The 2008 circuit for the iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series has been unveiled with the events continuing to focus on high-octane, competitive close-quarter racing, accessible to the viewing public whilst providing an unforgettable VIP experience.
Alinghi training in Extreme 40s. Photo: Jose Delgado/Alinghi
Five new boats have been constructed bringing the total fleet size to 14 - and three America's Cup teams now own Extreme 40s.
The deadline for entries is midnight on 31 March but it is anticipated that 10 or more of the teams will be signing up for the 2008 iShares Cup. The sailors from the world of the America's Cup, Olympics and offshore racing will certainly raise the bar this season as the iShares Cup tours across five European countries.
The first iShares Cup event will take place from 30 May-1 June at a new venue with a stunning mountain backdrop - Lake Lugano, situated in south-east Switzerland on the Swiss/Italian border. The Extreme 40s will then head to France for round 2 over 13-15 June. The exact venue is close to being confirmed with the choice of a city centre location or a coastal venue.
The iShares Cup will then return to the UK's Skandia Cowes Week over the first weekend of 2-4 August - an incredible venue with great sea breezes and copious amounts of tide to add extra spice, as well as a perfect platform for extended corporate hospitality after the racing. Then it's back on the road to Germany for the penultimate event on 29-31 August; OC Events are in the final stages of securing the venue.
The finale to the 2008 iShares Cup will return to Amsterdam from 19-21 September, an exceptional destination that will once again see the iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series reach an exciting climax on the IJhaven canal.
iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series 2008:
Switzerland, Lugano: 30 May-1 June
France, venue tbc: 13-15 June
UK at Skandia Cowes Week: 2-4 August
Germany, venue tbc: 29-31 August
Netherlands, Amsterdam: 19-21 September