Though billed as the first round of the new Extreme Sailing Series Asia, the 2010 edition of the event is designed to get certain potential partners interested in the concept rather than entertain crowds or visitors.
It’s not all asian focussed though. The Austrian team of double Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, new to the extreme40, allows the series to show off a Red Bull sponsored extreme Sailing Team. The globally recognised energy drink has a reputation for sponsoring extreme sport, so should add some extra credibility to the event.
Roman Hagara, Skipper of Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team said:
“We are expecting a very strong field at the Asia Tour, including both the winning and the third-placed boat from the European circuit, who both sail for Oman, nevertheless, I am still expecting us to achieve some top results in the individual races.”
His tactician, Hans Peter Steinacher agreed:
“Our aim for the season is to finish in the top three on the Asia Tour, but the biggest challenge will of course be the boat’s huge dimensions. After all, apart from the Around the Island Race, we aren’t competing in long-distance regattas, but instead coming to towns and harbours with our “machine” to get close to the shoreline.”
The travelling circus will also feature Ian Walker, one of the most diverse sailors in the Series having skippered Green Dragon in the Volvo Ocean Race, been an America’s Cup skipper and double Olympic Silver Medallist:
“It’s going to be great to be back racing in China. The last time I was in the region, we were fighting atrocious conditions to bring our team home to Qingdao. To be back racing in such a spectacular location on these awesome Extreme 40s will be great and I’m looking forward to teaming up with Shirley Robertson again. The last time we were together was when I coached her in Athens when she won her second Gold medal – so I’m expecting another top ranking performance from her and the team!”
The racing in Hong Kong will take place 20 – 24 November, before the boats are packed up into their 40ft containers and shipped to Singapore (11 – 15 December) and then on to Muscat, Sultanate of Oman for the third event (1 – 5 February).