Extreme Sailing Series 2015 presented

New Turkish and Italian teams, plus a new skipper for Oman Air as Alinghi departs

Tuesday January 20th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

2015 marks the ninth year of the Extreme Sailing Series in which it will visits eight venues on three continents, including a return to Germany for the first time since 2010. The grid will this year feature eight teams, representing seven nations.

The Extreme 40 skippers and sailors presented today at the Düsseldorf Boat Show.

Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of OC Sport, the organiser of 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.”

The Extreme Sailing Series continues thanks to the support of its partners, host venues and teams. Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director commented: “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.”

Eight Teams Representing Seven Nations

As ever the crew on the Extreme Sailing Series includes Olympic Champions, World Champions and America’s Cup veterans. But the 2015 season will see some new blood coming in, as reigning champions, Alinghi, step back after five seasons from the circuit.

Alinghi leave on a positive note. Team Principal, Ernesto Bertarelli reflected:  “Throughout our time sailing the Extreme Sailing Series, the racing has been electrifying, the venues iconic, the crowds huge and appreciative, the organisation superb, and the sport, most of all, exciting, competitive and a joy to be a part of.”

British four time Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams will return to GAC Pindar sharing skipper duties with 18ft skiff champion Seve Jarvin. Double Olympic Tornado gold medallist Roman Hagara will remain at the helm of Red Bull Sailing Team – his goal is quite simple: “To win the Series!”

SAP Extreme Sailing Team, headed up by co-skippers 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. Køstner commented: “Both myself and Jes Gram-Hansen return after a tough year in 2014 knowing we can perform better. We have high expectations to become a podium team, that focus hasn’t changed. We are coming back with an energised crew and an intense training schedule to prime us to fight for every point.”

The Series will see a new Italian entry - Lino Sonego Team Italia, helmed by multiple keelboat world champion Lorenzo Bressani, while Gazprom Team Russia returns for a second season led by Igor Lisovenko.

Oman Air is also back, but at the helm this year is Olympic 49er sailor Stevie Morrison, while Oman Sail will once again field two-time overall Series champions and 2014 runners-up, The Wave Muscat, with Leigh McMillan at the helm.

Having ‘tested the water’ in Istanbul in 2014, Team Turx, skippered by Edhem Dirvana, will be on the starting grid for 2015. Dirvana explained: “We are finally achieving this great honour of being the first Turkish sailing team to compete at this level. The Extreme Sailing Series has been developing every year and it is one of the most difficult races to win. Over the years this circuit has pushed sailing to be real high performance sport. To become a part of it is every sailor’s dream.”

For the opening event of the Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore, supported by Aberdeen Asset Management, Team Aberdeen will be racing for their country as the ‘home’ team skippered by Nick Moloney, who first competed on this circuit in its inaugural year in 2007.

An 11-Month World Tour

For the third successive year, Singapore supported by venue partner, Aberdeen Asset Management, will be the first event of the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series, starting on 5 February. It will be the fourth time the Extreme 40s have raced in Singapore, competing within the confines of the city-centre on Marina Bay.

Muscat, capital of the Sultanate of Oman, will host the second event, followed by China’s ‘Olympic Sailing City’ - Qingdao – both these venues have been long-term supporters of the circuit, hosting the Series since 2011.

Racing returns once again to Cardiff, moving to an earlier calendar slot in June, before the fleet head to 2015’s new venue: Hamburg, Germany. It has been five years since the Extreme 40s have raced in Germany – and the first time in Hamburg.

From Germany, the Series moves on to St Petersburg, Russia’s cultural capital for the second successive season, then Turkey before the Series concludes in Australia in December.

Extreme Sailing Series 2015 Host Venues:

Singapore, 5-8 February
Muscat, Oman 11-14 March
Qingdao, China 1-4 May
Cardiff, UK 18-21 June
Hamburg, Germany 23-26 July
Saint Petersburg, Russia 20-23 August
Istanbul, Turkey 1-4 October
Australia 10-13 December

Teams and skippers:
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)

Singapore home team: Team Aberdeen (SIN) – Nick Moloney (AUS)

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