Extreme 40s Test the Water in Arabian Challenge 1

The first Arabian Extreme 40 Challenge has begun in Dubai. The racing is the first of two demonstration events to introduce the class to the region to investigate the potential of a full series.

Four Extreme 40s teams including iShares and Oman Sail, will be take part moving from Dubai to Muscat, Oman, from 2-4 December.

The Arabian Extreme 40 Challenge will be run by OC Events, the owners and organisers of the successful European iShares Cup and supported by Oman Sail. Following the same short, sharp format as the hugely successful iShares Cup European Series, racing will take place in Dubai from the Mina Seyahi, before heading to Muscat for the second event (2-4 December) for the Oman Air trophy, in conjunction with the official launch of the Oman Sail project on 2 December.

Amongst the sailors will be of the world’s best yachtsmen and women, including British double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson and top French multihull sailor Karine Fauconnier. Olympic Bronze medallist Chris Draper will skipper Oman Sail.

The international crews will include Omani sailors on every boat, as well as a lucky ‘sixth man’ – a unique opportunity for a VIP or journalist to get onboard the Extreme 40s during racing and be part of the action. The four teams will not only be looking forward to racing old rivals, but it also provides a great opportunity to practice ahead of the 2009 iShares Cup, with plans firmly underway for next year’s series.

OC Event Director, Gilles Chiorri is yet to announce the European venues for 2009, but says: ‘We have been visiting a number of venues in the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany and Holland as we are looking to build on the successful foundations of the iShares Cup series over the last two years’.

He added: “The Extreme 40 boats are so spectacular, providing the public with real close-quarter action at a variety of venues – coastal, inland waters including inner city locations. There are a whole host of reasons as to what makes a good venue but, for sure, we are looking for premier locations that can offer the public a great spectacle as well as a fantastic VIP entertainment package.”