Act 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series will get underway in Singapore on Thursday and the Swiss sailing squad, Realteam, are ready to line up against some of the world’s best sailors. The team is well acquainted with the city centre stadium racecourse having raced to fourth place at the event last year. The team’s catamaran, Realstone, is fresh from a refit and the sailors will carry their Swiss colours with pride against the 11 elite race teams competing for the championship title.
After an intense winter training programme conducted between Lake Geneva and the Mediterranean, the team decided to run a two helmsmen programme for the 2014 season. 'Performing at a high level on two circuits – the Vulcain Trophy and the Extreme Sailing Series – is a lot of pressure for one helmsman especially as the calendar has some overlaps,' admits skipper, Jérôme Clerc. 'We have decided that Arnaud Psarofaghis will helm the Extreme 40 and I will helm the Decision 35. We have performance goals on both circuits and are very lucky to have two helmsmen in the squad; we had to make the most of that! Arnaud amply demonstrated his ability and potential in Florianopolis at the end of the 2013 season and throughout the winter training sessions and we have every hope of a good result in Singapore.'
On the eve of the competition, Arnaud Psarofaghis is not feeling any particular pressure: 'My goal has been to helm the Extreme 40 since I was given a taste of it in Florianopolis,' confides the 25-year-old. 'It is an incredible opportunity to line up against the stars that race this circuit; we are going to learn a lot! My personal objectives in Singapore are to get a team in place and take the boat in hand.'
Conditions are forecast to be light in Singapore later in the week, much like last year’s edition, and Realteam is counting on this first event to measure themselves against the elite. There are no crew changes from last season, although the shore crew has grown by a few people. Jeff Kerleguer and Sebastien Stephant will be managing the shore-based boat preparations, while Tanguy Leglatin, the Realteam Decision 35 coach, will be standing in for their usual Extreme 40 coach Etienne David this weekend. 2014 Realteam Extreme 40 crew – Singapore
Jérôme Clerc – skipper and mainsail trimmer
Arnaud Psarofaghis – helmsman
Bruno Barbarin – tactician
Thierry Wasem – trimmer
Nils Palmieri – bowman Extreme Sailing Series