Extreme Sailing Series arrives in Cardiff

Published on August 20th, 2018

Before the Extreme Sailing Series moves to North America for the final two stops of the 12th season, the circuit descends on Cardiff Bay for the fifth event of 2018 to be held August 24-27 in Cardiff, UK.

Making the most of Cardiff’s perfect Stadium Racing setting, the foiling GC32 teams will fly around the tricky and tactical course over the August bank holiday weekend, giving their all in front of the crowds of supporters lining the shore.

“Cardiff is the smallest and most intense racecourse of all the venues this year,” explained Rasmus Køstner, skipper of last year’s season and Cardiff Act winners, SAP Extreme Sailing Team. “It is also one of the most unpredictable courses so you need to be ready for some quick decisions. It makes Cardiff an interesting place to race.”

SAP Extreme Sailing Team may have won the UK Act last year and currently sail in second place overall, but British squad INEOS Rebels are keen to bring new blood to the Cardiff podium this time around, following a third place finish in Cascais, Portugal.

“The team is pretty fired up for some good racing in Cardiff this year and we are looking forward to the support from the home crowd,” said the team’s skipper, Will Alloway. “It’s a big motivator for us when we are out on the racecourse.

“We had a debrief post-Cascais to analyse our performance and identify the areas for improvement. We want to go into Cardiff knowing we have done all we can to be as prepared as possible. We feel we are in a good place heading into the Act and hope our results will reflect this.”

Top dogs Alinghi will also be looking for another podium finish in Wales. The Swiss team currently leads the fleet, having taken three out of four wins so far this year. A force to be reckoned with, this elite team will be taking no prisoners on their quest for the coveted Cardiff trophy.

“The team has done a really good job to lead the fleet so far, but now the real deal starts. We will push harder than ever before to maintain our lead,” warned co-skipper and helm Arnaud Psarofaghis.

However, competition in Cardiff is expected to be tough. Phil Robertson’s Team Oman Air will be striving to break out of the third place ranking they’ve held all year, whilst Austrian challenger Red Bull Sailing Team – spearheaded by double Olympic gold medallists Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher – will be seeking the success they’ve missed out on throughout the 2018 season.

“We have a strong team of sailors and are sure that we can race for victory in Cardiff,” said a resolute Roman Hagara, the team’s skipper. “With a bit of luck, which we definitely have not had in the races so far this season, the podium is reachable.”

The aforementioned teams will be joined on the course by Team México and local wildcard, Team Wales.

GC32 racing will run daily from 14:00 until 17:00 BST/UTC+1.
For live online streaming broadcast … click here.

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Crew line-up for the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series™, Cardiff (Wales):

Alinghi (SUI)
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)

Skipper/Trimmer: Will Alloway (GBR)
Helm: Leigh McMillan (GBR)
Trimmer/Float: Adam Kay (GBR)
Mainsail 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)

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 trimmer: Rasmus Køstner (DEN)
Helm: Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Headsail trimmer: Hervé Cunningham (FRA/GBR)
Bowman: Richard Mason (GBR)
Trim assist/grinder: Julius Hallström (SWE)

Team México (MEX)
Skipper/Foil Trim: Erik Brockmann (MEX)
Helm: Tom Phipps (GBR)
Mainsail trimmer: Alex Higby (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Tom Buggy (GBR)
Bowman: Danel Belausteguigoitia (MEX)

Team Wales (GBR)
Skipper/Helm: Adam Piggott (GBR)
Headsail Trimmer: Alain Sign (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer: Martin Evans (GBR)
Boards/Float: Gareth Fowler (GBR)
Bowman: Peter McCoy (GBR)
Reserve/Shore Crew: Camilo Orobio (GBR)

2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ overall standings (after 4 events):
1st, Alinghi (SUI) 45 points
2nd, SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 44 pts
3rd, Oman Air (OMA) 41 pts
4th, INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) 37 pts
5th, Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 33 pts
6th, Team México (MEX) 27 pts
7th, NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) 7 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.

Source: ESS

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