Extreme Sailing Series Reveals 2018 Plan
Published on February 12th, 2018
The 2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ is ready to fly for the 12th consecutive year, with the global tour confirming the schedule that will include eight major cities on three continents.
The Middle East, Europe and the Americas are all on the line-up for what promises to be another year of foiling action, as the Series continues to provide a guaranteed annual proposition to teams and partners on a global scale.
Fans won’t have to wait long to get their first Extreme Sailing Series fix, with Act 1 taking place in just over four weeks’ time in Muscat, Oman on March 14-17. David Graham, Oman Sail CEO, welcomed the opportunity to host the season opener.
“This world-class stadium event attracts the global media spotlight and brings hundreds of inbound travellers to our shores to enjoy the high octane and very accessible racing action. The event allows us to showcase the country to the world and fits perfectly with our mission to promote the Sultanate as a high end and adventure tourism destination.”
The second point-scoring stage of the 2018 Series will see the Extreme Sailing Series and GC32 Racing Tour fleets combine at the World Championship event on May 24-27 in Lake Garda, Italy. This will be the GC32s’ first ever World Championship since becoming a World Sailing recognised class last year.
The fleet then moves quickly for the next stop on June 14-17 in Barcelona, Spain. While the second time for the city, the venue will be based out of a new location at the state of the art Marina Vela. “The Extreme Sailing Series is no doubt one of the most important circuits in international sailing,” explains local organizer Xosé-Carlos Fernández, CEO of FNOB CEO. “It is a perfect complement to the Barcelona World Race, our two-crew round-the-world race.”
From Barcelona, the fleet heads to Portugal on July 5-8, at a venue to be announced in the coming months, before St Petersburg, Russia, makes a comeback on the calendar on August 9-12. Arguably one of the most iconic city-centre stadiums set against the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Winter Palace, and a key market for many of the partners, the city previously hosted the Series in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Cardiff will welcome the fleet again as part of the Cardiff Harbour Festival over the UK August Bank Holiday weekend on August 24-27. Always a firm favourite with the public and the sailors due to the accessible waterfront stadium and close racing, this year is expected to be even more spectacular as Wales celebrates its ‘Year of the Sea’.
The fleet then leaves Europe behind and heads west to the USA, where San Diego will host the penultimate Act on October 18-21. The event became an instant hit with spectators and sailors alike in 2017, producing phenomenal racing, on a tactical racecourse that provided the public with front row seats.
Joe Terzi, President and CEO of San Diego Tourism Authority, commented: “This unique event offers visitors a chance to glimpse an exciting race that few cities around the world are lucky to host, and our local economy benefits by giving visitors a reason to return to San Diego.”
Following a hugely successful debut last year, the grand finale will take place on November 29-December 2 in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Rodrigo Esponda, Managing Director Fiturca, commented: “2017 was a great success and among the most successful events that took place during the year in Los Cabos. We are honored to have the Series back in 2018 for the season finale, showcasing Los Cabos around the world as one of the leading tourism destinations.”
Andy Tourell, the Extreme Sailing Series Event Director, who has led the development of this pioneering sporting property for the last six years commented: “The Series will continue to deliver a busy menu of racing unrivaled by other events, which can see up to 32 races at every Act. This means more racing for the sailors and a better entertainment schedule for public spectators, VIP guests and media.
“We will also continue to build on the trend of the past four years that has seen the average size of racecourses grow, while maintaining the proximity of the foiling action to the shore.”
The world class standard of racing and unique corporate sponsorship platform offered by the Series, which is one of only seven World Sailing Special Events, will see both returning and new crews made up of some of the world’s best sailors.
2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ calendar
March 14-17 – Act 1, Muscat, Oman
May 24-27 – GC32 World Championship, Lake Garda, Italy
June 14-17 – Act 2, Barcelona, Spain
July 5-8 – Act 3, Portugal
August 9-12 – Act 4, St Petersburg, Russia
August 24-27 – Act 5, Cardiff, UK
October 18-21 – Act 6, San Diego, USA
November 29-December 2 – Act 7, Los Cabos, Mexico
Background: The Extreme Sailing Series is in its twelfth season, with this year’s eight event tour travelling through Middle East, 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.