At times, the Extreme Sailing Series and Cowes Week have seemed like strange bedfellows, but the combination of an event aimed squarely at spectators running alongside an event primarily for participating sailors has gelled a bit more in recent years with the Extreme Series adapting it’s programme to allow sailors to be part of the large crowds that come to watch the ‘stadium sailing’ format.
This year, Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, as the name suggests, has a new sponsor, and Aberdeen will activate that support through a branded Extreme 40 competing in the event ‘around the corner’.
Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, said:
“We are delighted to be sponsoring an Extreme 40. The Extreme Sailing Series is seen as the pinnacle of exhilarating ‘stadium’ sailing and as we seek to deepen our involvement within sailing, taking on such an exciting sponsorship is perfect for our brand development within the sport. We are very excited about all of our sailing sponsorships coming together at the forthcoming inaugural Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.”
The Aberdeen Asset Management Extreme 40 will be skippered by British Olympic 49er class contender John Pink. Pink is joined on the Extreme 40 with his regular 49er crew Rick Peacock. Pink said:
“I was proud to be asked to take the helm of Aberdeen’s first Extreme 40 entry, and to compete in the Extreme Sailing Series on behalf of the company in the first Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. The Extreme 40s are incredibly exciting both to sail and to watch and I look forward to hopefully bringing home success for Aberdeen at Cowes. Getting involved with Extreme 40s is a wise move on Aberdeen’s part – the Extreme Sailing Series is established as one of the top events in the sport, now in its fifth season, and is a truly global tour attracting huge crowds and international media coverage”
The water off Egypt Point is going to be crowded. The nature of the Extreme Sailing Series means that fleet racing is tight and the chances of collision are high. In Boston, 11 Extreme 40s competed and with the addition of the Aberdeen Asset Management boat, that could climb to 12.
But… America’s Cup teams Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing have a calendar clash for Cowes. The first round of the America’s Cup World Series was scheduled head to head with the Cowes round of the Extreme Sailing Series which means that the two Cup teams have to make some decisions.
We understand that at least Emirates Team New Zealand will field a boat and team in Cowes. The team, which has a large pool of sailors to choose from across many campaigns has the depth to be able to compete in both series. Artemis certainly has the budget to do the same and if anything, the participation of Cup teams in the Extreme Sailing Series is a great piece of cross-promotion for the Portugal event.