After three action-packed Acts in Oman, China and Wales, the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ season is now approaching the halfway mark.
Today there is just one week to go until the fleet of GC32s takes to the waters of Germany’s “Gateway to the World”, the Port of Hamburg, which will play host to Act 4.
With around 10,000 vessels paying a visit to the Port of Hamburg each year, the fleet of seven hydro-foiling GC32s will race in one of Europe’s busiest ports, from the 28 – 31 July, on the waters of the River Elbe for the second time in the Series’ history.
To accommodate the introduction of the new fleet of boats the race area has been expanded slightly, allowing more room for manoeuvre in the super-fast GC32s. But, with the harbour walls enclosing the course, racing will still be at close quarters.
“The GC32s performed well in the close confines of Cardiff stadium setting last month, but the crews will face the additional challenge of strong tidal currents in Hamburg. I am expecting very close racing, with the mixed conditions throwing up some surprise results,” said Race Director, Phil Lawrence.
One team that knows better than most the impact that the shifty conditions on the River Elbe can have is SAP Extreme Sailing Team. Caught out by a gust midway through a gybe last year, the Danes took the plunge with a dramatic capsize, on a day which saw thunderstorms and winds of up to 30 knots (56 km/h).
“Despite the drama of a capsize and a huge collision we still finished on the podium and there were lots of things about our performance that we will try to repeat this time. We are getting more experienced in the GC32 and look forward to some close racing,” commented co-skipper Rasmus Køstner.
In Cardiff we proved we could put four days of good performances together and we are getting more and more of the small details right. We will keep pushing and keep improving,” continued Køstner, whose team pocketed their first podium finish in Cardiff last month, and currently sit in fourth on the leaderboard.
As the fleet enters the fourth Act of the eight-Act 2016 season, the teams have found their feet in the GC32s. However two teams dominate the leaderboard.
by Extreme Sailing Series