Next week (29th-31st August) the iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series arrives in Kiel, Germany – and thousands of spectators are expected to watch the incredible catamarans battle it out for the crown at the fourth event of this premier European circuit. The field is packed with the world’s top sailors from the world of the America’s Cup, Olympics and offshore racing scene and it is a rare opportunity to see this class of sailors racing so close to shore.
After 45 races over three European events so far this season it’s still incredibly tight at the top of the overall leaderboard, with just one point separating TEAMORIGIN (GBR), skippered by Rob Greenhalgh, from Ed Baird, skipper of Alinghi (SUI) – who has won the past two events.
One of the core objectives of the iShares Cup is to bring sailing to the public, and the new venue of Kiel Sailing City is ideal. Every year the German city hosts Kiel Week, a huge regatta and summer festival, which sees crowds of spectators lining the city’s sea walls to view the action, and the iShares Cup will be held in the same fantastic sailing amphitheatre. With the Extreme 40 racecourses set just metres from the shoreline, over 70,000 people are expected to come and watch the spectacular iShares Cup sailing in Kiel.
There will be onshore commentary in both English and German from Roland Gaebler, German Olympic bronze medalist at Sydney in the Tornado catamaran, to help visitors keep up with the fast and furious races. The iShares Cup race village will be open to the public, where there will be live music each evening – and lots of chances to find out more about the Extreme 40s and the incredible sailors who race them.
Having Kiel at this stage of the competition brings a lot of interest: first the scores on the leaderboard are very tight and we will have some real suspense over the three days of racing. Secondly the public will be able to watch the competition very closely as part of the racecourse is right alongside the shoreline, and there will also be a daily parade at 1345 to present the teams to spectators
explained Event Director Gilles Chiorri.
After a media and practice race day on Thursday August 28th, racing takes place from Friday 29th August to Sunday 31st August on the Kieler Førde, from the Marina and Germania Yacht Clubs at Kiellinie, between IFM-Geomar and Reventlouwiese. The teams will be taking guests for a sail on the Innerførde each morning, then racing starts at 2.30 each afternoon, with up to six short and sharp races scheduled each afternoon.
Follow all the action at http://www.iSharesCup.com