Harken Derm

Women’s Team Launched for Extreme Sailing Series Lisbon

Published on September 29th, 2016

The first all-female GC32 team, Thalassa Magenta Racing in partnership with the Magenta Project, will make its debut in the Extreme Sailing Series™ at the penultimate event of the year in Lisbon in just one week’s time.

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Sharon Ferris-Choat

Nine world-class teams will go head-to-head as the Portuguese capital hosts the global Stadium Racing tour for the first time on October 6-9.

The new kids on the block are sure to attract plenty of attention with a Thalassa Magenta Racing crew roster that includes some of the world’s most successful female sailors.

The new team will race with six crew members, as opposed to five on the all-male boats, and the Canadian-flagged catamaran will be skippered by New Zealand Olympian Sharon Ferris-Choat.

The race crew will be selected from a star-studded line-up including ocean racers Dee Caffari (GBR), Elodie Mettraux (SUI) and Abby Ehler (GBR); Olympians Sally Barkow (USA), Annie Lush (GBR) and Gemma Jones (NZL); Olympic Silver medalist Annemieke Bes (NED), Nacra 17 World Silver medallist Hannah Diamond (GBR) and 420 World and European champion Annabel Vose (GBR).

Thalassa Magenta Racing in partnership with the Magenta Project aims to give female sailors opportunities and pathways to compete at the highest performance levels of the sport. The team’s entry into the Lisbon Act is part of a long-term ambition to create an all-female crew capable of being competitive in the Extreme Sailing Series.

Ferris-Choat – the only woman currently racing on board a GC32 – is delighted to be racing in the Extreme Sailing Series. “To be part of the Extreme Sailing Series has been a goal of mine for ten years,” she explained.

“It is the Formula One of sailing. With successful corporate exposure and VIP hosting, it offers high return to team partners and is very exciting sailing for the sailors. It’s a great balance and we are pleased to announce Marinepool as our sponsor for Lisbon.

“We aim to put a competitive team together for the 2017 Series and Lisbon is the start of the adventure,” she added.

The participation of Thalassa Magenta Racing at Lisbon follows a GC32 training week earlier in the year for the all-female crew that saw a huge progression in skill and technique for the team.

Ferris-Choat continued: “To be the first all-female crew in the Extreme Sailing Series is a proud moment for all the girls in our GC32 Squad. We have so many girls wanting to compete at an elite level of sailing – there is a absolute need to create this opportunity.”

The team is the second wildcard entry to be announced for the Lisbon Act, following the news that NORAUTO, skippered by Kiwi match-racing ace Adam Minoprio, will also make its Extreme Sailing Series debut at the penultimate Act of the year.

USA-flagged Vega Racing, skippered by American Brad Funk, has also confirmed its entry in the Lisbon Act, following its debut in Madeira, bringing the tally of world-class teams on the starting grid to nine.

For the rest of the fleet, Lisbon could be a make-or-break Act, with only two events left this season, and the leaderboard closer than ever.

A spectacular win for Alinghi less than a week ago in Madeira saw the Swiss team narrow the gap in the overall rankings to Oman Air to just three points, while second place for Red Bull Sailing Team has put them well within reach of their first ever Series win, currently two points behind Alinghi.

This is the first time the Series has visited Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city. Four days of racing are planned, including a longer coastal race combined with the Series’ signature Stadium Racing format.

“I am looking forward to Lisbon very much,” commented Race Director Phil Lawrence. “We’re in the estuary of the port, so it will be tidal, and we could see a wide range of wind conditions; it could be quite windy or quite light.

“It will be a very different challenge for the sailors and it’s coming up really fast!”

The action begins on Thursday October 6th.

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The Line-Up – Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7, Lisbon, Portugal

Alinghi (SUI)

Skipper/Helm: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
Tactician: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA)
Headsail Trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI)
Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI)
Floater: Timothé Lapauw (FRA)

Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR)
Skipper/Bowman: Neil Hunter (GBR)
Helm: Elliot Hanson (GBR)/Chris Taylor (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Will Alloway (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Sam Batten (GBR)/Adam Kay (GBR)
Floater: Rob Bunce (GBR)

NORAUTO (FRA)
Skipper/Helm: Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Mainsail Trimmer: Arnaud Jarlegan (FRA)
Trimmer: Thierry Douillard (FRA)
Trimmer: Matthieu Vandame (FRA)
Bowman: Nicolas Heinz (FRA)

Oman Air (OMA)
Skipper/Helm: Morgan Larson (USA)
Mainsail Trimmer: Pete Greenhalgh (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Ed Smyth (NZL/AUS)
Bowmen: Nasser Al Mashari (OMA)/James Wierzbowski (AUS)

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: Brad Farrand (NZL)

Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira (POR)
Skipper/Helm: Diogo Cayolla (POR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Frederico Melo (POR)
Headsail Trimmer: Nuno Barreto (POR)
Bowman: Luís Brito (POR)
Floater: João Matos Rosa (POR)

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: Pierluigi De Felice (ITA)
Bowman: Renato Conde (POR)

Thalassa Magenta Racing (CAN)
Skipper/Helm: Sharon Ferris-Choat (NZL/CAN)
Crew: Gemma Jones (NZL)
Crew: Annemieke Best (NED)
Crew: Annabel Vose (GBR)
Crew: Elodie Mettraux (SUI)
Crew: Marina Lobato (POR)
Crew: Sally Barkow (USA)
Crew: Dee Caffari (GBR)
Crew: Hannah Diamond (GBR)
Crew: Abby Ehler (GBR)
Crew: Annie Lush (GBR)

Vega Racing (USA)
Skipper/Helm: Brad Funk (USA)
Tactician: Nick Thompson (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Trevor Burd (USA)
Bowman: Mac Agnese (USA)
Floater: Erick Rodriguez (PUR)

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2016 overall results (after 6 of 8 events)
1 Oman Air (OMA) 68 points
2 Alinghi (SUI) 65 points
3 Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 63 points
4 SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 52 points
5 Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 46 points
6 Sail Portugal-Visit Madeira (POR) 42 points
7 CHINA One (CHN) 29 points
8 Team Turx (TUR) 11 points

2016 Schedule
March 16-19 – Muscat, Oman
April 29-May 2 – Qingdao, China
June 23-26 – Cardiff, UK
July 28-31 – Hamburg, Germany
September 1-4 – St Petersburg, Russia
September 22-25 – Madeira Islands, Portugal
October 6-9 – Lisbon, Portugal
December 8-11 – Australia (location TBD)

Background: The Extreme Sailing Series is in its tenth season, with this year’s eight event tour travelling through Asia, Europe, and Australia. The platform used is the one design foiling GC32 catamaran, with the format highlighting ‘stadium’ short-course racing in front of the public. ESS website: http://www.extremesailingseries.com

Source: ESS

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