Barcelona, Spain (June 14, 2018) – The first day of the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 3, Barcelona did not disappoint, with big breeze propelling the high-speed GC32 catamarans around the course at speeds nearing 30 knots.
Austrian challenger, Red Bull Sailing Team, shot straight into the limelight. Charging through the ranks, the crew demonstrated exemplary boat handling, clocking five podium finishes over the course of the day.
Red Bull Sailing Team Sport Director, Hans Peter Steinacher, was thrilled with today’s results, the crew having suffered a few blows to the points in both Act 1, Muscat, Oman and the GC32 World Championship in Riva del Garda, Italy.
“The team is young and the sailors play on the playground out there,” he said. “This is how you win Extreme Sailing Series events. They are focussed – you have to create your own mode but as a team, we are really strong.”
“There’s always more to work on though,” added a cautious Roman Hagara, the team’s skipper. “Still, if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll be fine.”
The Austrian contingent hopes to improve on last year’s result in Barcelona, where they eventually finished third after a tough battle with Oman Air.
Snapping at the heels of Red Bull Sailing Team, last year’s Barcelona Act winners Oman Air also showed fighting form. Their GC32 foiled with finesse but a few poor decisions forced extra manoeuvres, wasting time and costing them several places in the rankings.
“The conditions were really tricky out there today,” Skipper Phil Robertson explained. “Staying stable on the foils is difficult in a relatively big sea state. It was actually very hard to get the boat in a good mode and sail simply. We’ll be working on that for tomorrow.”
Current Series frontrunners SAP Extreme Sailing Team sailed true to form once again, finishing the day just behind Red Bull Sailing Team in second.
However, it was all eyes on comeback kids Alinghi in the final races, following issues with their mainsail that caused a retirement from race three, and prevented their participation in race four. They were pulling no punches upon their return to the racecourse, snatching a win from Red Bull Sailing Team in the fifth race of the day.
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Barcelona standings after Day 1, 6 races
1st, Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Chris Taylor, Ed Powys, Neil Hunter, Dan Morris, Rhys Mara: 62 pts
2nd, SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Køstner, Morgan Larson, Julius Hallström, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason: 59 pts
3rd, Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey: 57 points
4th, Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Stewart Dodson, Nasser Al Mashari: 57 pts
5th, INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) Will Alloway, Leigh McMillan, Oli Greber, Adam Kay, Mark Spearman: 54 pts
6th, Spanish Impulse (ESP) Diego Botín, Joan Cardona, Luís Brito, Kevin Cabrera, Florian Trittel: 47 pts
7th, Team México (MEX) Erik Brockmann, Tom Buggy, Alex Higby, James Peters, Danel Belausteguigoitia Fierro: 42 pts
2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ overall standings (after 2 events):
1. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN), Rasmus Køstner, 23 points.
2. Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli, 21 pts.
3. Oman Air (OMA), Phil Robertson, 21 pts.
4. INEOS Rebels UK (GBR), Will Alloway, 19 pts.
5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), Roman Hagara, 16 pts.
6. Team México (MEX), Erik Brockmann, 13 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.