Extreme Sailing Series: From Russia with Love
Published on August 18th, 2015
Saint Petersburg’s River Neva will be transformed into a spectacular racing arena for the world’s best multihull sailors to fight it out in Act 6 of the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series™ presented by SAP.
On August 20-23, eight Extreme 40s and their five-strong crews will be taking on the challenging conditions that the Neva will be throwing at them – one of the smallest city centre racecourses on the eight-event Extreme Sailing Series circuit, with shifty and sometimes punchy winds and strong currents.
Now past the halfway mark of the 2015 Series, home town boys, Gazprom Team Russia, currently in fourth place overall, are looking to continue their sparkling mid-season form with a big performance in Saint Petersburg.
Igor Lisovenko, the two-time Olympian and skipper of the Russian team, reckons the recent regatta on the Elbe river in Hamburg was the perfect warm-up for the Neva. “Hamburg was great training for Russia because we were sailing on a river with a strong current and not a lot of space. We are feeling really confident about the way we sailed in Germany and we are hoping to win in Russia on our home waters,” he said.
The Gazprom Team Russia helm, Phil Robertson, is ready to take on what he believes will be the most difficult racecourse on the circuit. “I’ve sailed in Saint Petersburg once before and I would say it’s going to be the hardest venue to race this year. The guys on board are going to be super fired up – we are ready for this.”
With only six points between the front-runners The Wave, Muscat, skippered by Britain’s Leigh McMillan, SAP Extreme Sailing Team, helmed by Denmark’s Jes Gram-Hansen and Red Bull Sailing Team, skippered by Roman Hagara of Austria, the pressure will be on, and a nail-biter can be expected as these crews continue their battle for overall supremacy in 2015.
Of the other boats, Oman Air will be looking to perform as they did on the final two days in Germany and increase their lead over Team Turx and GAC Pindar who are duking it out in joint sixth place. The Italians on Lino Sonego Team Italia, are not far behind in eighth, and are already showing signs that they are not going to give up without a fight.
Some new faces will be welcomed at the Russian Act, including British Artemis Offshore Academy solo-sailor Henry Bomby in place of Pedro Andrade on Team Turx. Roman Hagara is back helming on Red Bull Sailing Team as Jason Waterhouse focuses on his Olympic Nacra 17 campaign. Lino Sonego Team Italia will welcome 2014 Realteam Swiss crew members Arnaud Psarofaghis and Bryan Mettraux, replacing Lorenzo Bressani and Stefano Rizzi. On GAC Pindar the round the world sailing veteran and match racing expert Adam Minoprio, who made his 2015 Series debut in Hamburg, takes on helming duties from Seve Jarvin who will now act as tactician.
The regatta will be hosted by the Saint Petersburg Yacht Club with up to eight races planned each day.
The Line Up – Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6, Saint Petersburg presented by SAP
GAC Pindar (GBR)
Co-Skipper/Helm: Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Co-Skipper/Tactician: Seve Jarvin (AUS)
Mainsail Trimmer: Joel Turner (AUS)
Headsail Trimmer: James Wierzbowski (AUS)
Bowman: Adam Piggot (GBR)
Gazprom Team Russia (RUS)
Skipper/Tactician: Igor Lisovenko (RUS)
Helm: Phil Robertson (NZL)
Mainsail Trimmer: Garth Ellingham (NZL)
Headsail Trimmer: Alexander Bozhko (RUS)
Bowman: Aleksey Kulakov (RUS)
Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA)
Skipper/Tactician: Enrico Zennaro (ITA)
Helm: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
Mainsail Trimmer: Stefano Ciampalini (ITA)
Headsail Trimmer: Bryan Mettraux (SUI)
Bowman: Tom Buggy (GBR)
Oman Air (OMA)
Skipper/Helm: Stevie Morrison (GBR)
Tactician: Nic Asher (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Ed Powys (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Ted Hackney (AUS)
Bowman: Ali Al Balashi (OMA)
Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT)
Skipper/Helm: Roman Hagara (AUT)
Tactician: Hans-Peter Steinacher (AUT)
Mainsail Trimmer: Kate Macgregor (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Stewart Dodson (NZL)
Bowman: Shaun Mason (GBR)
SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN)
Co-Skipper/Helm: Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN)
Co-Skipper/Tactician: Rasmus Køstner (DEN)
Mainsail Trimmer: Mads Emil Stephensen (DEN)
Headsail Trimmer: Thierry Douillard (FRA)
Bowman: Brad Farrand (NZL)
Team Turx (TUR)
Co-Skipper/Helm: Mitch Booth (AUS)
Co-Skipper/Floater: Edhem Dirvana or Can Bayulken (floater/reserve) (TUR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Selim Kakış (TUR)
Headsail Trimmer: Diogo Cayolla (POR)
Bowman: Henry Bomby (GBR)
The Wave, Muscat (OMA)
Skipper/Helm: Leigh McMillan (GBR)
Tactician: Sarah Ayton (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Pete Greenhalgh (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Ed Smyth (NZL)
Bowman: Nasser Al Mashari (OMA)
Source: Extreme Sailing Series