Program takes shape for 2018 Extreme Sailing Series
Published on March 7th, 2018
(March 7, 2018) – The line-up is forming as the Extreme Sailing Series approaches the start of its 12th consecutive year on March 14-17 in Muscat, Oman. Seven teams will take to the water in 2018 for Act 1, the first of eight events in as many cities which will be competing on the GC32 catamarans across three continents.
Four teams return from 2017, a fifth team continues from the 2017 season finale in Mexico, with two more teams not yet disclosed.
Coming back to the circuit are some Extreme Sailing Series veterans and victors – including three-time Extreme Sailing Series champion Leigh McMillan, the British star who will take the helm for Land Rover BAR Academy.
“The competition is going to be really high this year, I think maybe one of the highest standards we’ve seen on the circuit in a long time,” notes McMillan. “Everyone has to be consistent over the season when it’s such a strong fleet.”
Kiwi sailor Adam Minoprio, helm for SAP Extreme Sailing Team, agrees: “This year looks like it’s going to be the toughest year in a long time. The line-up is going to make for some great racing – consistency is what will win the championship this year.” Having emerged triumphant in 2017, the Danish-flagged syndicate returns for its seventh Extreme Sailing Series.
Hoping to snatch back the title from SAP Extreme Sailing Team, three-time victors Alinghi are also back on the circuit returning with the same crew as last year led by co-skipper and helm Arnaud Psarofaghis.
Among the 2018 challengers is Team México – a wildcard entry in Act 8 of the 2017 Series. The team returns this year with a crew roster that includes of some of Mexico’s best sailing talent, such as skipper Erik Brockmann – a J70 World Champion and once ranked in the top-10 in the world in Optimists – and bowman Danel Belausteguigoitia.
Home syndicate Oman Air will be looking to climb the ranks from its 2017 third place podium finish. “We’re pumped and ready for the fight in 2018, ready to race on home waters as Team Oman Air,” declares Skipper and World Match Racing Champion Phil Robertson. “We’re determined and committed – we can’t wait for battle to commence in our home town of Muscat.”
Missing from the revealed teams is Red Bull Sailing Team, led by the Austrian duo of Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher and competing in the Extreme Sailing Series since 2010, which finished fourth overall in 2017.
Two further teams competing in Act 1, Muscat will be announced in the coming week.
For live coverage… click here.
The teams line-up – Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 1, Muscat, Oman:
Co-skipper/Helm: Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
Tactician/Mainsail Trimmer: Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA)
Headsail Trimmer: Nils Frei (SUI)
Bowman: Yves Detrey (SUI)
Foil Trimmer: Timothé Lapauw (FRA)
Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR)
Skipper/Trimmer: Will Alloway (GBR)
Helm: Leigh McMillan (GBR)
Float/Trimmer: Adam Kay (GBR)
Float/Trimmer: Mark Spearman (GBR)
Bowman: Oli Greber (GBR)
Oman Air (OMA)
Skipper/Helm: Phil Robertson (NZL)
Mainsail Trimmer: Pete Greenhalgh (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Stewart Dodson (NZL)
Bowman: Nasser Al Mashari (OMA)
Bowman: James Wierzbowski (AUS)
SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN)
Co-skipper/Tactician/Mainsheet: Rasmus Køstner (DEN)
Helm: Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Headsail Trimmer: Pierluigi de Felice (ITA)
Bowman: Richard Mason (GBR)
Trim Assist/Grind: Julius Hallström (SWE)
Team México (MEX)
Skipper/Foil Trimmer: Erik Brockmann (MEX)
Helm: Tom Phipps (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Alex Higby (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Tom Buggy (GBR)
Bowman: Danel Belausteguigoitia (MEX)
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.