Hamburg to host Extreme Sailing Series
Published on August 4th, 2017
International teams return to the Extreme Sailing Series™ when the fleet of GC32s gather on Hamburg’s River Elbe in Germany on August 10 to 13.
After four events, current standings see SAP Extreme Sailing Team leading as the Danes are tied on points with Alinghi but are ahead by virtue of finishing in front of the Swiss team in the last Act in Barcelona, which finished less than two weeks ago.
Oman Air’s victory in Act 4, Barcelona, saw it break its habit of finishing in third place, a curse that has loomed over it since the beginning of the season. The team’s mainsail trimmer and longstanding Extreme Sailing Series competitor, Pete Greenhalgh, hopes to continue this winning form next week.
“We had had three thirds before Barcelona which had been frustrating, so we were very pleased with the result there,” he said. “We still feel like there’s quite a lot more to come out of our team so we’re looking forward to the next event and trying to keep some momentum going through the Series.
“Hamburg is a really tight racecourse confined by concrete walls, but it can be really good racing if the wind blows from the right directions,” added Greenhalgh, whose crew has narrowed the gap to a single point between it and the two Series leaders.
For Arnaud Psarofaghis and his men on board Alinghi Barcelona was less of a success, as they finished off the podium for the first time this season and were knocked off the top spot on the season leaderboard by SAP Extreme Sailing Team.
“We know the Elbe is going to be a tricky venue so we just need to prepare as well as we can,” said co-skipper and tactician of SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Rasmus Køstner, whose team has now won two of the four Acts in 2017.
“In Hamburg it is important to make the best out of the opportunities you get because it’s very difficult to see the breeze and there’s a lot of current,” commented Køstner on the challenging German venue, located in the heart of one of Europe’s largest ports.
Red Bull Sailing Team bagged its best result of the year so far in the previous Act with a second. They remain in fourth place overall going into Act 5, where they secured a podium finish last season.
Land Rover BAR Academy follow the Austrian team in fifth, just one point ahead of NZ Extreme Sailing Team who sit bottom of the fleet.
“Hopefully this year we are stronger and we take the lessons from the venue last year. I think the tight and narrow course will suit us well, especially if the breeze is up,” said Rob Bunce, skipper of the British syndicate which is sponsored by the Series’ Exclusive Automotive Partner and Host Venue Partner to the Act, Land Rover.
The Kiwi squad will benefit from the coaching of four-time America’s Cup sailor Rob Salthouse – father of the team’s bowman Josh Salthouse – who is currently preparing for his fourth Volvo Ocean Race campaign with Team Vestas Wind.
They will be joined by new recruit, one of New Zealand’s top sailors, Josh Junior. Junior’s diverse CV includes a seventh-place finish in the Rio Olympics, a win in the 2016 Princess Sofia Regatta, multiple accomplishments in the Finn and a stint as a ‘cyclor’ for Emirates Team New Zealand during its winning 35th America’s Cup campaign.
The six regular crews will be joined by a wildcard entry, Team Extreme, skippered by Stevie Morrison.
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2017 overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 43 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) 43 points.
3rd Oman Air (OMA) 42 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 37 points.
5th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 32 points.
6th NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) 31 points.
Crew line-up for 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5, Hamburg presented by Land Rover
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)
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)
Reserve: Matt Brushwood (GBR)
NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL)
Co-skipper/helm: Chris Steele (NZL)
Mainsail trimmer: Josh Junior (NZL)
Headsail trimmer: Harry Hull (NZL)
Foil trimmer: Josh Salthouse (NZL)
Bowman: Shane Diviney (IRL)
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 (GBR)
Skipper/helm: Stevie Morrison (GBR)
Mainsail trimmer: Frederico Melo (POR)
Headsail trimmer: Tom Buggy (GBR/IRL)
Foil trimmer/bowman: Luís Brito (POR)
Bowman/floater: Linov Scheel (GER)
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.