The Extreme Sailing Series Cardiff touches down in the Welsh capital this Bank Holiday weekend for the UK leg of the global stadium racing series, and a new team in the form of ChinaSpirit can finally be unveiled as the eighth team in the starting blocks. Fronted by Kiwi sailor, Phil Robertson as skipper and helm alongside Chinese national sailor William Wu, ChinaSpirit completes a full field of eight Extreme 40 catamarans promising plenty of hard and fast competition in the Cardiff Bay stadium.
ChinaSpirit to compete in Exteme Sailing Series Cardiff
ChinaSpirit, who have confirmed their entry at the remaining three Acts this year in Cardiff, Nice and Brazil, is based in Shanghai and supported by the Chinese Central Government.
The team has ambitious goals that reach beyond achieving results on the international sailing arena as Noëlle Gahan-Smulders, CEO of ChinaSpirit explained: 'It is our goal to combine the best international sailors with Chinese sailors, to create mixed teams and use the international regattas as training opportunities for Chinese sailors, eventually building a Chinese Sailing Academy in China to promote Chinese youth sailing, as well as marine conservation; putting together a true Chinese multiplatform sailing team for world-class sailing events requires that we work with the best in the world and in China. The Extreme Sailing Series is the perfect fit for our ambitious goals to be the first true multiplatform Chinese sailing team'.
The man in the driving seat of ChinaSpirit will be 26-year-old Kiwi Phil Robertson, whose match racing team Waka Racing finished third in the 2012 World Match Racing Tour. Robertson, who already has multihull experience having competed in the Qingdao Act of the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series and in the America’s Cup World Series, said: 'It is an honour to be part of ChinaSpirit in the Extreme Sailing Series. I have been working with ChinaSpirit since its start, and I believe that together, we can accomplish great strides for sailing in China. The Extreme Sailing Series, with the best sailors in the world, is right where ChinaSpirit belongs, and we are keen to get going with ChinaSpirit to make an impact for China!'
Robertson will be joined by fellow Kiwis and Waka Racing team mates, Garth Ellingham who will call the tactics, Nick Catley, an experienced skiff sailor on the bow, and James Williamson as headsail trimmer.
William Wu, one of China’s most accomplished sailors who competed in the Qingdao Act of the Extreme Sailing Series in 2011 aboard Team Extreme and who was part of the America’s Cup China Team, will be the teams mainsail trimmer, commenting, 'I am so excited to sail for ChinaSpirit, the newest Chinese sailing team on the international regatta scene. After the America’s Cup in 2007, and 2011, this is a real honour to sail in the Extreme Sailing Series for China. ChinaSpirit is doing all the right things to get great sailing results for China and being a part of ChinaSpirit is like being a part of history. Extreme Sailing Series, here I come!'
ChinaSpirit completes a line-up of eight Extreme 40s that will compete from the 23-26 August as one of the main attractions of the Cardiff Harbour Festival where the crowds will be given front row seats to the action from all sides of Cardiff Bay. Adding to the atmosphere and ensuring the entertainment on the water never stops is the main warm up acts - the windsurfers of the NeilPryde Racing Series and SpeedDream, an ambitious project that aims to build the world’s fastest monohull. Mike Golding, one of the UK’s top singlehanded offshore sailors and former Extreme 40 skippers, will skipper SpeedDream, which incorporates innovative design ideas including a flying keel, wave-piercing bow and stepped hull.
Adding expert insight to all the action on the water will be Hannah White, a Land Rover Global Ambassador, who will be providing the race commentary and official radio partner Capital FM who will keep the crowds entertained from the shore side Race Village.
Extreme Sailing Series