Extreme Sailing Series moves to Portugal
Published on June 29th, 2018
It’s mid-season for the Extreme Sailing Series™ as seven teams ready for the fourth Act on July 5-8 in Cascais, Portugal.
Hosted by the prestigious Clube Naval de Cascais as part of its 80th anniversary celebrations, big breeze is promised on the Atlantic. Cascais adds to Portugal’s impressive portfolio of Host Venues after the Extreme Sailing Series having previously been held in Porto, Lisbon and Madeira Islands.
Currently tied on 33 points apiece, it’ll be all eyes on Alinghi and SAP Extreme Sailing Team. Having taken a disappointing third place in Act 3, Barcelona, Rasmus Køstner’s Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team plans to make it a fight to the finish in Cascais.
“We’re going to make sure we’re firing on all cylinders,” said a determined Køstner, skipper for the team. “We are not planning on giving up this fight with Alinghi and Oman Air. We hope it can last all season down to the last race in Los Cabos.”
Swiss rivals Alinghi have different tactics though. Having sailed non-stop since the end of April, they’ve focused on resting up ahead of the game. Refreshed, poised and ready for action, they’ll be bringing their A game to the Portuguese Act.
Both teams boast Portuguese shore crew (João Cabeçadas on Alinghi and Renato Conde on SAP Extreme Sailing Team), allowing the sailors to draw on local knowledge when planning their on-the-water strategy.
Whilst the current Series frontrunners may take centre stage, there’s stiff competition waiting in the wings. Team Oman Air, skippered by Kiwi match racing champion Phil Robertson, will be looking to put in a repeat performance in Cascais, following a second place finish in Barcelona.
“We’ve been fighting hard to be ready for Cascais,” he said. “The focus for Team Oman Air has been on getting the boat back to her prime, then the racing comes next.”
The Omani team had their boat taken out of action on the third day of the Barcelona Act, following contact on the racecourse with Red Bull Sailing Team in Race 18.
A world-renowned sailing hub, Cascais is known for its significant breeze. Situated on the western tip of Portugal, the venue can be expected to present the teams with a range of typical Atlantic Ocean weather conditions for them to navigate.
“It will certainly be a windy event,” enthused Red Bull Sailing Team Sport Director, Hans Peter Steinacher. “Combine that with the power that we have on board our boat, with double Olympic gold medallist Roman Hagara on the helm, I think we will have a great Act. Hopefully we get four really good days together on the water.”
Team México skipper, Erik Brockmann, is also amped up for the Act.
“I have actually sailed in Portugal before, but in bigger boats,” he explained. “This time around, it’ll be quite different. It’s a great venue and I’m really looking forward to sailing there.”
Providing up and coming Portuguese sailors with experience in the ultimate Stadium Racing championship, grassroots Team Portugal will be a wildcard entry for Act 4.
“This team is a new team,” said co-skipper and professional Portuguese sailor Luís Brito of his crew. “We have no pressure other than to learn. Three of our crew members have never sailed this boat before; it will be fun.”
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2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ overall standings (after 3 events):
1. Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli, 33 points
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN), Rasmus Køstner, 33 pts.
3. Oman Air (OMA), Phil Robertson, 32 pts.
4. INEOS Rebels UK (GBR), Will Alloway, 27 pts.
5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), Roman Hagara, 25 pts.
6. Team México (MEX), Erik Brockmann, 20 pts.
2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 4, Cascais 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/Helm – Roman Hagara (AUT)
Sailing Team Sport Director – Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT)
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 – 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)
Team Portugal (POR) – wildcard entry
Co-skipper – Luís Brito (POR)
Co-skipper – Henrique Brites (POR)
Crew – Adam Piggott (GBR)
Crew – Bernardo Loureiro (POR)
Crew – João Assoreira (POR)
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.