Extreme Sailing Series - Full team line-ups unveiled

Terry Hutchinson onboard Extreme 40 Artemis Racing
Extreme Sailing Series - World Champions and ocean racing record holders, will be squaring up against Olympians and America’s Cup hotshots, in the impressive roll call for the Extreme Sailing Series this year. The full crew line-ups are unveiled today ahead of the first Extreme Sailing Series™ Act to be hosted in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman in February (20th-24th, stadium days 22nd-24th).

With a wealth of new teams and crew representing 15 nationalities, the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series season promises to be the most competitive yet with 11 boats manned with talent from every corner of competitive yacht racing – and the stats are impressive:

29 Olympians
12 Records set/broken
97 World Championships contended
11 Round the World navigations
69 America’s Cup sailed
4 Olympic Gold Medals
2 Olympic Silver Medals
2 Olympic Bronze Medals

You can find the full crew line-ups in the Team section of the website.

Olympic and America’s Cup sailors dominate the teams this year - Terry Hutchinson (USA) Artemis Racing, Dean Barker (NZL) Team New Zealand, Roland Gaebler (GER) Team Extreme, Roman Hagara (AUT) Red Bull Extreme Sailing and Sidney Gavignet (FRA) Oman Air, are just some of the superstars for 2011 who will be raising the bar ever higher.

Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave, Muscat will inherit the ‘young-gun’ title from the skipper he is replacing, Paul Campbell-James. Campbell-James’ unabashed and aggressive style saw him grab the 2010 title from the more seasoned skippers and, no doubt, his new Luna Rossa team will be hoping for a repeat performance.

Torvar Mirsky and his 2011 team onboard The Wave, Muscat

At the other end of the age spectrum the experience is mind-blowing - Olympian Roman Hagara has attended the Olympic Games six times, winning two gold medals and Team Extreme skipper Roland Gaebler won bronze. 2008 Yachtsman of the Year Terry Hutchinson and his Artemis Racing team have between them competed in the America’s Cup an impressive 15 times.

Groupe Edmond de Rothschild will return for their third Extreme 40 season having finished second overall for the past two years, but this time the all-French team will be headed up by Pierre Pennec replacing Yann Guichard who is now driving for Alinghi. Pennec, who represented his country at the Sydney Olympics in the Tornado Class, has been instrumental in the team’s success to date and is relishing the chance of leading the team.

Guichard, having made the switch to Alinghi, is in good company under the leadership of Tanguy Cariou (previously with Franck Cammas’ Groupama 40) and seasoned mulithull sailors Nils Frei and Yves Detrey. On team Niceforyou an all-Italian line-up, skippered by Alberto Barovier, will use their combined America’s Cup experience to the max. Team GAC Pindar will return for a full season in 2011, at the helm match racing supremo Ian Williams who is stepping from one hull to two in his first Extreme 40 venture.

This diverse range of competitive skills and experience is going to turn up the heat on the 2011 circuit making the outcome almost impossible to predict.

Going into this season probably at least two thirds of the teams have the experience, talent and sheer nerve to win, and they could all climb on to the podium. Paul Campbell James, helmsman of the 2010 winning team, now signed with Luna Rossa gives his assessment:

'Artemis Racing and The Wave, Muscat again will be strong. They [The Wave, Muscat] have Torvar, who has done a bit of 49ering and a lot of match racing and they have Nick [Hutton] and Khamis [Al Anbouri] back with them. You can’t rule out Alinghi and Team New Zealand. It is going to be wicked season!'

The 2011 Extreme Magazine is now available http://issuu.com/ocvision/docs/extreme2011?mode=embed&layout=http://skin.issuu.com/v/light/layout.xml&showFlipBtn=true!online!new.

Read the full Form Guide by DailySail editor James Boyd.

Extreme Sailing Series website