Act 2, Qingdao: Racing Starts Tomorrow at China’s Olympic Sailing Venue

Fleet racing, Act 1 Muscat 2011 © Lloyd Images
The Olympic spirit is very much alive in Qingdao, which hosted the sailing events of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, and some of the Extreme Sailing Series™ competitors have strong memories from three years ago when they represented their country in the Tornado catamaran class...
Red Bull Extreme Sailing Austrian duo Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher finished 10th, whilst their British crew man Will Howden came 6th with helmsman Leigh McMillan, who is in Qingdao coaching Oman Air. Argentinian Santiago Lange, who is skippering Artemis Racing in place of Terry Hutchinson for Act 2, reached the Olympic podium to secure Bronze and New Zealander Glenn Ashby, racing with Emirates Team New Zealand, went one better and returned home with Silver. 
Collision between The Wave, Muscat and Alinghi.
Act 1 Muscat 2011. © Lloyd Images
Luna Rossa helm, Paul Campbell-James, also recalled his time in Qingdao: “I was one of the tuning partners for Team GBR and was here for almost a month doing a lot of training where the Olympic racing was held just right out here. We’ve been sailing for two days and we’re just dying for the event to get started now. We were expecting there not to be much breeze but the last two days there has been about 12 knots - enough to get us flying and get some practice races in so its been pretty good.”
The Extreme 40's in Fushan Bay
The teams are in the final stages of preparation, fine tuning their boats, discussing tactics and studying their weather files. 
Racing starts tomorrow (Wednesday, 13th April) for two days of non-public racing, allowing the race management team to set optimum race courses further offshore if required, before Act 2 opens to the public from Friday, 15th through to the final day on Sunday, 17th April when one of the 11 teams will lift the Double Star Cup.
But its not just the teams who are putting the final touches to their campaigns, the organising committee of the Qingdao Yachting Association are putting the weight of their Olympic experience into hosting another high-profile sailing event as Leo Zhanglizhong, Project Officer, Qingdao Sports Bureau commented: “The host city is looking forward to this great event for a long time and we have all been busy preparing for the event here in Qingdao. All the citizens are very eager to see the exciting racing.”
Luna Rossa preparing their boat for racing

Oman Air and The Wave, Muscat racing,
Act 1, Oman 2011 © Lloyd Images
For the Extreme 40 sailors they will adapt to whatever the weather situation and are used to racing at the Extreme Sailing Series venues that do not follow the conventions of other sailing events, racing directly in front of the public in city centres, on canals, off beaches or on rivers.
The teams adapt quickly to their local environment and as we saw at Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat, the teams slower off the starting blocks were soon back in the mix, which was the case for Luna Rossa as Paul Campbell-James explained: “We were pretty happy after Act 1, results-wise we were hoping to get on the podium, but the way it went we were just off fourth place and we started pretty average and finished pretty well.
We hope to carry that momentum into this event. It’s such a varied set of conditions that you get here and I still wouldn’t say one team is stronger than any other in the light so I’m backing ourselves!”
The people of the ‘City of Sails’ are going to witness five days of intense competition… Let the battle commence!

View the current overall standings here.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 Team Line-Up:
Team / Skipper & crew

  • Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham 
  • Artemis Racing (SWE), Santiago Lange / Rodney Ardern / Morgan Trubovich / Andy Fethers
  • Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk
  • Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Glenn Ashby / James Dagg / Richard Meacham
  • Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena
  • Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey
  • The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Torvar Mirsky / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri
  • Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari
  • Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / William Wu (tbc)
  • Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari 
  • Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Brad Webb / Gilberto Nobili / Jono Macbeth
Act 2, Qingdao: Racing Starts Tomorrow at China’s Olympic Sailing Venue Act 2, Qingdao: Racing Starts Tomorrow at China’s Olympic Sailing Venue Reviewed by Panos Douros on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Rating: 5

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