The UK round of the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series™ that took place over Cowes Week between the 31st July to 5th August exceeded expectations both on and off the water.
Six days of racing, instead of a normal 4-day event, saw a total of 36 races mixing long ‘Solent’ style courses, and the short sharp format the series is best know for. In 2010, every event has some more classical courses for the teams to stretch their ‘legs’ when the public village is not open. In ‘Stadium’ sailing mode, the 12 to 15 minutes races delivered some of the most spectacular racing the circuit has ever seen, in front of an estimated total crowd of more than 60,000, every day the beachfront being packed over a full kilometer. Nine international teams competed including many of the world’s best sailors from Olympic medalists, to round-the-world skippers.
The UK round was won by the youngest skipper on the circuit, Paul Campbell-James and his crew on board The Wave, Muscat, securing their first ever regatta win – and first major event win for an Omani sailor, Khamis Al Anbouri, this year fully integrated in to the race crew. The Omani team posted 8 wins with 7 of the 9 teams each claiming one or more ‘bullets’ throughout the UK round. And typical to the Extreme Sailing Series, the UK round was not fully decided until the final double points race, keeping the tension high right until the end.
The entertainment continued shore side under the banner ‘Sailing Rocks™’ at the Extreme Race Village every night. Five different DJs provided an eclectic mix of sounds culminating in BBC Radio 1’s resident DJ Rob da Bank on the Thursday night, ahead of the final Isle of Wight Radio party night on Fireworks night. The Extreme Bar proved a popular destination for Cowes Week goers with a four-fold increase on 2009. Over 900 guests were entertained in the VIP lounge of the Extreme Race Village – some of them lucky enough to experience the money-can’t-buy ‘5th man’ guest spots on the water.
The online following was bigger than ever across all social media and web platforms – and the dramatic action captured on video, including Groupama’s hair-raising near collision with the sea wall that had the crew leaping for safety, has already been viewed over 40,000 times across youtube and other channels.
The 2010 Extreme Sailing Series is now approaching the halfway stage as the teams head for Kiel in Germany for Round 3 between the 26th to 29th August. Located on the the Baltic Sea, Kiel is today the country’s undisputed sailing capital.