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Stunning Opener for Extreme Sailing Lisbon

Published on October 6th, 2016

Lisbon, Portugal (October 6, 2016) – Extreme Sailing Series™ newcomers NORAUTO and Thalassa Magenta Racing made their intentions for Act 7 clear today as the penultimate stage of the global Stadium Racing tour got underway in Lisbon.

With the sun shining down on the beautiful blue waters of the River Tagus, Portugal’s capital city provided the perfect setting as the battle between the nine world-class crews restarted less than two weeks after Act 6 in the Madeira Islands.

Joining the stellar line-up for the first time were French-flagged NORAUTO powered by Groupama Team France and Thalassa Magenta Racing, the Extreme Sailing Series’ first all-female crew. Brad Funk’s Vega Racing completed the list of wildcard entries, returning to action after making their Extreme Sailing Series debut in Madeira last month.

NORAUTO wasted no time in showing the fleet what they were capable of, claiming the runners-up spot in the opening race. The team, led by New Zealander Adam Minoprio, followed up with three more podium finishes in five light-airs races to end the day in second place overall. Only Swiss team Alinghi bettered NORAUTO’s record, with two race wins and two seconds seeing them wrap up the day on top.

Minoprio, a former match racing world champion, said: “We’re very pleased with today’s results. We always knew it was going to be tough coming into a strong fleet, especially in lighter airs. We’ve had some good success previously on the GC32 Racing Tour but the Extreme Sailing Series fleet is very competitive so to come and be able to compete is good.

“I was pretty nervous about racing these guys but I’m pretty happy that we ended up putting in a solid performance. We’ve got our fingers crossed for a bit more wind so we can get foiling and improve some more.”

Despite ending the day one place above the bottom of the table, Thalassa Magenta Racing’s sailors came into the dock with huge grins on their faces after scoring a podium finish in what was only their second ever race together on a GC32. Led by former Olympian Sharon Ferris-Choat, the team includes some of the world’s best female sailors from all disciplines of sailing.

Ferris-Choat said the result not only settled a few opening day nerves but also proved the crew can compete at the highest level. “It was a huge day for us and Thalassa Magenta Racing,” said Ferris-Choat, who is racing under the Canadian flag.

“We were really anxious on the start line of the first race because it was something we’d never done before. Timing on the start is so critical in these boats and it can mean the difference between winning and losing so we played it a bit safe on the first race, but in race two we got in amongst it.

“Coming third in that race showed us mixing it up with the best of the best and proving to everyone that we can do it. Conditions were light and tricky but we sailed well. The anxiety levels going into tomorrow will be much less than they were today and we plan to sail smart and fast.”

Overall 2016 Extreme Sailing Series leaders Oman Air finished the opening day in third, just five points behind Alinghi, while Red Bull Sailing Team are six points further back in fourth. Home team Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira won the fourth race to the delight of the watching crowds to boost their overnight ranking to fifth, ahead of SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Vega Racing, Thalassa Magenta Racing and Land Rover BAR Academy.

The action resumes tomorrow at 1430 local time (GMT+1) and will include a longer coastal race alongside the usual high-octane short course Stadium Racing the Extreme Sailing Series is renowned for.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7 Lisbon – Standings after Day 1, 5 races
1st Alinghi (SUI) 55 points.
2nd NORAUTO (FRA) 53 points.
3rd Oman Air (OMA) 50 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 44 points.
5th Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira (POR) 39 points.
6th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 32 points.
7th Vega Racing (USA) 30 points.
8th Thalassa Magenta Racing (CAN) 29 points.
9th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 28 points.

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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)

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:

Source: ESS

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