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Extreme Sailing Series: Do You Know The History?

From the drawing board to the water, since 2007 the Extreme Sailing Series has transformed the world of professional inshore sailing.

extreme sailing series
  • 2005. TornadoSport develop the game-changing 40-foot Extreme 40 catamaran with designer Yves Loday. A new generation of high-performance multihulls are born that will go on to change the face of sailing.
  • 2006. Extreme 40s debut on the international sailing scene during several stopovers of the Volvo Ocean Race, instantly attracting public and media attention, and gaining immediate kudos in the sailing world.
  • 2007. State-of-the-art sailing. Action packaged for the 21st century OC Sport makes an agreement with TornadoSport to develop Series and the iShares Cup is born with four European destinations: Amsterdam, (Netherlands), Munich, (Germany), Marseille, (France) and Cowes (UK).
    Elite level sailor. From the outset, the Series instantly attracted some of the biggest names in the sport from the America’s Cup, Olympics and offshore ocean racing scene.
    The first champion. Britain’s Rob Greenhalgh wins the first Series at the helm of Basilica.
  • 2008. International recognition. The Series wins the European Sponsorship Award for ‘Best Business to Business Sponsorship’ and is shortlisted for the Sports Industry Associations ‘Best Sponsorship of a Sports Event’ award.
    One of the most used sailing photographs of all time! The J.P.Morgan Asset Management Extreme 40 capsizes in Cowes, UK – and instantly hits headlines all over the world.
    Alinghi win 2008 Series. Ernesto Bertarelli’s America’s Cup winning team Alinghi win the Series after five European Acts.
  • 2009. An exhibition Series in Asia. The Series makes its first inroads into Asian market with a Series staged in Hong Kong, Singapore and Oman.
    Influx of French talent. Best of French multihull sailing talent come together as Loïck Peyron, Yann Guichard and Frank Cammas enter the Series.
    Masirah take 2009 crown. Oman Sail’s Masirah win with Brit Pete Cumming at the helm after six European Acts.
  • 2010. A new direction. OC Sport acquire the rights to the Extreme 40 class from creators TornadoSport allowing them to develop the rules of the event and boats in unison.
    Flying with wings. Red Bull Sailing Team enters the Series with double Olympic gold medallist Roman Hagara, becoming a permanent addition to the world-class line-up.
    Sailing Rocks. Organisers OC Sport continue to push the boundaries of sailing as an entertainment product bringing top music and sailing together with international DJ Rob da Bank ramping up the shore-side entertainment every night in Cowes, UK.
    2010 Champion. Britain’s Paul Campbell-James wins the Series at the helm of the Omani entry The Wave, Muscat in Almería, Spain after 130 races.
  • 2011. Going global. A nine Act global tour confirmed for the first time.
    Raising the bar. Offshore legend Sidney Gavignet, two-times winner of the World Match Racing Tour, Ian Williams (now a five-times winner), the Prada backed Italian America’s Cup team Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Kiwi America’s cup winner Dean Barker all enter the Series.
    The most talked about day in the history of the Series. The first Chinese event in Qingdao delivers one of the most memorable days ever with a major collision, four capsizes and one broken mast in almost unprecedented conditions.
    First live TV broadcast with national Turkish channel TRT, from Istanbul.
    Stopping Traffic. Traffic is cancelled on the mighty Bosphorus in Istanbul to allow the Extreme 40s to race on it for the first time.
    Going Stateside. First event in the USA in Boston for 4th July celebrations.
    Pushing the limits. Aberdeen Asset Management get their first taste of Extreme 40 racing at the UK Act, and in 20-25 knot gusty conditions pitch pole their catamaran.
    Swapping one hull for two. Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie announces his participation in the European Acts of Trapani, Nice and Almeria at the helm of Oman Air.
    Italian champions Luna Rossa win the Series in Singapore.
  • 2012. Fifth-crew member introduced, giving a female, under 23 or amateur the chance to compete.
    Best ever debut. Morgan Larson enters series at helm of Oman Air – and wins first ever Extreme 40 Act, a feat never before achieved by a new skipper to the circuit.
    Changing the game. SAP become Technology Partner, delivering cutting-edge solutions to provide sailors, spectators and media with an unprecedented sailing experience.
    Broadening the scale. The Series ventures to South America for the first time, debuting in Rio de Janeiro where Brazilian sporting legend Torben Grael enters final Act of the year with Team Brasil as a wildcard entry.
    The Wave, Muscat takes the win of the Extreme Sailing Series After 209 races. The Wave, Muscat win the Series with British Olympian Leigh McMillan at the helm.
  • 2013. Timing of Champions. EDOX Swiss Watches become Official Timekeeper in three-year deal and launch limited edition Grand Ocean Extreme Sailing Series™ timepiece.
    Singapore. Becomes a brand new international fixture on the global tour until 2015.
    Festival of sailing. Act 6 Cardiff presented by Land Rover attracts the biggest crowds the Series has ever seen with an estimated 120,000 strong crowd over the four day event.
    Global appeal. Extreme Sailing Series™ sets a new benchmark in global TV distribution, with 54 channels confirmed to broadcast the 2013 official TV series.
    Steady under pressure. Leigh McMillan becomes the most successful skipper in the Series’ history – after a down to the wire battle to win the 2014 Series in Florianópolis, Brazil.
  • 2014. The 2014 Series is officially launched at the London Boat show alongside Land Rover including new Host Venues in Saint Petersburg, Russia and Sydney Australia.
    Hotting up. 11 teams including the first ever Russian Extreme 40 team confirmed as the scene is set for one of the most competitive Series to date.
    Here come the girls. Five teams confirm female crew members including Britains double Olympic champion Sarah Ayton and the USA’s Anna Tunnicliffe, a twice ISAF World Sailor of the Year with her own gold medal too boot.
    International media attention. Series announced 26% increase in global media value as HAvas Sports & Entertainment confirms best ever global media value of €35.1million for 2013.
    Breaking new ground. First ever Turkish Extreme 40 team confirmed to race at Act 6 Istanbul.
    Alinghi take the Act and 2014 Series victory on Sydney Harbour with American Morgan Larson at the helm.
  • 2015. The 2015 Series is officially launched at Dusseldorf Boat Show with news that the fleet will return to Germany for the first time since 2010 but for the first time in Hamburg.
    Team Turx. Having tested the water in Istanbul in 2014, Team Turx return to the start line for 2015 alongside the first ever Italian team, Lino Sonego.
    Official Airline announced. Sultanate of Oman’s national carrier, Oman Air, become Official Airline to Series, reinforcing the Extreme Sailing Series™ position as the leading sponsor funded Stadium Racing circuit.
    End of an era. 2015 sees the last Series for the Extreme 40 as it is announced that the foiling GC32 catamaran will replace them. 
    Fog stops play. For only the fourth time in nine Series Mother Nature causes racing to be called off for the day.
    Out with a bang. The final race for the Extreme 40s saw Gazprom Team Russia crash into SAP Extreme Sailing Team, knocking them out of the action. But the jury award SAP Extreme Sailing Team redress, squeezing them into second for the Act.
    Sailor of the Year. Sarah Ayton, tactician on the The Wave, Muscat, is named ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2015.
    McMillan goes Above and Beyond. British skipper of The Wave, Muscat, Leigh McMillan, makes history claiming three championship titles, an unprecedented feat.
  • 2016. 2016 was the tenth year of elite level Stadium Racing for the Extreme Sailing Series™, in which the hydro-foiling GC32 catamaran made its debut, replacing the Extreme 40, and Portuguese destinations Madeira Islands and Lisbon premiered on the global circuit.
    Step aside gentlemen. Thalassa Magenta Racing took centre stage as the first all-female Extreme Sailing Series™ crew, notching up two podium finishes as a wildcard team in Lisbon.
    The year of the wildcards. 2016 saw 6 wildcard teams enter the fray throughout the year, heating up the competition and adding new players to the game.
    Extreme impact. The Extreme Sailing Series™ lived up to its name in Madeira Islands, with a collision between rivals Alinghi and Red Bull Sailing Team, resulting in the Swiss boat losing its mast.
    Double capsize. Strong winds on Sydney Harbour saw both Land Rover BAR Academy and Visit Madeira capsize.
    Back on top. Alinghi, helmed by Swiss gunslinger Arnaud Psarofaghis, claimed the Extreme Sailing Series title for the third time.
    Swansong for Phil Lawrence. One of professional sailing’s most cool, calm and collected figures, Lawrence ran more than 50 Extreme Sailing Series Acts during his six years as Race Director. Sydney marked the end of his time with the Series, with John Craig stepping up to the plate for the start of the 2017 season.
  • 2017. The feisty two-man catamarans compete as part of the on-water line-up at the European Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™. Red Bull Sailing Team, the Flying Phantom version, wins the first collaborative season.
    Head-to-toe in Zhik. Innovative clothing brand Zhik become Official Clothing Partner to the Series.
    Red Handed capture the action. Red Handed is signed as host broadcaster and IMG as distribution partner for the world-renowned Stadium Racing circuit.
    Highfield take to the water. Highfield is announced as Official RIB Supplier to the Series, with the aluminium-hulled rigid inflatable boat specialist providing the fleet of support and transportation vessels.
    Barcelona premiere. The Series makes its debut in the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, with the Race Village located at the foot of the iconic Hotel W Barcelona.
    The Series returns stateside. The Extreme Sailing Series returns to North America for the first time since Boston in 2011. San Diego, USA, and Los Cabos, Mexico, deliver two adrenaline-fuelled Acts to close a thrilling season.
    SAP Extreme Sailing Team taste sweet victory. With Kiwi Adam Minoprio at the helm, the Danish syndicate celebrates its first-ever Series win since joining the competition in 2012.

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