an era

GC32 designer Martin Fischer talks foiling

by  Extreme Sailing Series

© Sander van der Borch / Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

© Sander van der Borch / Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

With the Extreme Sailing Series™ moving to the hydro-foiling GC32 catamaran in 2016, German naval architect and GC32 designer Martin Fischer talks through the technicalities of how these unbelievably fast rocketships rise up out of the water and fly across the surface.

Dr Fischer, who is at the forefront of the revolution in sailing brought about by the invention of foils, has got used to simplifying the complex design features and theories that underline a step-change in sailing that has already turned the leading edge of the sport into a hybrid between yachting as we thought we knew it and flying.

The key innovation is the foils, the slender carbon-fibre winglets or arms that are deployed under both hulls of the GC32 and provide the magical ingredient – lift. This is what enables the GC32s to rise up above the surface and fly in the air above the waves, travelling at speeds that would be unimaginable on conventional “displacement” boats.

“The foils work like wings on an aeroplane,” explained Dr Fischer, a physicist and specialist in fluid dynamics who has worked on America’s Cup yachts, Volvo Ocean Race yachts and maxi-multihulls for solo sailors. “The foils do two things at once on the GC32. They provide lateral resistance to counteract the sideforce created by the sails but, in addition, they also create a vertical force that pushes the boat up.”

And here’s the critical bit: “The faster you go, the more powerful this upwards force is and, at a certain speed, the vertical lift is big enough to carry the whole weight of the boat out of the water, just as a wing on a plane lifts the fuselage off the ground.”

One big difference between a racing catamaran and a plane is that a plane needs to keep rising to reach an altitude at which it can fly safely. By contrast a boat can only rise a relatively small amount before its foils lose contact with the water. If that happens the foils stall and the boat suddenly crashes into the weaves and stops. Not good.

To stop the GC32 rising too high, Dr Fisher worked out a profile for the foils so that the height of the boat stabilises automatically. “We opted for a V-shaped foil,” he said. “The specificity of this shape is such that it stabilises the foiling height automatically without any interaction from the crew. That makes it pretty easy for an inexperienced crew to sail this boat.”

In comparison to the foils that we saw being used at the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco, the foils on the GC32s are quite big. This is because you need bigger foils to generate lift in light airs and, unlike the big cats on San Francisco Bay where there was plenty of wind, the GC32s need to work in a broad range of conditions and often very light winds. The critical element is the take-off speed. At what point will the boat come up and start to fly? After running a series of simulations Dr Fischer arrived at a take-off speed of around 16 knots of boatspeed. This is achieved in about 14 or 15 knots of wind when the boats are going to windward and about eight knots of wind when the boats are going downwind under spinnaker.

Fischer knows perhaps better than anyone what it will take to race them at optimum performance. He says that with so many control points to adjust – rudders, sails, foils – trimming the boat and understanding where to deploy crew in terms of weight and balance will be critical. He predicts that subtle variations across the Extreme Sailing Series fleet will make all the difference in any given set of conditions.

Overall, however, the key will be managing the transition between displacement mode and foiling, especially at the turning points on the course. “Tacking and gybing are not so easy because on a foiling boat the speed is really high and during a gybe, for example, you lose a lot if you get back to displacement mode,” said Dr Fischer. “In order to reduce that loss, the crew have to be able to perform foiling gybes and that requires quite a bit of training, especially on a boat like the GC32 that does not have hydraulic systems to control the foils like on the America’s Cup boats.”

For everyone this is going to be an exciting season in the Extreme Sailing Series. For Dr Fischer, the adoption of the GC32 class is a special moment. “It is very exciting to have the GC32 in the Extreme Sailing Series. I am very proud of it.” he said.