Extreme Sailing Postponed in Barcelona

Published on July 20th, 2017

Barcelona, Spain (July 20, 2017) – The eight Extreme Sailing Series™ teams will have to wait until tomorrow for their first taste of Barcelona action after huge waves forced racing to be postponed on the opening day.

Race Director John Craig made the decision to suspend racing due to the tall, steep waves rolling through the city’s stadium racecourse that would have posed a safety risk to the fleet.

Craig said that such a sea state, combined with winds of up to 25 knots, would have likely caused the super-fast GC32 catamarans to fall off their foils and nosedive into the wave in front, potentially leading to capsizes.

Instead the fleet will kick off the fourth Act of the 2017 global Stadium Racing tour tomorrow when the sea state will have subsided and the winds dropped.

“Unfortunately due to the sea state being incredibly steep, wave heights being really high and the big breeze, we’ve had to cancel today’s racing,” Craig said.

“Tomorrow’s forecast looks like it will be significantly lighter with a typical sea breeze filling in later on, somewhere between 10 to 12 knots, with less sea state.

“It would have been hard for any boat to race in these conditions – the reality is that when they’re foiling they’d be coming up and down off the foils a lot and burying the bows into the waves in front.

“The boats are so close together that it would be a dangerous situation and we’d be creating capsize opportunities, which is not safe.

“It’s a hard decision but it’s based on safety and maintaining the fleet to get through the rest of the event.”

The postponement has left the crews of the eight international teams even more revved up to get racing – and resume the battle for the top spot on the Extreme Sailing Series leaderboard.

“We were all geared up for today because we knew that big breeze was forecast but it ended up being right on the limit of what we can race in,” said Pete Greenhalgh, mainsheet trimmer with third-placed Omani outfit Oman Air.

“You couldn’t ask for more from a venue. It’s paradise here – great sailing conditions just a stone’s throw from an amazing city. We’re thoroughly looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and starting to chip away at the scoreboard.”

The excitement was even greater among the young Spaniards of wildcard home team FNOB Impulse, who are making their Extreme Sailing Series debut fresh from racing in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.

“We are so hungry to get racing in these amazing boats but we’re just going to have to wait until tomorrow,” said skipper Jordi Xammar. “We have a great team of young guys and we’re just super-excited to get out there.”

Racing was also postponed for the Flying Phantom fleet, which will go head to head in Barcelona after making an impressive debut at Act 3 in Portugal’s Madeira Islands.

GC32 racing will kick off tomorrow at 15:00 local time (UTC+2), while the Flying Phantoms will race from 10:00.

Fans around the world can follow the action through the live blog at extremesailingseries.com while those in Barcelona can visit the race village by the W Barcelona hotel on the Plaça Rosa dels Vents in Barceloneta from 10:00 to 19:00 local time.

Racing will be streamed live on the Extreme Sailing Series Youtube and Facebook pages from 15:00 to 18:00 on Saturday 22 and from 14:00 to 17:00 on Sunday 23 July.

Fans can follow the racing remotely via the live blog from 15:00 – 18:00 UTC+2 on 20 and 21 July, and watch live on the official YouTube channel from 15:00 – 18:00 UTC+2 on Saturday 22 and from 14:00 – 17:00 UTC+2 on Sunday 23 July.

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Crew line-up for 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4, Barcelona, Spain

Alinghi (SUI)
Co-skipper/helm: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
Tactician/mainsail trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA)
Headsail trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI)
Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI)
Floater/foil trimmer: Timothé Lapauw (FRA)

FNOB Impulse (ESP) – Wildcard
Skipper/helm: Jordi Xammar (ESP)
Mainsail trimmer: Joan Cardona (ESP)
Trimmer: Luis Bugallo (ESP)
Bowman: Kevin Cabrera (ESP)
Foil trimmer/floater: Florian Trittel (ESP)

Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR)
Skipper/bowman: Rob Bunce (GBR)
Helm: Chris Taylor (GBR)
Mainsail trimmer: Sam Batten (GBR)
Headsail trimmer: Oli Greber (GBR)
Floater: Adam Kay (GBR)

NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL)
Co-skipper/helm: Chris Steele (NZL)
Co-skipper/mainsail trimmer: Graeme Sutherland (NZL)
Headsail trimmer: Harry Hull (NZL)
Foil trimmer: Josh Salthouse (NZL)
Bowman: Mike Bullot (NZL)
Reserve: Aaron Hume-Merry (NZL)

Oman Air (OMA)
Skipper/helm: Phil Robertson (NZL)
Mainsail trimmer: Pete Greenhalgh (GBR)
Headsail trimmer: Ed Smyth (NZL/AUS)
Bowman: James Wierzbowski (AUS)
Bowman: Nasser Al Mashari (OMA)

Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT)
Skipper/helm: Roman Hagara (AUT)
Tactician: Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT)
Mainsail trimmer: Stewart Dodson (NZL)
Headsail trimmer: Adam Piggott (GBR)
Bowman: Will Tiller (NZL)

SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN)
Co-skipper/coach: Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN)
Co-skipper/tactician/mainsail trimmer: Rasmus Køstner (DEN)
Helm: Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Headsail trimmer: Pierluigi de Felice (ITA)
Bowman: Richard Mason (GBR)
Trim assist/grinder: Mads Emil Stephensen (DEN)

Team Extreme (ESP)
Skipper/helm: Mitch Booth (AUS)
Tactician/trimmer: Alberto Torné (ESP)
Mainsail trimmer: Jordi Sánchez (ESP)
Foil trimmer: Jordi Booth (ESP)
Trimmer: Tom Buggy (GBR)
Reserve: Freddie White (GBR)
Reserve: Rubén Booth (ESP)
Reserve: Joan Costa (ESP)

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2017 overall standings (after 3 events)
1st Alinghi (SUI) 34 points.
2nd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 33 points.
3rd Oman Air (OMA) 30 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 26 points.
5th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 25 points.
6th NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) 23 points.

2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ calendar
March 8-11 – Muscat, Oman
April 28-May 1 – Qingdao, China
June 29-July 2 – Madeira Islands, Portugal
July 20-23 – Barcelona, Spain
August 10-13 – Hamburg, Germany
August 25-28 – Cardiff, UK
October 19-22 – San Diego, USA
Nov 30-Dec 3 – Los Cabos, Mexico

Background: The Extreme Sailing Series is in its eleventh season, with this year’s eight event tour travelling through Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas. The platform used is the one design foiling GC32 catamaran, with the format highlighting ‘stadium’ short-course racing in front of the public.

Source: ESS

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