With less than one week to go until the Extreme Sailing Series™ returns to UK shores in Cardiff, where it will be hosted by the Cardiff Harbour Festival, Series Main Partner Land Rover has announced its support of the home team: ‘Team Wales Land Rover’.
The Extreme 40 fleet racing as the centerpiece to the Cardiff Harbour Festival in 2012 on Europe’s largest waterfront development ahead of the Welsh assembly government building.
Supporting a crew that includes some of Wales’ top sailing talent and Rio 2016 British Olympic hopefuls, the entry will mean a full starting grid on the Cardiff Bay Stadium Racecourse with a further team announcement to follow in the coming days.
Mark Cameron, Global Brand Experience Director commented, 'It’s exciting times – this is the first time the Land Rover Extreme 40 will be racing in the Extreme Sailing Series as a competitor in this first year of our sponsorship of the global circuit. We are delighted to be supporting a predominantly Welsh youth team, some of whom have their sights firmly set on the Olympics in Rio in 2016, and to be supporting them racing in their home waters, particularly as the United Kingdom is the Headquarters of Land Rover.'
Team Wales Land Rover will be led by one of Wales’ most talented sailors, 27-year-old Cardiff-born Dave Evans, who delivered an impressive performance at his Extreme Sailing Series debut in Cardiff last year. The British Sailing Team member, who is campaigning for the Rio 2016 Olympics in the highly competitive 49er class, is eager to make the most of the opportunity. 'I’m really pleased to be skippering the Land Rover Extreme 40 for the first time it has ever raced. It will be great to be debuting her on our home waters, in front of the home crowd. I am sure we will have great Welsh support!'
Comparing the Extreme 40 catamaran to the high-performance 49er, Evans continued, 'We have five heads trying to solve the problem in the Extreme 40 compared to two heads in the 49er! The 49er class has moved to shorter, sharper races, very similar to the Extreme 40 style, where the start is very important. So for us to do this event is great practice in attacking starts and situations around the racecourse.'
Joining Dave Evans will be fellow British Sailing Team member Chris Grube who recently announced his own Rio 2016 campaign alongside London 2012 silver medallist Stuart Bithell. Chris will share the tactician’s role with North Wales born Bleddyn Mon, part of the 2012 Series winning team on The Wave, Muscat. Tudur Owen, also from North Wales, who was part of the 2012 Team Wales entry and former number one world ranked match racer, will take up the trimmer’s position, whilst 21 year old Trystan Seal from West Wales will bring experience from the RC44 class and the British Keelboat Academy to the fray. The team has recruited the expertise of British Olympian Will Howden, a veteran of Extreme 40 sailing who has been a regular face on the circuit since its inaugural year in 2007.
Cabinet Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure, Cllr Ramesh Patel, said: 'I am delighted that there will be a Team Wales at the Cardiff leg of the Extreme Sailing Series. Team Wales Land Rover will feature athletes from all parts of Wales. Demonstrating how important it is for us to host world class sailing to support and nurture home-grown talent.
'Team Wales Land Rover and all the other teams who are taking part are guaranteed a warm Welsh welcome during the four days of the competition. Good luck to all who are taking part.'
The Extreme Sailing Series™ Cardiff presented by Land Rover kicks off on Friday 23 August.
Extreme Sailing Series