The Extreme Sailing Series™, the world’s leading Stadium Racing series, will return to the Americas for the first time in six years in 2017 in what promises to be another action-packed season.
After a hugely successful transition to foiling catamarans in 2016 – with the introduction of the super-fast and super-exciting GC32s – the Extreme Sailing Series is now adding two new venues to its roster for its 11th season.
Alongside existing host venues of Muscat, Qingdao, Madeira, Hamburg and Cardiff, the Series is now set to visit San Diego in California and Los Cabos in Mexico.
Andy Tourell, Event Director of the Extreme Sailing Series, confirmed the new venues at a press conference hosted by the Pestana Hotel Group in Lisbon today. “We are thrilled to be heading back to the United States and to Mexico for the first time after a long absence from the Americas,” said Tourell.
“I have no doubt that both San Diego, which has a long sailing tradition, and Los Cabos – which is a great sailing destination in its own right – will quickly establish themselves as among the classic venues on our circuit. I am sure the locals in both venues will love the action-packed racing that makes the Extreme Sailing Series unique,” he added.
In San Diego the Race Village and all the other elements of the Extreme Sailing Series set-up – including the VIP area and the pontoons – will be based at Harbor Island, and the racing action will take place just five metres from the shore.
Joseph Terzi, President & CEO San Diego Tourism Authority commented: “On behalf of San Diego, and our thriving, distinguished sailing community, we welcome with open arms the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series to America’s Finest City.
“We would like to acknowledge the key collaboration between San Diego Tourism Authority, SEA San Diego, San Diego Tourism Marketing District, San Diego Sports Alliance, and Port of San Diego, in capitalizing on the opportunity granted from OC Sport to host part of next year’s Extreme Sailing Series.”
Talking about the stadium venue, Terzi continued: “We look forward to having the highest level of sailing take place on the world class San Diego Bay. Our bay’s natural stadium style setting will offer enhanced competition and an unforgettable spectator experience.
“Our region boasts not only a near perfect year-round climate, great facilities, world-class beaches and attractions, but also sensational dining and premier hotels. We are confident San Diego will provide a top notch experience for everyone involved in the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series,” Terzi concluded.
For the first time ever the Series will head to Mexico and Los Cabos for the grand finale of the 2017 season. Located at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, the venue is known as ‘Land’s End’.
Rodrigo Esponda, General Director of Tourism of Los Cabos Trust commented on the regions appeal to tourists: “We are very excited to welcome the Extreme Sailing Series for the first time ever in Los Cabos next year. This world-renowned series will be the perfect complement to our offer of events and it will benefit the positioning of our venue as a world-class tourist destination.
“Los Cabos is the perfect place to enjoy our fantastic hospitality, hotel and gastronomic offerings, adventure tours and wonderful natural spaces,” he added.
The addition of new venues comes as the Extreme Sailing Series continues to evolve its racing format with increasing emphasis in 2017 on both the proven Stadium Racing concept combined with larger racecourses that show off the power and speed of the GC32s to best effect.
“A combination of new destinations alongside some of the proven venues will allow us to introduce a more diverse racing format and also expand the number of boats,” explained Race Director John Craig, who is anticipating between eight and 10 team entries for 2017.
The 2017 Extreme Sailing Series will start in Muscat, Oman from 8-11 March, a country with a rich maritime heritage. Then, from 28 April-1 May, it will be time to return to the Chinese Olympic sailing city of Qingdao which will be followed by Madeira Islands from 29 June-2 July following a successful debut this year.
Next is a European venue that is still to be announced, before the thrills of racing on the River Elbe in Hamburg in Germany from 10-13 August. Cardiff in Wales returns to the UK Bank Holiday weekend on 25-28 August before two brand new venues. San Diego will make its debut from 19-22 October with the season finale being staged at Los Cabos from 30 November-3 December.
The 2017 season will again feature a full grid of professional and brand-backed sponsored teams racing a fleet of foiling GC32 catamarans, “flying” in front of thousands of spectators at venues all over the world.
2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ calendar
08 – 11 March – Muscat, Oman
28 April – 1 May – Qingdao, China
29 June – 2 July – Madeira Islands, Portugal
20 – 23 July – Europe
10 – 13 August – Hamburg, Germany
25 – 28 August – Cardiff, UK
19 – 22 October – San Diego, USA
30 Nov– 3 Dec – Los Cabos, Mexico