The Extreme Sailing Series unveiled their line-up for the 2015 Series at the Düsseldorf Boat Show in Germany on 20 January 2015. With eight teams starting, it promises to be another competitive season.
Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of OC Sport, the organisation behind the Series, commented:
“The Series is now firmly established in the arena of world class professional sailing, and we have built that reputation by continually attracting some of the very best sailors in the world, supported by global brands, in iconic and attractive venues – competing annually and on a global scale,”
“And whilst the event has never changed its core DNA – racing in a stadium environment where exciting sailing is brought right to the audience – there remains a great deal to do. We must continue to innovate, to break new ground, change people’s perceptions of our sport, find new ways to share it and engage with new audiences around the world. That’s our ongoing challenge.”
Singapore opens the Series at The Promontory@Marina Bay, February 5 – 8
Singapore will open the Series on February 5 at The Promontory@Marina Bay with global asset management company, Aberdeen Asset Management, continuing as the local Event Main Partner for a third year.
The company will compete for line honours with Team Aberdeen led by skipper Nick Moloney, with America’s Cup sailor Adam Beashel, Team GB Tom Dawson, multihull expert Freddie White and local sailor and Asian Games medallist, Justin Wong, also on board.
Nick Moloney commented:
“Singapore has become an event all the teams look forward to as it is such a tight, challenging course. Plus this year, as the season opener, everyone is excited to be back on the water. Because of team changes, there is a degree of uncertainty too, which adds to the anticipation.”
Last year, Team Aberdeen was involved in a spectacular collision with French rival Groupama, highlighting the drama and spectacle that is often associated with the Extreme 40s.
Added Moloney, “Last year was tough after the crash on Saturday as we still had racing on the Sunday. We had to pick ourselves up, which was a test for us as you want to race but at the same time keep out of harm’s way – the wind is generally light but can funnel around the buildings in unexpected ways, so you never quite know what might happen.”
For the second year running, Aberdeen Asset Management will team up again with the Breast Cancer Foundation and turn the Race Village pink on 7 February for Pink@Extremes. Breast cancer survivors will take to the water against six other all-woman crews in a series of dragon boat races before entertaining the crowds in a special Zumba dance demonstration. The Team Aberdeen crew will adopt the Foundation’s signature pink hue for the day while other teams will also show their support for the Breast Cancer Foundation by sporting a pink leach flag on their racing boats on the Saturday. Members of the public who are keen to have a taste of the racing can also try their hand at the Aberdeen Winch at the Race Village and win themselves an opportunity to go on board Team Aberdeen.
According to Singapore’s Marketing Director, Patrick Corfe, interest in the event has never been higher:
“With the event into its third year, it’s clear Singapore has taken to the Extremes. The sailing is easy to watch, offers a great spectacle and yet is clearly sport at the highest level. As the boats are all the same, after three days of racing what separates them is the skill and tenacity of the crews.”
Spectators heading to The Promontory@Marina Bay can also look forward to stunning views of the race course while enjoying drinks at the Race Village Bar operated by Emerald Hill. Visitors to the event who are keen to get on the water can do so when they sign up for the opportunity to experience Dragon Boat racing on Sunday before the main Extreme 40s races begin. Those who are keen to remain on land can still find adventure by visiting the Land Rover Experience Zone, where they will have the opportunity to experience the unique off-road capabilities of a Land Rover, right in the heart of this beautiful city.
The Fleet – Eight Teams Representing Seven Nations
The competition on the water is intense, and there’s a reason for that. The fleet is made up of many of the world’s leading sailors – Olympic Champions, World Champions and America’s Cup veterans.
Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director, summarised what to expect:
“Racing in the Extreme Sailing Series is fast and furious and watching some of the best sailors in the world battling it out in such challenging environments makes for a fantastic spectacle. The boats are quick and tough, just like our vehicles and must perform whatever the conditions. We look forward to watching the inevitable high octane thrills and spills of the 2015 series with great anticipation.”
With several new faces for the 2015 season, the competition is likely to be more open than ever. A newcomer from Italy is Lino Sonego Team Italia, fronted by multiple world champion Lorenzo Bressani. Having ‘tested the water’ at the Istanbul Act in 2014, Team Turx skippered by Edhem Dirvana will also be a first timer.
Making up the field will be Gazprom Team Russia, who will return for a second season led by Igor Lisovenko; Oman Air will be back with Stevie Morrison from the UK at the helm; from the same country, two-time overall Series champions and 2014 runners-up, The Wave Muscat, also competes with Leigh McMillan in charge.
From Britain Ian Williams and 2014 helm Seve Jarvin of Australia will share driving duties onboard GAC Pindar, while Roman Hagara will compete in his sixth Extreme Sailing Series at the helm of Red Bull Sailing Team. SAP Extreme Sailing Team headed up by Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Kostner from Denmark will be looking forward to their fourth season with the ambition of improving their performance in the overall standings this year.
The award-winning and ‘ISAF Special Event’ world tour gets underway on February 5 at The Promontory@Marina Bay before moving on to Muscat, Oman a month later. The full calendar of race venues and dates are as follows:
Extreme Sailing Series TM 2015 Host Venues:
Act 1: Singapore, 5-8 February
Act 2: Muscat, Oman 11-14 March
Act 3: Qingdao, China 1 – 4 May
Act 4: Cardiff, UK 18-21 June
Act 5: Hamburg, Germany 23-26 July
Act 6: Saint Petersburg, Russia 20-23 August
Act 7: Istanbul, Turkey 1-4 October
Act 8: Australia 10-13 December
Extreme Sailing SeriesTM 2015 Teams and skippers:
Team / Skipper
GAC Pindar (AUS/GBR) – Seve Jarvin (AUS) / Ian Williams (GBR)
Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) – Igor Lisovenko (RUS)
Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA)- Lorenzo Bressani (ITA)
Oman Air (OMA) – Stevie Morrison (GBR)
Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) – Roman Hagara (AUT)
SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) – Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN) /Rasmus Kostner (DEN)
Team Turx (TUR) – Edhem Dirvana (TUR)
The Wave, Muscat (OMA) – Leigh McMillan (GBR)
*Act 1 home team: Team Aberdeen (SIN) – Nick Moloney (AUS)