2016 Extreme Sailing Series is an action packed sailing race that takes place over a span of 10 months and 3 continents. Since 2007 the Extreme Sailing Series has taken the world of professional inshore sailing by storm. The race visits 8 urban locations around the world with a variety of sailing formats. This high energy sport packs in lots of excitement with both open water and stadium style races.
This year, the 6th and 7th acts are held in the Madeira Islands and Lisbon respectively. Act 6 is set in the Marina Funchal where light to moderate winds pose a challenge to the competitors. The race, which was held September 22nd-25th saw a win for the Swiss team Alinghi in extraordinary circumstances on the waters of Portugal’s Madeira Islands.
The action continues in Act 7 when 2016 Extreme Sailing Series comes to Portugal’s capital, Lisbon on October 6th. This is the first time Lisbon is set as a race location and its Mediterranean climate makes it a great choice for an October race.
To add to the excitement, the Lisbon race is hosting the first all-female E Sailing Series team to join the competition. The Thalassa Magenta Racing crew is comprised of the world’s most prominent female sailors and they will join 8 other world class teams to compete in Lisbon. The female GC32 team is in partnership with the Magenta Project and is sure to grab a lot of attention.
This thrilling race brings excitement to seasoned fans and newcomers alike. The race village allows spectators up close views to the high energy sailing action. Plus, the event can be seen via live streaming around the world.
Each 10 to 12 minute race begins with a four minute countdown. No boats can cross the line before the start gun or will face significant penalties.
Many times, the races take place over courses with large coloured marks. Depending on the race, the course will vary. There are full fleet races, group races, straight line duels, speed trials, and match racing. Each team needs to out-maneuver the others while avoiding fouls and penalties that can result in disqualification.
The first team to finish wins and received 12 points. The winner of Act 8, the final act, gets double points so we can expect an amazing race in Sydney in December!
Which teams are competing?
The Extreme Sailing Series brings together Olympic heroes, World Champions, and legendary sailors to compete on a level playing field.
Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira (Portugal)
2016 is the first year the Portuguese team is participating. The top sailors make up this team who are excited to race close to their home country.
Sap Extreme Sailing Team (Denmark)
The team is headed by co-skippers, Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner and backed by software providers, SAP. This is the 5th time the Danish team has joined the competition.
Team Turx (Turkey)
The Turkish team joined the races last year and returns to this year’s races with full steam. Team is led by sailors Edhem Dirvana (Turkey) and Stevie Morrison (UK).
Gazprom Team Russia (Russia)
Supported by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, the team entered the Series in Act 5, St. Petersburg. The team’s crew has all been in the competition in the past, and are familiar with the difficult Stadium courses.
Vega Racing (USA)
The US team made their debut in Act 6 (Madeira) and aims to join the 2017 Series for all the races. The Team is led by Brad funk, skipper and team principal.
Team NORAUTO is the French sailing team powered by Groupama Team France, and joins the Sailing Series for Act 7 in Lisbon. The crew will include an amazing line up dominated by Groupama Team France sailors.
The Swiss team are former champions of the race and is led by team principal Ernesto Bertarelli , and Arnaud Psarofaghis. The crew is 2 time winners of America’s Cup and of the Extreme Sailing Series and are strong contestants in this years races.
China One (China)
Taking part of the full season, the Chinese team has Taylor Canfield as the lead sailor. This is the first Chinese flagged team to join the Series and in additional to winning, seek to develop sailing in China through education and world-class events.
Land Rover Bar Academy (Great Britain)
The British team is the youngest team in the race and features the some of the newest and best sailors in the UK. They sailors are mentored by senior members Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team.
Oman Air took fourth place in the 2015 series and sixth in the previous year. Morgan Larson leads the team and Nasser Al Mashari serves as bowman.
Red Bull Sailing Team (Austria)
An Olympic gold medalist, Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher are reunited with their crew in the 2016 Series. Skipper Hagara is Austria’s most successful sports celebrity having competed in the Olympics six times, and winning two gold medals for his country. This will be the team’s 7th season in the races.