With less than a week to go until the Land Rover Extreme Sailing Series Act 3, Qingdao, there is a palpable tension in the air, as the nine-strong Extreme 40 fleet head to China’s Olympic sailing city.
A make or break racecourse, Fushan Bay in the heart of Qingdao is a perfect sailing stadium. Surrounded by skyscrapers, the gusts come in thick and fast but from unpredictable angles, with a tendency to catch the fleet off guard as they hit them, which is previous years has resulted in some of the biggest crashes and most dramatic moments ever seen in the Series.
For the team that can hold their nerve, the potential reward is worth it – for the last three years the crew that has mastered the conditions in Qingdao has gone on to win the Series – that honour going to The Wave, Muscat in 2012 and 2013, and Alinghi in 2014.
With up to eight races planned each day, the action will kick off Thursday 30 April with the official media day before the free to enter public Race Village opens located at Fushan Bay, the home of the 2008 Olympic Village, from the Friday 1 May.
Extreme Sailing Series 2015 Host Venues:
Singapore, 5-8 February
Muscat, Oman 11-14 March
Qingdao, China 1-4 May
Cardiff, UK 18-21 June
Hamburg, Germany 23-26 July
Saint Petersburg, Russia 20-23 August
Istanbul, Turkey 1-4 October
Australia 10-13 December
Teams and skippers:
GAC Pindar (AUS/GBR) – Seve Jarvin (AUS) / Ian Williams (GBR)
Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) – Igor Lisovenko (RUS)
Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA)- Lorenzo Bressani (ITA)
Oman Air (OMA) – Stevie Morrison (GBR)
Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) – Roman Hagara (AUT)
SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) – Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN) /Rasmus Kostner (DEN)
Team Turx (TUR) – Edhem Dirvana (TUR)
The Wave, Muscat (OMA) – Leigh McMillan (GBR)
Singapore home team: Team Aberdeen (SIN) – Nick Moloney (AUS)