Talk about enhanced competition and an unforgettable spectator experience, we, at IndiaYachtPage.com caught the first leg of the Extreme Sailing Series that took off last month in Muscat, Oman on March 8-11, 2017. The Extreme Sailing Series is held on the sport’s fastest, most hotly contested circuits. It is an annual global racing series, organised by OC Sport and since 2016 raced in GC32 catamarans. Before 2016 Extreme 40’s were used. According to the Extreme Sailing Series, the GC32 is faster than the Extreme 40 and considerably more challenging for the crew. The series started in 2007 with its main attraction being the stadium racing which puts the race course inside a stadium environment for the ease of spectators’ viewing. Many of the sailors taking part in the series are around-the-world yachtsmen, Olympic medallists, America’s Cup sailors, World and European champions and even world record holders.
SAP Extreme Sailing || Act 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series || 2017 || Muscat, Oman || Wednesday 8th March, Day 1. Photo: © Brian Carlin/SAP
So, why exactly does the Extreme Sailing Series standout as one of the best sailing events of the year? For starters, the boats are some of the sickest boats on the planet: the GC32. The word fast doesn’t even begin to describe them – they are mini rocket ships. For the second year in a row, the super-light GC32 catamarans will go head-to-head as they reach speeds of almost 75kph on ridiculously tight courses.
“Imagine a Formula 1 race on a go-cart course,” Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team’s Tactician, Hans-Peter Steinacher said. “You’re racing too big a boat on too small a course.”
More so, in reaching these nearly unfathomable speeds, they literally lift off the water and fly – making the racing not only nail-biting but also some of the best on the planet.
Sailing these mini water rocket ships are some of the best sailors on the planet. Each boat is teaming with Olympians, America’s Cup veterans, Volvo Ocean Race greats and world champions. Move over fantasy sports – this is reality. The teams will feature all of the above, including some sailors who are the future of sailing – its the perfect combination of experience and youth.
Unlike the America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, the Extreme Sailing Series is an annual series that continuously pits the sport’s fittest against each other over the year. Hitting locations such as Germany, China and Wales, the race also heads off to San Diego and Los Cabos, Mexico for the first time ever.