by Nicky Moore
Extreme Sailing Series and emerging Australian sailing star Torvar Mirsky, will this year make his debut in the one of the world’s most competitive sailing events. Torvar will take the helm of the 2010 winning Oman Sail team, The Wave, Muscat and the team have been training hard for the event which kicks off in less than one week in the Sultanate of Oman.
Pictures of The Wave, Muscat EX40 catamaran training prior to the start of the 2011 race series. - Extreme Sailing Series
At just 24 years old, Torvar has been competing on the World Match Racing Tour for the last four seasons, where he has made an impressive stamp on the Tour amongst his rivals, fighting off more experienced competition to finish second at the last event of the 2010 World Matching Tour in Malaysia and third in the overall Tour. The Extreme Sailing Series presents a host of new challenges for the talented young sailor, not least the switch from monohull to multihull.
Torvar explains, 'It is always a challenge when you make the switch to a new boat. The tactics are different in a boat like an Extreme 40 that goes really fast. With a monohull when you are in tight situation it’s all about carrying momentum, whereas in the Extreme 40, the boat is really light and when you turn it stops...
That has been hardest thing to get used to for me but I love sailing competitively and the really cool thing about multihulls and the Extreme 40 is the speed and how quick you have to react. One thing with the match racing it is known for being pretty slow; I can definitely say the Extreme 40 lives up to its name!'
The decision by the America’s Cup to switch from monohull to multihull has ignited an increased interest in the Extreme Sailing Series amongst the sailing world. Considered the grand prix of the sailing world, the Series pits some of the very best professional sailing teams in the world against each other on identical Extreme 40 catamarans, on challenging, tactical courses. Torvar commented, 'The switch to multihulls was a pretty easy decision for me.
Since the America’s Cup announced they are moving to multihulls I have been pretty curious about the Extreme 40 and started sailing F18’s to get some experience. That has always been my ultimate goal – to be a professional sailor and an America’s Cup Skipper. I jumped at the opportunity offered by Oman Sail.'
Torvar, originally from Perth, has spent the last month in Oman where the team are based, preparing for the first event of the Series which kicks off in Muscat, from the 20-24 February.
'The training is going well and I am confident that we are on track to being a really competitive team this Series. We are a new team so that is obviously a pretty big test for us, but a lot of the teams this year have new sailors and skippers so they are a lot of people learning about these boats and how to get the most out of them. Nick Hutton (UK), our Trimmer, is one of the most experienced guys on the circuit, and he has been the one guiding the team. He has only given me a few small complements so I take from that what I can! He has been working out how to get us up to speed quickly and I am really enjoying the challenge.'
2011 Calendar & Host Venues:
Act 1: 22-24 February, Muscat, Oman (20-21 ‘open-water’ racing*)
Act 2: 15-17 April, China (13-14 ‘open-water’ racing)
Act 3: 27-29 May, Istanbul, Turkey (25-26 ‘open-water’ racing)
Act 4: 30 June – 4 July, Boston, USA (all days public event)
Act 5: 6-12 August, Cowes, UK (all days public event)
Act 6: 16-18 September, Trapani, Italy (14-15 ‘open-water’ racing)
Act 7: 30 September – 2 October, Nice, France (28-29 ‘open-water’ racing)
Act 8: 12-16 October, Almeria, Spain (all days public event)
Act 9: 9-11 December, Singapore (7-8 ‘open-water’ racing)
Team Name Nat Skipper Name Nat
Alinghi SUI Tanguy Cariou FRA
Artemis Racing SWE Terry Hutchinson USA
Emirates Team New Zealand NZL Dean Barker NZL
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild FRA To be confirmed
Luna Ross ITA Max Sirena ITA
Oman Air OMA Sidney Gavignet FRA
Red Bull Extreme Sailing AUT Roman Hagara AUT
Team Extreme EUR Roland Geabler GER
Team GAC Pindar GBR Ian Williams GBR
Team Nice ITA Alberto Barovier ITA
The Wave, Muscat OMA Torvar Mirsky AUS