First US Team Announced for Extreme Series
Published on September 28th, 2017
US-flagged wildcard squad Lupe Tortilla Demetrio is to join the world-class international fleet for the remaining two Acts of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ in San Diego and Los Cabos.
The all-star American syndicate, which is sponsored by Texan restaurant chain Lupe Tortilla and Demetrio Tequila, will make its debut on the GC32 as the Series hits the waters of San Diego Bay on October 19.
Judson Holt, CEO of Lupe Tortilla, outlined the intention of the entry: “It is our hope that these two events will serve as a spring board for our team. Our goal is to attract American spectators and sponsors so that the USA can be represented in the Extreme Sailing Series at all events internationally in the years to come.”
The team recently finished competing in the 2017 Flying Phantom Series, which was held at the European Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series. Skipper John Tomko raced alongside Jonathan Atwood on the two-man foiling catamaran. Both sailors will now make the step up to the GC32; a scaled-up version of the hydro-foiling Flying Phantom crewed by five sailors instead of two.
“When the Flying Phantom Series partnered with the Extreme Sailing Series we decided to give it a try and I’m glad we did as it has been a lot of fun and great exposure for our sponsors. I watched the GC32 racing at the events and I was impressed,” commented Texan sailor Tomko, nine-time winner of the Great Texas 300-mile catamaran race.
“It will be an honor to share the racecourse with the extremely talented sailors who compete in the Extreme Sailing Series on the GC32. This is going to take a lot of hard work but I am fortunate and excited to have such an accomplished and skilled team on the boat.
“We just want to get a taste of what the GC32 racing is like. We also would like to use San Diego and Los Cabos to see if we can generate some more sponsor interest to possibly do the full 2018 season. In the end for us it’s about bringing racing on foils to the US.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to compete on US waters, it will be nice to have some local support,” added Tomko.
In addition to Tomko and Atwood, Lupe Tortilla Demetrio’s all-American crew also features Matthew Whitehead, a four-time F18 Youth World Champion who is currently competing in the World Match Racing Tour. Whitehead’s experience as wing trimmer in the 2013 and 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cups, combined with considerable training in the GC32, will stand him in good stead.
Brothers Tripp and Trevor Burd complete the talented line-up. 2015 US Sailing Multihull Champion Tripp holds valuable experience in the F18 and M32 catamarans. Younger brother Trevor, a member of the US Sailing Team, is the only sailor on the roster with previous experience in the Extreme Sailing Series having competed last year as part of wildcard squad Vega Racing.
Lupe Tortilla Demetrio is the first of two US wildcard announcements to come ahead of the San Diego Act.
The eight-strong fleet of GC32s, representing seven nations, will race just metres from the shore of San Diego’s Harbor Island from October 19 – 22. The free-to-enter public Race Village, which offers a prime viewing spot for the sailing, along with plenty of free on-shore entertainment, will be open from 10:00 local time (UTC-7) daily and is located at Harbor Island Park.
For those looking for a more unique experience, the Extreme Sailing Series offers a range of VIP packages, which include the opportunity to race on board a GC32 catamaran. More information on this, and about the event, can be found on the official website.
Lupe Tortilla Demetrio (USA) crew line-up for Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7, San Diego
Skipper: John Tomko
Crew: Jonathan Atwood
Crew: Matthew Whitehead
Crew: Tripp Bird
Crew: Trevor Burd
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.