Ramping up for Extreme Sailing Barca
Published on June 7th, 2018
The Extreme Sailing Series™ fleet of seven hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans will descend on Barcelona for the third Act of the 2018 circuit. Four days of foiling action off the Catalonian coastline on June 14-17 is expected to experience a mixed bag of conditions from calm seas, thermal winds, and big swells.
“You can get a massive swell, and there is a rock pool which the swell bounces off,” explained Phil Robertson, skipper of Oman Air, winners of last year’s Barcelona Act. “It’s a tricky little spot – it can be light airs but it can also blow dogs off chains, so it’s pretty cool.”
Current Series frontrunners SAP Extreme Sailing Team will be looking to extend their overall lead in Barcelona. It’ll be all eyes on their new helm, multihull expert Morgan Larson from the USA, who joins the team for this Act as a temporary replacement for Kiwi Adam Minoprio – the team’s regular and highly successful helm who is unable to attend Act 3.
Austrian squad Red Bull Sailing Team will also be a hot tip for a Barcelona Act win, having finished second in the Act last year. The team’s Sport Director, Hans Peter Steinacher, is looking forward to the fight and is confident that his crew can out-perform the fleet once again.
“Last year Barcelona was great,” he reminisced. “We nearly won and that’s the goal for the 2018 Barcelona Act too. We think we can do it. It’s one of the most famous cities in the world and sailing in front of the crowds, with the backdrop and with great sailing conditions, it fully fits with the whole idea of the Extreme Sailing Series. It’s one of our best venues.”
Steinacher isn’t the only one who speaks fondly of the local crowds. Arnaud Psarofaghis, co-skipper and helm on board Alinghi, believes the crowds offer motivation to the teams when they need it most.
“You can hear them cheering, which is great,” he said. “It’s nice that we can show people what we do. They really enjoy it and that spurs us on.”
Despite Alinghi’s brilliant start to the season in Muscat, Oman, where they took the first Act win of 2018, the squad toppled off the top spot last month at the GC32 World Championship, finishing fourth in the Extreme Sailing Series rankings – one place ahead of British challenger, INEOS Rebels UK. They’ll be looking to climb the ranks again in Barcelona.
The regulars on the circuit will be joined by local team Spanish Impulse – a crew of Olympic hopefuls and sailors with Extreme Sailing Series experience from past campaigns, who plan to take their home waters by storm. Adding an element of the unknown to the competition, this wildcard team will keep the fleet on its toes as they race around the blue waters of Barcelona under the Spanish sun.
For details regarding the online live broadcast of the event… click here.
Extreme Sailing Serires™ Act 3, Barcelona line-up:
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)
INEOS Rebels UK (GBR)
Skipper/Headsail trimmer – Will Alloway (GBR)
Helm – Leigh McMillan (GBR)
Mainsail trimmer – Mark Spearman (GBR)
Float/Trimmer – Adam Kay (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)
Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT)
Skipper – Roman Hagara (AUT)
Sport Director – Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT)
Helm – Chris Taylor (GBR)
Mainsheet – Ed Powys (GBR)
Trimmer – Rhys Mara (AUS)
Bowman – Dan Morris (USA)
Flight control – Neil Hunter (GBR)
SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN)
Skipper/Tactician/Mainsheet – Rasmus Køstner (DEN)
Helm – Morgan Larson (USA)
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 – James Peters (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer – Alex Higby (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer – Tom Buggy (GBR)
Bowman – Danel Belausteguigoitia (MEX)
Spanish Impulse (ESP)
Skipper/Helm – Diego Botín (ESP)
Mainsail trimmer – Joan Cardona (ESP)
Headsail trimmer – Luís Brito (POR)
Bowman – Kevin Cabrera (ESP)
Foil trimmer/Floater – Florian Trittel (ESP)
2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ overall standings:
1. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN), Rasmus Køstner, 23 points.
2. Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli, 21 pts.
3. Oman Air (OMA), Phil Robertson, 21 pts.
4. INEOS Rebels UK (GBR), Will Alloway, 19 pts.
5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), Roman Hagara, 16 pts.
6. Team México (MEX), Erik Brockmann, 13 pts.
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 3 – Barcelona, Spain
July 5-8 – Act 4 – Cascais, Portugal
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.