Extreme Sailing Series - Four teams prepare to charge for podium

Extreme Sailing Series 2012 trophy
Extreme Sailing Series 2012 final Act is being held in Rio de Janeiro and by the end of play on the 9th December one team will be crowned 2012 Extreme Sailing Series champions. Four teams are preparing to make a charge for the podium, but only one will lift the much-coveted 2012 trophy.

Richard Vasey, the designer of the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series trophy, makes each of his unique designs by hand. Read our interview with him to find out what went into making the 2012 prize.

What was the inspiration for the Extreme Sailing Series trophy?
I started by making a few preliminary sketches, but as my sketching skills are fairly limited I tend to research my subject, and then work from my head. (It is not always the easiest way to work especially when you have to explain your ideas to somebody else.) My intention behind the Extreme 40 sculpture was to capture the spirit of the Extreme 40 in a minimalist style.

What is it made of and why that material?
I enjoy working in 316 marine grade stainless steel because of the finished product you are able to obtain - after many hours of polishing! I only ever work in stainless because it is a very challenging medium to work with and when successful you can obtain a beautiful finish. However it also has a number of limitations as a material and can at times be quite frustrating due to the unpredictable way it changes shape and shrinks when cooling down after welding. In a matter of minutes you can see your perfect boat hull shape distorting before your eyes - if you are having a bad day!

How many hours went into making it, from design to completion?
The Extreme 40 trophy took around 40 hours to construct

What was the most challenging part of sculpting the ESS trophy?
The most stressful process is the sandblasting stage. This is because if the stencil with the logo moves during this stage, the sails tend to be damaged and are unusable, so you have to make new ones. Once the sails are sandblasted the component parts of the sculpture are welded together.

When did you start sculpting trophies?
In 2008 one of my first commissions was to create replica dinghies for the British Sailing Team Medal Winner's, returning from the Beijing Olympics. As we are a sailing household we giggled a little at the thought of knocking up the sailing trophies for the British Sailing Team- especially as it was one of my first commissions- a bit like diving in at the deep end!

Extreme Sailing Series website
http://www.sail-world.com/103433