In a first for the world’s premier Stadium Racing sailing championship, the Extreme Sailing Series™ will stage its sixth event of 2016 on the beautiful Portuguese Atlantic islands of Madeira.
The sixth Act will take place from 22-25th of September in the waters off Funchal, the island’s capital, where thousands of tourists and locals will have a perfect view of some the world’s top multihull sailors racing hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans at close quarters.
The Act in Madeira replaces Istanbul as the Host Venue for Act 6, originally planned for the same dates and will be run in partnership with Madeira Tourism and hosted by Madeira Islands – the 2016 “World’s Leading Island Destination.”
For the Regional Secretary of Economy, Tourism and Culture, Eduardo Jesus, this event is an excellent opportunity for Madeira to establish itself as a nautical tourism destination, enhancing its potential and reinforcing Madeira Islands’ international reputation.
"Madeira has strived to host a competition of this nature for some time so today we are pleased to secure this partnership, which we hope to continue to develop in the future" said Jesus.
With a free-to-enter Race Village, the event in Madeira will feature all the familiar attractions of an Extreme Sailing Series Act including multi-media coverage and live streaming of the on-the-water action online on the Saturday and Sunday.
Wind conditions at Funchal – a city that has thrived on its links with sea over centuries - should be in the order of 8-12 knots of breeze, perfect for competitive racing for some of the world’s lightest and fastest sailing machines.
Andy Tourell, Event Director of the Extreme Sailing Series, welcomed the chance to bring the championship to Madeira. “Funchal will be another fantastic setting for our super-fast catamarans. The opportunity to bring the Extreme Sailing Series to an entirely new audience is an exciting one.”
Phil Lawrence, Extreme Sailing Series Race Director, believes the warm waters off Funchal will be a spectacular setting to demonstrate the awesome power of the GC32s. “We are delighted to be going to race in the beautiful island of Madeira. At that time of year winds are generally light to moderate and will present a real challenge to the sailors”, said Lawrence.
The decision to stage Act 6 in Madeira follows on-going security concerns around the Turkish city that has played host to the Series on the Bosphorus four times previously.
Now in its 10th year, the Extreme Sailing Series is a pioneering and award-winning global sailing championship that features super-fast, hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans racing in close confinement in Stadium settings in the heart of some of the world’s most iconic cities and venues.
This year the championship started with Acts at Muscat in Oman, Qingdao in China and Cardiff in Wales and has already featured some spectacular racing as some of the world’s top multihull sailors battle it out in front of thousands of race fans who attend each four-day event. The Act in Madeira will be preceded by Acts 4 and 5 in Hamburg (28-31st July) and St Petersburg (1-4th September). It will be followed by Acts 7 and 8 in Lisbon (6-9th October) and Australia (8-11th December).