Six teams of the world’s best sailors, racing radical 40-foot catamarans will take to the waters of Muscat for the finale of the Extreme Sailing Series Asia. This event has seen six of the world's best teams battle it out on Extreme 40 sailing boats on racecourses in Hong Kong and Singapore… and now they arrive in Muscat for the final that takes place starting from the 1st of February. Global brands such as Red Bull and BT back these racing teams, and China has also entered a team for the first time. The Series will end on a high with the Extreme Beach Party, a two day grand finale for the public over the Omani weekend, February 4th and 5th.
The Extreme 40s are ‘speed machines’ that race close to shore on tight courses, unlike most sailing events – and in this final event they will be competing in short, exciting, 15-minute races starting each day at The Wave, Muscat.Going into the final and deciding round, Oman Sail’s Masirah has a 5-point lead giving this GCC team chance to win the coveted trophy.
His Excellency Eng. Sultan Hamdoon Al Harthi, Head of Muscat Municipality said "The Extreme Sailing Series Asia is the first of a number of high profile sporting events that will be taking place in Oman this year and we are looking forward to watching some of the world's best sailors compete right on our shoreline. Oman has a rich maritime heritage and this event is a perfect tool to help showcase the potential of the Sultanate as a key sailing location internationally."
The Asian circuit follows hot on the heels of the award-winning Extreme Sailing Series Europe that, in just three years, has become a top five fixture in the international sailing calendar. The Extreme 40s race within metres of the shoreline in iconic locations such as Paris, Venice, Amsterdam and the home of yacht racing, Cowes on the Isle of Wight, UK, ensuring spectators have the best seat in the house to watch the action. The high-tech Extreme 40s are raced by top international sailors and the fleet which will race in Muscat includes three double Olympic gold medallists, 29 World Championship titles, 9 round the world navigations, 23 Olympic games attended and 10 America’s Cup sailors. Two of the participating teams are from the Sultanate of Oman. Oman Sail Masirah, the winners of the 2009 Extreme Sailing Series Europe and current leaders of the Asian circuit, and The Wave, Muscat.
OC Events, organisers of the Series, has brought the circuit to the Middle East and Asia for the first time to demonstrate the potential of a full-scale series in 2010/2011. Mark Turner, CEO of OC Group, explained, “Developing a series here in the Middle East is the next step in the evolution of this ground-breaking circuit. Never before has there been top-level racing, right in the heart of cities, within metres of the shore, designed to entertain the public, media and VIP’s – not just other sailors. It’s unique for the cities and it is unique for our sport.
“The region is ideal for top level sailing events and we are bringing the circuit here to demonstrate to key stakeholders and the media what a full scale circuit with top level on-water action coupled with high-end VIP corporate hospitality and an all-inclusive shoreside entertainment package could bring. It promises to be a spectacular event to conclude this first Asian Series”
After visiting Hong Kong and Singapore the Extreme Sailing Series Asia comes now to the Middle East and the prestigious new marina development at The Wave, Muscat. The first three days of racing will focus on a VIP element with “corporate” sailing in the morning – a chance for the attending VIP guests and national & international media to step onboard and try their hand at catamaran sailing alongside the professional sailors.
The Extreme Sailing Series Asia, Muscat is supported by Oman Sail, the Ministry of Tourism backed initiative to reignite the Sultanate’s maritime heritage and inspire young Omanis to achieve their potential through sailing.