The third regatta in the Extreme Sailing Series 2014 season gets underway this week at Qingdao, China. Official practice will be held later today. Racing starts tomorrow and ends on Sunday.
Emirates Team New Zealand, returning to the series this year for the first time since 2011, is third overall after regattas at Singapore and Oman. Six regattas remain.
Skipper Dean Barker hands over the helm in China to Peter Burling, who with Blair Tuke recently won the 49er class at the Princess Sofia regatta in Spain and then collected gold at the ISAF World Cup final in France before flying to China.
The team is rotating crew through the series as the team juggles the demands of Burling and Tuke’s Olympic campaign and team duties for other members of the sailing team.
Burling said: 'The team has a number of great sailors and only five race on the Extreme 40. We need to swap it through the year to give everyone some race time.
'For me it has been a really great that the team has been able to split the events so we can all do a lot of different types of sailing this year. I am really looking forward to doing my bit to try to get the team up the rankings.'
The crew in Qingdao is:skipper/helm Peter Burling, main trimmer Glenn Ashby, headsail trimmer Blair Tuke, bowman Jeremy Lomas, floater Edwin Delaat.
Practice day breeze is expected to be a light 5-8 knots, with the first race day 3-7 knots. Thursday looks more promising with a wind speed up to 15 knots
The two regattas raced this year have produced two winners, with the Swiss Alinghi winning at Singapore and The Wave, Muscat, on home waters in Muscat.
The Wave leads on 19 points, the Swiss are just a point adrift (18 points), with Emirates Team New Zealand third (16 points), and Realteam fourth, (13 points).
Stadium Racing action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be live streamed on the official event website, www.extremesailingseries.com
See more at: http://etnzblog.com
Peter Burling (left) and Blair Tuke (right) join Emirates Team New Zealand. ETNZ base Auckland. 14/1/2014 - Chris Cameron-ETNZ©