Extreme 40s and Gondolas. iShares Cup Opener in Venice.

Forget the lazy romantic pace of a gondola. Venice is about to get a new kind of water based tourist attraction. The extreme 40 catamarans will race in the Italian city in the opening round of the 2009 iShares Cup. Bacino San Marco – Riva Sette Martiri, will host the dynamic, fan friendly series from the 15-17 of May.

The iShares Cup is the European tour for the dynamic Extreme 40 – 40 foot catamarans that “fly” a hull in as little as 8 knots of wind. Providing spectacular sailing footage, and top class racing, in 2009, the iShares Cup will bring top international sailors and their teams right to the heart of cities in a three day regatta, putting on stunning displays of close quarter battles on tight race courses.

Gilles Chiorri, Events Director at OC Events, promoters and race organisers said:

“We have spent the past six months touring Italy to find an ideal venue for the regatta and Venice came top in all our research. The Bacino San Marco provides a perfect grandstand for the general public to watch these amazing catamarans as well as providing good shoreside VIP facilities for our guests and sponsors. It will be the most stunning backdrop to a thrilling spectacle; modern hi-tech racing machines competing in the historic venue of Venice.”

The iShares circus will roll into town on Monday 11 May when the teams start to construct their boats and the VIP and media facilities are built on the banks of the waterway. The boats are highly portable, packed into a 40 foot container, and can be transported anywhere in the world and built in less than a day. Each boat races with a core crew of four professional sailors along with a “fifth man”, a VIP guest or member of the media, who is onboard, racing in the heart of the action.

Rick Andrews, Head of iShares Marketing Europe, the title sponsors of the series, said:

“Italy is a key market for iShares and Venice is the perfect location to host the opening event of the 2009 iShares Cup. One of the key factors making the iShares Cup so unique is the ability to bring sailing to the public by racing right in the heart of the city and Venice offers just that opportunity “

The iShares Cup Venice is strongly supported by Compagnia della Vela, the Venice yacht club. The President, Giorgio Orsoni :

“We are thrilled that such an important international regatta is coming to Venice. In just three years, the iShares Cup has become one of the top five sailing events in the World and we are honoured that it will be visiting our city. Venice and the Compagnia della Vela have the unique opportunity to live again the never forget experience of the Moro di Venezia.”