Tag Archive | "Ben Ainslie"

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British Challenge accepted for the 35th America’s Cup

Posted on 21 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Royal Yacht Squadron Racing] Royal Yacht Squadron Racing (RYSR) has had its challenge accepted by the America’s Cup defender, the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco. RYSR is the affiliate club of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the challenging club for Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), now the official British entry for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.

Signing of the America's Cup Notice of Challenge. Photo credit Jessica Dobbs

The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), having won the 34th America’s Cup, holds the America’s Cup in accordance with the terms of a Deed of Gift dated 24 October 1887 and will be hosting the event in three years’ time, although the location is yet to be confirmed, being either San Diego or Bermuda.

RYSR submitted its Notice of Challenge to the GGYC during the two-month open entry period which closed on Friday 8th August. The entry has now been formally accepted.

Each team that challenges for the America’s Cup is required to do so through a host club.  The America’s Cup started its long history at the Royal Yacht Squadron when the schooner America beat a fleet of British racing yachts to the finish line there on 22 August 1851, watched by Queen Victoria.

“We are delighted that Ben Ainslie Racing, led by Sir Ben, has asked Royal Yacht Squadron Racing to challenge on his behalf and are sure that, if anyone can bring the Cup back to its original home, he and his excellent BAR team can,” commented Simon van der Byl, CEO of RYSR.

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Ben Ainslie Racing Team Launch – Press Conference

Posted on 11 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Ben Ainslie Racing Team Launch – Press Conference

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Sir Ben Ainslie Launches British America’s Cup Challenge

Posted on 10 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Ben Ainslie Racing] Sir Ben Ainslie, one of Britain’s best sailors, today launched his bid to win the America’s Cup, the 163-year old trophy never won by Great Britain. The Duchess of Cambridge, a keen sailor herself, attended the launch at the Royal Museums Greenwich to show her support for the campaign.

The four-time Olympic gold medal winner, Sir Ben, who announced his challenge with Yacht Squadron Racing, said:

“This is the last great historic sporting prize never won by Great Britain. It has always been my ambition to mount a home challenge. The time is right and I am hugely encouraged by the support we are getting, not least from the Duchess of Cambridge. I learned a great deal aboard Oracle in San Francisco and I would not be challenging if I did not believe we have a real chance of winning this time.”

Ainslie became the world’s most successful Olympic sailor after winning a fourth gold medal in London 2012, and quickly turned his attention to his long term ambition – winning the America’s Cup for Britain. In 2013, Ainslie became the first Briton to be part of a winning America’s Cup team in 110 years with ORACLE TEAM USA. He played a vital role in one of the greatest comebacks sport has ever seen, overturning an 8:1 deficit to Team New Zealand, and allowing the USA to retain the trophy. Now Ainslie is planning to take the trophy from the Americans in 2017, and bring the America’s Cup back to Britain with his team, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR).

Sir Keith Mills with The Duchess of Cambridge, Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Charles Dunstone in front of the America’s Cup. London, 10 June 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Sir Charles Dunstone, Chairman of BAR’s Board said:

“This campaign is about righting a wrong. We have never won it. We have an amazing maritime history. The Cup has to come home, we have to do that.”

The team announced that it will be representing Yacht Squadron Racing, which is affiliated to the Royal Yacht Squadron, and it means that should BAR be successful and win the Cup for Britain it will bring it back to Cowes and the place where it all began 163 years ago. Royal Yacht Squadron Commodore, Christopher Sharples, said, “We are absolutely delighted to be working with our member Sir Ben Ainslie in his patriotic quest to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain. Since losing the original race in 1851, the Squadron have made a number of unsuccessful attempts to win the Cup, the previous and most recent occasion was in 1958. Sir Ben has impressed us with his incredible track record, his total commitment, his ability to build a most impressive management team and recruit some of the world’s top sailors and designers with the relevant experience.”

BAR has been in gestation since 2011, when Ainslie first started to look ahead to life beyond the Olympics.

He spoke with ORACLE TEAM USA (OTUSA) CEO, Russell Coutts with the sole intention of trying to buy an AC 45 multihull to compete in the 2012/13 America’s Cup World Series. Coutts had a better idea and instead offered him a job with the Americans. Ainslie subsequently negotiated both a role with OTUSA and his own World Series entry for BAR. It worked out well for both OTUSA and Ainslie, who gathered crucial experience; and as a result of circumstances, found himself substituted onto the US boat in the tactician’s role for the 34th America’s Cup.

The spectacular 9:8 OTUSA victory provided the perfect springboard for Ainslie to return to the UK and seek support for a British effort. The first meetings last October were with Sir Charles Dunstone and Sir Keith Mills, their unwavering commitment gave Ainslie the courage to push on to find other private investors to build a viable British challenge. Subsequent backing came in the form of Chris Bake, Peter Dubens, Lord Irvine Laidlaw, Ian Taylor and Jon Wood. Ex-head of the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV and a keen sailor, Lord Michael Grade was asked and agreed to take on the role as an independent board member alongside Linklaters Chairman and Senior Partner Robert Elliott.

The early investment was critical to building a successful team behind the scenes with the America’s Cup predominantly being a design contest. Following the 2013 Cup, the transfer market for the top design talent was predictably hot, but the private investor funding already achieved made it possible to attract several top names.

Technical Director and two-time America’s Cup winner Andy Claughton (GBR) will lead the design team. Initial signings include six-time America’s Cup winners Dirk Kramers (NED/USA) and four times winner Clay Oliver (USA). Designer and performance optimisation expert Jason Ker (GBR); Aero and Hydrodynamics specialist Rodrigo Azcueta (ARG); Hydrofoiling Catamaran specialist (and America’s Cup winner with BMW Oracle for the 33rd America’s Cup) Benjamin Muyl (FRA) are already on board.

The UK has consistently produced excellent performances in sports that marry the human body with a machine; we know that Britain has the sporting and technological expertise to succeed in the America’s Cup. BAR plans to forge strong relationships wherever the skills and technology are to be found – not just in the traditional marine industry – and it will create these relationships based on a sustainable business model. And just as many F1 teams develop and bring to market the technologies they produce, BAR will look to replicate this model in its own way.

The Sailing Team Manager will be the highly experienced New Zealander and three-times America’s Cup winner, Jonathan Macbeth who sailed with Ainslie in both the 2007 and 2013 America’s Cups. Other signings at this early stage include Britain’s David Carr and Nick Hutton who both raced with Luna Rossa in the 34th America’s Cup, Andy McLean (NZL) who was part of the Artemis Racing team in 2013 and former World Match Race Champion, Matt Cornwall (GBR). The rest of the management team is made up of James Stagg, who takes the role of Shore Team Manager; Andy Hindley has joined as Chief Operating Officer, a position he also held with the America’s Cup Race Management organisation for the event in San Francisco; Ainslie’s long-term Commercial Manager, Jo Grindley heads up the Commercial, Marketing, Communications and Events teams.

The British team also announced its first major partner – 11th Hour Racing Inc, a company focused on sustainable sailing. BAR will showcase a sustainable business model, and rethink the way natural resources are used to deliver a winning team. BAR will work with 11th Hour Racing to achieve this, encouraging staff and their supply chain to design out waste and manage resources efficiently, redesign the organisational process, work with universities, research institutions and innovative companies to develop new technologies, and create a template for the wider marine industry.

Announcing their sponsorship of BAR, Jeremy Pochman, Director of 11th Hour Racing, Inc. said: “11th Hour Racing Incorporated promotes better practices in competitive sailing while connecting the team with the means to make our sport more sustainable and promote the health of our oceans. We committed our inaugural sponsorship to Ben Ainslie Racing because of the team’s goal to build and race sustainably for the America’s Cup.”

The team has also announced that they have signed Official Partner agreements with KPMG (Business development partner), Linklaters (Legal services), Henri Lloyd (technical clothing), Siemens NX (software supplier) Scorpion Ribs (support boats) and technical supply deals with Princecroft Willis (accountancy services), Esteco SpA (engineering software), SOS Rehydrate (medical drinks) and The Goring (hospitality partner).

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Podium wide open ahead of Extreme Sailing Series Muscat final showdown

Posted on 22 March 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] The punishing light winds and beating Arabian sun called for nerves of steel on the penultimate day’s racing of the Extreme Sailing Series in Muscat, which saw a reshuffle of the pack and a shift in power on the leaderboard. Overnight leaders Alinghi managed to hold onto pole position and withstand the onslaught of pressure from the rest of the pack, but it couldn’t be closer at the top, with just 14 points between the top five boats – less than the difference of tomorrow’s final double points race. SAP Extreme Sailing Team did well to put themselves back in the game, heading into tomorrow’s final showdown in second place, but the team of the day was Ben Ainslie’s J.P. Morgan BAR, with three race wins for the Brits, who are now threatening the podium hard. Tomorrow’s final will come down to which team can withstand the pressure, and fans around the world can watch it live at a new time of 1500 local time/1100GMT/1200CET.

Alinghi marked their intent from the first start gun with a race win, but even the light wind specialists struggled for consistency in breeze of around five knots, and it looked like the tricky course may have finally got the better of the Swiss America’s Cup winners with a last place in race 16. Race 19 and the team turned it around, hitting the reset button and clawing back some valuable points, as helm Morgan Larson explained: “Things can come and go out there, you try and stick to the same objective and sometimes the wind doesn’t go your way or you get stuck in a tough spot. I think a lot of the other competitors that came out today had already figured it out, so we got caught up a little bit. You have to have the best day tomorrow, you can’t hold back.”

SAP Extreme Sailing Team played a steady game, keeping their heads cools and their concentration level, slowly chipping away at the points with consistent results throughout the day. A win in the final race elevated the team to second place, and their elated co-skipper and tactician Rasmus Kostner was thrilled with the comeback. “That was really close racing all day. We got some good starts, we got some good positions on the left hand side of the course – we are super happy. Four points (between them and Alinghi) is nothing, you can win or lose that in one race so it’s all on tomorrow. We just need to push on, get everything right – there’s no room for mistakes on a course like this.”

Ben Ainslie sits in fourth place at the Extreme Sailing Series event in Oman. Muscat, 21 March 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

The Kiwis on Emirates Team New Zealand, who were the fastest off the startline today according to the SAP analytics, are breathing down the necks of the Danish, just one point behind, but the legendary America’s Cup skipper Dean Barker knows the team have more to give. “It didn’t feel like a good day for us to be honest. I think we made a couple of silly mistakes. The day could have gone a lot better, and tomorrow is going to be a very busy day. Whoever sails reasonably smartly tomorrow will have a good chance of being successful. You just battle for every point in every race.”

The four-times Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie and his team on J.P. Morgan BAR hit accelerate today, and really applied the pressure, coming together as a team with all the right moves to take three race wins. The British team upgraded their overnight position from sixth to fourth, and their tactician and Olympic champion Paul ‘Goodie’ Goodison is ready for the final battle. “I’m pretty surprised we’re as close to the leaders as we are, but it’s really good. It means there’s still a lot to play for and if we keep improving like we have done the last three days we should be doing alright.” Reflecting on the day, he continued: “I think we had a good set plan before the start. We wanted to be the first boat out on port heading into what we thought was more pressure, and it seemed to work most of the time. Apart from that, when things didn’t go well, we did quite a good job of pulling back. I think a lot of that is where we’re still learning to sail the boat and becoming a bit more confident in our skills, which is starting to show up.”

Realteam were also able to upgrade their overall position today, from ninth to seventh, seeing more of the form we saw at Act 1 in Singapore, where the team took third place, as were Gazprom Team Russia, who took their first race win this year, elevating them from tenth to eighth. “We’re starting to sail better, our starts are better and we’re a bit more in the mix now. Everyone was pretty pleased to get the first bullet, but hopefully it’s the first of many,” commented their helm Paul Campbell-James.

The light winds punished some of the teams hard, including the defending champions and the home team The Wave, Muscat and Groupama sailing team. Neither team were able to put in the consistent performance that will be needed if they want to be stood on the podium tomorrow, but they did enough to keep themselves well in the game – The Wave, Muscat in fifth place on 118 points and Groupama sailing team in sixth with 105 – three points ahead of Realteam. Meet Leigh McMillan and The Wave, Muscat team here.

Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 2, Muscat standings after Day 3, 21 races (21.03.14)
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 132 points.
2nd SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 128 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 127 points.
4th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 122 points.
5th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 118 points.
6th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 105 points.
7th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri 102 points.
8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 99 points.
9th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson 96 points.
10th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 88 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, David Gilmour 59 points.

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JP Morgan BAR announce full British line up ahead of 2014 Extreme Sailing Series debut

Posted on 19 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: JP Morgan BAR] With only one day to go before their Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) debut in Singapore, J.P.Morgan BAR announce that America’s Cup sailor, Nick Hutton will join Sir Ben Ainslie’s racing entry, completing the full British line up. It is a return to the global series for the Devon born sailor and his support and guidance will be invaluable for the new team.

Hutton, considered to be one of the most experienced sailors in the Series, has already enjoyed extreme success having won the series in 2010 with Omani entry, The Wave, Muscat. “It’s fantastic to be involved with J.P. Morgan BAR and to be back competing in the Extreme Sailing Series. Winning the series in 2010 was a huge highlight for me and I am absolutely hoping for a repeat performance with BAR, we are in for an exciting year – there are lots of new faces, there’s tough competition, plus some tricky venues so it is a really interesting time to for us to be involved’ he commented.

Sir Ben Ainslie and Nick Hutton during Wednesday’s training session. Singapore, 19 February 2014. Photo copyright Howie Photography

The experienced sailor will join Ainslie, 2008 Olympic gold medallists, Paul Goodison and Pippa Wilson and Match Racing World Champion, Matt Cornwell as the team’s trimmer. “It’s fantastic to have Nick on-board with J.P.Morgan BAR; he brings a huge amount of technical knowledge and experience to an already talented team. We are all looking forward to Singapore; it is our first ESS event competing together so it is a pretty big test for us. There’s eight Acts over the course of the year so this will be a complete learning curve and we are looking to set ourselves up for the challenging series ahead” commented quadruple Olympic gold and silver medallist, Ainslie.

Alongside their partnership with J.P. Morgan, BAR are supported in their Extreme Sailing quest by their technical clothing supplier, Henri Lloyd and Scorpion Ribs, who supply the team chase and hospitality boats for the series.

Full J.P.Morgan BAR crew list
Skipper/ Helmsman – Sir Ben Ainslie
Mainsail Trimmer/ Tactician – Paul Goodison
Bowman – Matt Cornwall
Trimmer – Nick Hutton
Trimmer – Pippa Wilson

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Ambitious Extreme Sailing Series confirmed for 2014: Full starting grid, 3 continent world tour & 2 new venues

Posted on 08 January 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] Extreme Sailing Series organisers OC Sport, alongside Land Rover, one of two Series Main Partners, have today confirmed details of their most ambitious Series to date at the London Boat Show. The award-winning and ‘ISAF Special Event’ world tour will celebrate its eighth year on the international sailing calendar with eight iconic Host Venues spanning three continents, over eleven months and nine elite level teams representing seven nations, who will compete to win the coveted Extreme Sailing Series trophy.

Executive Chairman of OC Sport, Mark Turner, commented: “2014 is the eighth year of this the original Stadium Racing circuit, and significantly our fourth as a world tour. We’ve added two commercially important markets for our stakeholders, and retained six existing venues as well as all the teams from 2013 – we continue on an upward curve with this event which is delivering elite level top class sporting action, as well as strong commercial return on investment for all its stakeholders. That combination remains number one priority for us with this event.”

Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director commented: “The new season brings eight exciting global locations, all important markets for Land Rover, and this includes two completely new cities, Saint Petersburg and Sydney. Each Host Venue will provide a unique mix of excitement, challenge, accessibility and the very highest quality of competition sailing. Land Rover is immensely proud to be a Series Main Partner for the Extreme Sailing Series. The determination, courage and ability to intelligently respond to fast changing conditions are what is required to be at the top of the sport and these are all virtues shared and recognised by Land Rover and our customers.”

For the first time, Singapore will host the curtain raiser to the 2014 Series, with the first starting gun on 20th February. In Singapore the fleet will race within the confines of the ultimate city-centre stadium on the world-famous Marina Bay. From Asia, to the Middle East and the capital of the Sultanate of Oman for Act 2 19-22 March, before the fleet return to China’s ‘Olympic Sailing City’ Qingdao, China’s premier racing destination in May.

A brand new venue for 2014 is Saint Petersburg, Russia. A city with an extraordinary history and Russia’s cultural capital, it is considered to be one of the world’s most picturesque cities. It has all the ingredients for an unforgettable Act, 26-29 June.

The annual UK leg will take the fleet of high-performance catamarans to the heart of the Welsh capital in Cardiff – one of the smallest stadiums on the world tour over the UK August bank holiday weekend, 22-25 August.

From 11 September, the waters separating Asia and Europe will host Act 6 as the fleet return to the magnificent city of Istanbul, Turkey – a favourite amongst the teams with tide and wind, set against a city backdrop instantly recognised the world over, before the penultimate Act of the year at a Host Venue to be confirmed in the Mediterranean in early October.

The final Act of 2014 will be held in one of the most iconic cities in the world as the fleet head to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time, the Harbour City in Sydney Australia in December – a city with one of the world’s most famous waterfronts.

Notably absent for 2014 and not in the Extreme Sailing Series calendar is Brazil, but the tour will return in 2015, following on from the successful final 2013 Act in Florianopolis.

Superb lineup of some of the world’s best skippers for the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Nine teams – Seven Nations – 45 Elite Level Sailors

2014 will see one of the most exciting and competitive line-ups in the eight years of competition – America’s Cup winners, heroes of multiple Olympic Games, World Champions and round the world sailors – will go head to head on a stadium racecourse that has a reputation as one of the toughest in professional inshore sailing. All teams from 2013 will return in 2014, alongside some new faces, a testament to the long-term sustainability of the Series.

One of three British skippers signed up for 2014 is the world’s greatest Olympic sailor, who played a key role in ORACLE TEAM USA’s astonishing victory in the 34th America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay, Sir Ben Ainslie, who is back in the Extreme Sailing Series after competing in three Acts in 2011 with Oman Air. This year Ainslie will field his own team, J.P. Morgan BAR. And the man who counts four Olympic gold medals and a silver in his trophy cabinet, plus countless world titles in the Laser and Finn classes, is itching to get back involved in the adrenaline-fuelled Extreme Sailing Series. “I remember that it is crazy racing. Anyone who has seen the Series – or taken part in it – will tell you that the style of the courses, the speed of the boats and the number of boats on any side of the course at one time, means there is a lot of action and a lot of potential for crashes and incidents. So it makes for exciting racing and you really have to be on your toes.” Despite Ainslie being one of the most in demand sailors of his generation, he will take nothing for granted on the stadium racecourse. “There are some strong teams that have been going at it for some time. You look at Leigh (McMillan) – he and his team have been the stand-out performers for the past two seasons. Then there’s the likes of Alinghi. So you look at the talent out there and the history they have in this Series and it feels like we’re the new kids on the block.”

Reigning champion Leigh McMillan will be back at the helm of The Wave, Muscat and he will not be giving up his crown without a serious fight, in what could be a hat-trick year in 2014 for the British Olympian “I love the racing. It’s intense, never the same, always changing. So, I am thrilled and excited to be back in 2014 and the treble would be something I would be very proud to achieve,” commented McMillan. “We are expecting 2014 to be quite different this year. The fleet is going to be bigger and more competitive. It’s an exciting prospect, it raises the tempo and we are in a great position to compete and to be competitive. It’s a thrill, a rush, it’s just the best place to be and in 2014 there is no better place to be than in the Extreme 40s.”

Oman Sail will field a second team from the Sultanate, Oman Air, helmed by Brit Rob Greenhalgh. Winner of the inaugural Series in 2007, Greenhalgh is not only one of the most experience Extreme 40 sailors in the fleet, his impressive CV also boasts three Volvo Ocean Races, seven Atlantic crossings, three World Championships titles and a host of European titles.

Another face returning to the starting grid is Franck Cammas at the helm of Groupama, winner of the most recent addition of the Volvo Ocean Race, who is currently campaigning for Rio 2016 in the Nacra 17 class. The Extreme Sailing Series represents a rarity to Cammas – an event he has yet to win, despite two previous attempts, finishing fourth in 2009 and fifth in 2010 – something the French legend intends to put right. “It is very exciting for us to come back. We want to focus more on the circuit, so we can do better. It is special racing for sure. Always the best crew is the winner, so that’s important.” On board with Cammas will be two other French Nacra 17 sailors – his own crew Sophie de Turckheim and Mathieu Vandame, the 2012 F18 catamaran World Champion. They will be joined by two of his original Extreme 40 crew, Devan Le Bihan and Tanguy Cariou.

2013 Extreme Sailing Series runners up Alinghi from Switzerland will be back skippered by Ernesto Bertarelli opting for the same crew including American Morgan Larson calling the tactics in a bid to go one better in 2014. Bertarelli commented: “Finishing second last season, with the same number of points as the winner is a great motivation for the team to fight hard again in 2014! The Series’ combination of one-design boats, short racecourses and an improving selection of venues gives everyone – teams and sponsors – an exciting experience. 2014 is Alinghi’s fifth year and I look forward to the start of the sailing season”. A second team from Switzerland, Realteam, will also return with Jérôme Clerc as skipper for their second year of competition.

The familiar double Olympic gold medal-winning duo of Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher who finished third in 2013, will return for their fifth year of competition on board Austrian Red Bull Sailing Team, while the Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team will line up for their third consecutive year, with Jes Gram Hansen and Rasmus Kostner as co-skippers and determined to finish on the Series podium after narrowly missing out in 2013.

GAC Pindar are one of the longest standing teams in the Series, but will field a brand new team in 2014 as the Australian challengers for the America’s Cup prepare to make their Stadium Racing debut, led by Seve Jarvin, who at 27 will be the youngest skipper of the fleet.

The first Act of the year will start in just over six weeks time, with a local boat, Team Aberdeen Singapore, already confirmed to compete meaning a full starting grid of 10 elite level teams will line up on the world famous Marina Bay.

Extreme Sailing Series ™ 2014 Host Venues:
Act 1: Singapore, 20-23 February
Act 2: Muscat, Oman 19-22 March
Act 3: Qingdao, China 1-4 May
Act 4: Saint Petersburg, Russia 26-29 June
Act 5: Cardiff, UK 22-25 August
Act 6: Istanbul, Turkey 11-14 September
Act 7: Mediterranean 2-5 October
Act 8: Sydney, Australia 11-14 December

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Teams and skippers:
Team / Skipper
Alinghi (SUI) – Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI)
GAC Pindar (AUS) – Seve Jarvin (AUS)
Groupama Team France (FRA) – Franck Cammas (FRA)
J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) – Ben Ainslie (GBR)
Oman Air (OMA) – Rob Greenhalgh (GBR)
Realteam (SUI) – Jérôme Clerc (SUI)
Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) – Roman Hagara (AUT)
SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) – Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN) / Rasmus Køstner (DEN)
The Wave, Muscat (OMA) – Leigh McMillan (GBR)

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Sir Ben Ainslie’s J.P. Morgan BAR to enter Extreme Sailing Series 2014

Posted on 08 January 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: JP Morgan BAR] Sir Ben Ainslie has announced the continued partnership with long term sponsors J.P. Morgan who will support Ben Ainslie Racing’s (BAR) entry into the Extreme Sailing Series 2014 (ESS). In addition to this, J.P. Morgan also announced that their title sponsorship of the iconic Round the Island Race will continue to reside with J.P. Morgan Asset Management for a further two-year period up to and including 2016. These announcements came at the annual London Boat Show on the stand, exhibiting BAR’s AC45 that broke the Round the Island Race Multihull record last year.

L to R: BAR team members Paul Goodison, Sir Ben Ainslie and Matt Cornwell stand in front of the J.P. Morgan BAR AC45 at the London Boat Show 2014. Photo copyright OnEdition

Paul Goo​dison, S​ir Ben A​inslie a​nd Matt ​Cornwell​

Also revealed were three of the four sailors who will compete with Ainslie in the Extreme Sailing Series 2014: Team GB teammates and Beijing Olympic Gold Medallist’s, Paul Goodison and Pippa Wilson, alongside bowman Matt Cornwell, a previous Match Racing World Champion with Ainslie. The final crew member will be revealed before the first event of the season in Singapore.

Ainslie is looking forward to the season ahead. “It’s great J.P. Morgan BAR will be competing in this year’s Extreme Sailing Series and to have my long term sponsor J.P Morgan onboard with the team. J.P. Morgan has been such an important part of my sailing career for the last seven years, helping me achieve success in the Olympics and supporting BAR’s entry into the 2012/2013 America’s Cup World Series.” The team also continue to be supported by Henri Lloyd as their official technical clothing partner and Scorpion Ribs who are supplying the team chase and hospitality boats for the Series.

Ainslie has previously competed in the Extreme Sailing Series in 2011 for two events after qualifying for the London 2012 Olympics. It will be the first full Extreme Sailing Series for all three Olympic gold medallist.

Eager to get started on the new project Paul Goodison added “I’m excited to be sailing with such a talented British crew. The only experience I have had with the Extreme 40 until now was coaching the Omani boats in Cardiff in 2012, so its going to be good to get out racing.”

Crew List
Skipper/Helmsman – Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR)
Mainsail Trimmer / Tactician – Paul Goodison (GBR)
Bowman – Matt Cornwall (GBR)
Floater – Pippa Wilson (GBR)
Trimmer – TBC

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Extreme Sailing Series to announce exciting lineup of venues and teams for 2014

Posted on 06 January 2014 by Valencia Sailing

The Extreme Sailing Series enters now into its eighth year of existence and if one is to judge by the venues and participating teams, organizers OC Sports are set to announce on Wednesday, 2014 certainly promises to be a fantastic year. However, our sources Down Under gave us a preview of what to expect:

A total of 8 cities will play host to an Extreme Sailing Series event this year and five of them have already seen the Extreme 40 fleet racing on their waters. Singapore, Muscat, Qingdao Cardiff and Istanbul are no strangers to the Extreme Sailing Series but two new, and exciting, venues seem to come onboard this year, Saint-Petersburg in Russia and Sydney. It appears that the seventh regatta, or Act as they call it, of the circuit is still undecided but will take place somewhere in the Mediterranean (I truly hope it’s in Valencia!).

Venues of the Extreme Sailing Series in 2014
Act 1: Singapore, 20-23 February
Act 2: Muscat, 19-22 March
Act 3: Qingdao, 1-4 May
Act 4: Saint Petersburg, 26-29 June
Act 5: Cardiff, 22-25 August
Act 6: Istanbul, 11-14 September
Act 7: Mediterranean 2-5 October (still unconfirmed venue)
Act 8: Sydney, 11-14 December

With Land Rover as a sponsor, the Extreme Sailing Series will see a strong year in 2014

In what regards the participating teams, the standard definitely edges up. Not only is Franck Cammas back in the Series after a four-year hiatus, Sir Ben Ainslie, the world’s most successful sailor, will be back after a short stint in 2011 but this time with his own team, JP Morgan BAR. Ainslie skippered Oman Air in 2011 in three events. With their sights firmly set on the 35th America’s Cup and no AC45 action foreseen this year, both Cammas and Ainslie will certainly use the Extreme Sailing Series as a training platform.

The Sultanate of Oman now appears to be backing again two teams, as Oman Air are back in the circuit. Is that related to the rumored entry of Oman in the 35th America’s Cup?

The remaining core group consists of well-known teams in the circuit, such as Alinghi, GAC Pindar, Realteam, Red Bull Sailing Team and SAP Extreme Sailing Team.

The rumor mill wanted Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand entering the circuit this year but that doesn’t seem to be the case. GAC Pindar becomes Australian in 2014 and will be skippered by Seve Jarvin, the young Australian, current 18FT Skiff World Champion. Javin’s team, Gotta Luv it 7, is managed by Iain Murray who also happens to be Manager of the 35th America’s Cup Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island. Could that signal Hamilton Island’s, indirect, entry into the Extreme Sailing Series? We’ll know in a couple of days.

This is a fantastic lineup both in terms of quality teams and landmark cities. Our only complain is that there is no serious entry from Asia. There will certainly be a few local wildcards in Singapore and Qingdao but it certainly is a pity that the Koreans and Chinese seem to be unable to fund teams for the entire circuit.

Core teams and skippers of the Extreme Sailing Series in 2014
1. Alinghi (SUI) – Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI)
2. GAC Pindar (AUS) – Seve Jarvin (AUS)
3. Groupama (FRA) – Franck Cammas (FRA)
4. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) – Ben Ainslie (GBR)
5. Oman Air (OMA) – Rob Greenhalgh (GBR)
6. Realteam (SUI) – Jérome Clerc (SUI)
7. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) – Roman Hagara (AUT)
8. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) – Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN)
9. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) – Leigh McMillan (GBR)

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