2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ season gets underway in Muscat, Oman from 8-11 March, with a mix of stadium and coastal racing set against the stunning backdrop of Muscat’s Old Town. Eight international teams including two wildcard entries will compete for the coveted Series title, currently held by Swiss team Alinghi.
Red Bull Sailing Team will return to compete with two-time Olympic gold medallists, Austrian superstars Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, leading Red Bull in its seventh year.
Returning to the crew alongside the Austrian duo are trimmer Stewart Dodson and bowman Adam Piggott, who both contributed to Red Bull Sailing Team’s medal effort last year. On mainsheet is Will Tiller, a new addition to the team with previous experience in the Series and part of the winning crew on the 2016 World Match Racing Tour. All three are graduates of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup programme.
The introduction of GC32 foiling catamarans last year suited the mindset of Hagara and Steinacher, who delivered a consistent campaign to achieve podium positions in seven out of eight Acts and third place overall.
But with race performance at an all-time high, the foiling will be fast and the Austrians will need to fly if they want to clinch the championship title.
Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher
Having begun the 2016 season with limited training time in the GC32, Steinacher is confident that this year Red Bull Sailing Team will start stronger after a productive training camp, and the boat in perfect condition.
“I believe the experience that Roman and I bring to the table combined with our young guns can be the winning formula for 2017. We’re looking forward to a year full of great sailing in exciting locations,” added Steinacher.
“The 2017 season is going to be more competitive than ever before. To be successful, we will have to beat the two-time America’s Cup champion, Alinghi."said Hagara,
“Alinghi – the current Extreme Sailing Series champions, and the 2016 runners-up, Oman Air, are both returning so Red Bull Sailing Team will have to be real fast if they want to clinch the elusive championship title.”
Co-skipper of Alinghi's winning 2016 team, Arnaud Psarofaghis said, “Last year was really good but it has passed now. This year is a new year and we must focus on that. Now everyone is stronger and there are also some new faces so we need to start again. But I am really looking forward to next week and getting going.”
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