12 October 2014, Whitley: Straight off the back of the penultimate Act of the Extreme Sailing Series in Nice, four Extreme 40s took a quick pit-stop en route to Sydney, to the Adriatic City of Trieste for one of the largest regattas in Europe. The four Extreme 40s were invited for four days of exhibition racing by the organisers of Barcolana 46, the Società Velica Di Barcola e Grignano, and to celebrate the launch of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, taking advantage of the perfect stadium in the heart of the city.
The Extreme 40s were the new kids on the block in this monohull-only regatta and the buzz around town about the 40-foot catamarans was infectious with lines of guests, sailors and non-sailors alike, keen to take up the opportunity to step onboard in one of the coveted Guest Sailor spots and enjoy the spectacle of the Extreme 40s racing in the heart of the beautiful city.
The Barcolana 46 race attracted over 1,878 entries and more than 300,000 spectators visited the town over the course of the regatta, thousands lining the walls of the harbour as the Extreme 40s exhibition raced putting on a show for the public.
President of the Società Velica Di Barcola e Grignano, Mitja Gialuz, welcomed the four teams, “It is fantastic to have these Extreme 40s here; we have realised a dream to have some of the most iconic catamarans in the world sailing here in Trieste. We are very happy!”
Two regulars of the Extreme Sailing Series circuit, Red Bull Extreme Sailing, skippered by Double Olympic Gold Medallist Roman Hagara and Oman Air, skippered by Rob Greenhalgh, were joined by Land Rover Extreme Sailing Team, skippered by Adam Piggott and a local Italian entry, Fincantieri skippered by Lorenzo Bressani, joined by Olympic silver and bronze medallist Mitch Booth.
The Land Rover Extreme Sailing Team was boosted by Italy’s most capped rugby player, Andrea Lo Cicero as Bowman. “That was my first experience of Extreme 40 sailing and even in a little wind, it was a great experience. This is a perfect way to develop and show sailing everywhere because you stay near the coast, the public are happy and entertained and you can see the crews working hard on the boat from the harbour walls. Next time you need a crewman, call me and I’ll come to work!”
The four teams lined up against each other 10 times, with Oman Air winning all four of the exhibition races on day 1 and clinching the inaugural Land Rover Cup on day 2, just three points ahead of Series rivals Red Bull Extreme Sailing. “It’s been the light conditions we expected but with some nice breeze filling in on the first day so the Extreme 40s were flying a hull in the harbour in ten to twelve knots, which is always a huge crowd pleaser,” commented Race Director, Phil Lawrence. “It’s an ideal venue for the stadium racing we do, the facilities are good, there’s a really nice stadium and huge crowds. I very much hope we’ll be back next year.”
Skipper of Red Bull Extreme Sailing, Roman Hagara, summed up the four days. “It has been really great here. Trieste is a really nice town and this year so many people are watching sailing, it is unbelievable. We came here on Tuesday and already there were many spectators watching us on the Extreme 40s and then the following days were even more. The crowds have been unbelievable, it is all about sailing and that is perfect.”
Final results of the inaugural Land Rover Extreme 40 @ Barcolana exhibition racing:
10 races no discards.
Oman Air 30 points
Red Bull Extreme Sailing 27 points
Land Rover Extreme Sailing Team 21 points
Fincantieri 20 points