What is the Extreme Sailing Series?
I’m fairly new to sailing as you will know, and keep seeing tweets and references to the Extreme Sailing Series at the moment. I’m not sure what this is so thought what better way to learn than to write a blog about it.
So, the Extreme Sailing Series is a series of sailing races. Currently the teams use a class of catamaran called Extreme 40. As the number would suggest, the catamarans are 40 feet long and, coincidentally, can attain speeds of 40 knots. Other impressive statistics include a mast length of 62 feet, a 23 foot beam, a mainsail measuring 75 square meters, a jib of 25 square meters and a Gennaker of 110 square meters. They displace 1250 kg of water (slightly more than me!) and sorry for the inconsistancy in units of measurement!
The series of races, now in the 5th year, is a globlal event with races taking place in nine venues around the world. These nine venues, or Acts, will result in 282 races being won or lost, each lasting 20 minutes and for a total of 47 days. Here are the venues and dates:
Act 1 Muscat, Oman 22-24 February 2011
Act 2 Qingdao, China 15-17 April 2011
Act 3 Istanbul, Turkey 27-29 May 2011
Act 4 Boston, USA 30 June to 4 July 2011
Act 5 Cowes, UK 6-12 August 2011 (on my doorstep)
Act 6 Trapani, Italy 16-18 September 2011
Act 7 Nice, France 30 September – 2 October 2011
Act 8 Almeria, Spain 12-16 October 2011
Act 9 Singapore 9-11 December 2011
The teams seem to be representing their countries (11 in total) and currently the leaders after Act 7 are Groupe Edmond de Rothchild (France) with 61 points followed by Luna Rosa (Italy) on 59 points and third is Emirates Team New Zealand (New Zealand) with 54 points. Points are allocated as follows: 1st place = 11 points, 2nd place = 10 points, 3rd place = 9 points, I think you get the idea, and penalty points can be awarded for crashing into other boats, or causing a nuisance by sailing badly. Double points are awarded for the final race at each venue, which can result in some very extreme sailing and a tense finish. The winners of the series receive just the honour of winning! Recent changes have meant that the sailing courses are set out close to shore at each venue so spectators have an up close and personal view of the action, and it really is not to be missed.
All that remains to say is if you would like to know more there is an excellent website at Extreme Sailing Series. Here you can find information on all the teams, the results, venues and also photos and videos of the Acts. See you in Almeria!
Image courtesy of untipogratico