Extreme Sailing Series 2011 final act has just concluded in Singapore. After an extraordinary and nail-biting finish to what was another ground-breaking, and high quality racing year, the award-winning Stadium Sailing event confirms its 2012 circuit.
Watch the videos here: Extreme Sailing Series : 2011 Round-Up – all the action, winners and drama from 2011
Extreme Sailing Series : 2012 Circuit – the new 2012 calendar and venues
The same award-winning format, but two new countries and three new venues will accompany five proven Host Cities from the highly-charged 2011 circuit. The ‘ISAF Special Event’ circuit continues its 9-month globe-trotting tour as it enters its sixth year of competition, with 8 events spanning 3 continents – once again in the GCC region, Europe, Asia and new for 2012, South America. The circuit will start in Muscat, Oman and this time conclude in Brazil, home of the 2016 Olympics. The host venues represent a mix of iconic cities, established sailing venues, and new markets where professional sailing remains in its infancy. 'The circuit continues to represent perfectly the developments in the world at large, with its balance of east and west, different cultures and languages, and variety of conditions,' said Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of the organising company OC ThirdPole. 'Year on year the commercial value of hosting the event for the Host Cities has increased, and this is reflected in the 2012 developments.'
The costs for a competitive team will, once again, be squeezed down in 2012 yet the return is expected to increase for their sponsors. A core objective of the circuit remains to be the most commercially sound way for brands and host venues to benefit from the great offer that professional sailing can present. This philosophy has been at the heart of the product since its inception in 2006, with the majority of teams since 2007 being sponsorship funded.
In addition to the host venue partnerships, and local sponsors for each event, Marinepool continue as Official Lifestyle and Technical Clothing Supplier having now launched an outstanding Extreme Sailing Series merchandising collection which is sold at events, online and in Marinepool’s extensive network of retailers, and GAC Pindar, recently confirmed as Official Logistics Partner to the 2012 circuit. GAC Pindar will bring their expertise and global footprint to help the organisers and teams deliver what is an exacting schedule and logistics operation spanning the planet. Further partners at both series and local level will be announced in the New Year along with a complete team line up which will be at the very highest level in sporting terms, and draw sailors from more than a dozen countries. Some wildcard entry slots remain for new teams building towards a full 2013 season.
The 2012 Extreme Sailing Series™ will start in the Sultanate of Oman in February before heading back to Qingdao, China for Act 2. Istanbul, Turkey, the gateway between Europe and Asia, will host Act 3 before the Extreme 40 fleet heads to Porto, Portugal, a new host venue in 2012. After the habitual visit to the UK in August, the circuit will return to the Sicilian port of Trapani for the third consecutive year. The iconic city of Nice will be the final stop in Europe before the 2012 finale to be staged in Brazil for the very first time (there will be an official media event in January where the precise location will be unveiled).
OC ThirdPole has worked hard to manage dates around other major events in the complex professional sailing calendar, and have been in regular contact with the America’s Cup organisers to try and co-ordinate these complementary events. Not an easy task for either party, and with some ACWS events still to be confirmed, Extreme Sailing Series has had to publish its final calendar without being able to ensure zero clashes.
As in 2011, at every Act, three of the racing days are staged in the Stadium open to the public and VIP guests. This game-changing professional sailing circuit attracted over 287,000 spectators in 2011 with its unique blend of ‘stadium’ short-course racing, including all the various disciplines and courses used already from fleet racing to match racing and straight line duels, whilst maintaining its high-level of competition which was borne out by producing 6 different winners from the nine events. 2011 saw a big step in the evolvement of the public entertainment, with an extended mix of entertainment on the public days that included supporting on water acts like the Olympic 49er class racing, Moth demo sailing, the NeilPryde Windsurfing Series and kids racing Optimists. On shore family-orientated entertainment from kids activities, dance and music took place within the Extreme Race Village. Alongside this event formula, stood the premium VIP facilities that is a vital part of the Extreme Sailing Series offering, that includes the unique guest sailing experience onboard the Extreme 40s.
Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of OC ThirdPole, commented: 'We’re proud to be going in to our sixth year and proud to have delivered such a high level sporting competition– yet at the same time in a format that also entertains. It can be challenging to manage the needs of all our different stakeholders that include host venues and event sponsors, teams and their partners, some of the best professional sailors in the world, sailing fans and the general public that are seeing the sport for the first time. But it’s a challenge that a relatively small but dedicated team has risen to, and we look forward to delivering a great year in 2012, once again across numerous languages, cultures and landscapes. At the start of the 2011 season we took control of the Extreme 40 Class to allow us to develop the rules of both event and boat in unison to ensure a more equal chance to win, and also drive down many of the costs for the teams. I think we still have plenty to improve and develop, on site and in communications terms, even if we have seen a very significant increase in media value this year across all our channels and platforms, in particular quality TV coverage. We have to squeeze out a lot from a relatively small budget compared with all the three other ISAF Special Events (America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and the World Match Racing Tour). We have made great progress in 2011 but there is more to do especially on the video front – we have a fantastic visual product with extraordinary characters involved.'
2012 Calendar and Host Venues: Act 1 : Muscat, Oman 28th February – 2nd March Act 2 : Qingdao, China 19th – 22nd April Act 3 : Istanbul, Turkey seventh – 10th June Act 4 : Porto, Portugal fifth -8th July Act 5: UK August Act 6 : Trapani, Italy 13th – 16th September Act 7 : Nice, France 18th – 21st October Act 8 : Brazil 29th November – 2nd December
In each case the event is open to the public and VIP guests on days 2-4 only.
2011 Key Stats: 9 Acts 3 continents 301 races 11 teams / 2 wildcards 6 different Act winners 287,000 spectators 5 capsizes 5 crashes 15 nationalities 42 TV broadcasters 1 million YouTube views