Danish crew SAP Extreme Sailing Team are confirmed as the first entry to the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™.
The Danes become the first crew to accept the challenge of racing ultra-light, high-speed GC32 hydro-foiling catamarans in city-centre Stadiums at eight iconic venues around the world in what will be the tenth year of competition for the globally renowned Extreme Sailing Series.
Currently in the midst of one of their best seasons to date, and after four years with the Extreme 40 fleet, Danish co-skippers Rasmus Køstner and Jes Gram-Hansen are ready for the new era of boats that lift off on foils and fly across the water.
“The 2016 Series and the introduction of foils is effectively levelling the playing field and we are in a strong position to take advantage,” said Køstner.
“We have the knowledge and athletic power as sailors, the continued support from SAP in terms of evaluating our performance, and the momentum from this year to make the most of the new boats,” he added.
Introducing the spectacular GC32 fleet into a Stadium environment will make for a steep learning curve for all the sailors in a fleet expected to number up to 10 boats. With top speeds of 38-knots this will be the first time these super-quick multihulls have been raced on courses quite this small.
But the Danes are up for the challenge: “The GC32 is a very physical boat, speed and timing is crucial and the faster you go the bigger the load through the sails. It might be a smaller boat in size compared to the Extreme 40 but it’s going to be a lot tougher on the water,” Kostner adds.
As well as preparing for the final showdown for the 2015 Series, in which they are currently sitting second overall going into the final Act in Sydney in December, the team have been sailing a variety of smaller multihulls as well as the foiling Moth dinghy in preparation for 2016.
“Getting used to the balance, the flow around the foils, is definitely something you need to practice. Everything happens so quickly and you don’t have a chance to adjust – one mistake and you’re over,” Kostner explains.
“It will be fast, fun and exciting which is exactly what the Extreme Sailing Series should be. I’m looking forward to getting up in the air.”