Extreme Sailing Series 2015: New season sees new line-up

The series of eight regattas sees the return of Germany and St Petersburg, with the Cardiff regatta brought forward to June

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The Independent Online

A new line-up and a new circuit has been unveiled in Germany for the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series. But the reigning champions, Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi, have sidelined themselves and all the potential America’s Cup challenge teams, including Britain’s Ben Ainslie, will either be concentrating on the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) or seeking finance to make progress, or have pulled out altogether.

But returning is the team which twice won the series, Oman Sail’s The Wave Muscat, with Olympian Leigh McMillan continuing as skipper, and stablemate Oman Air brings in another British Olympian, Stevie Morrison to replace Rob Greenhalgh, on Volvo round the world race duty with Spain’s Mapfre challenge.

The Australian America’s Cup team may have folded its tents but the GAC Pindar colours it carried will be back with the skipper’s job rotating between last year’s skipper, Seve Jarvin, and the man who now steps up to share the job, Ian Williams. Williams was also coaching last year and will be just a couple of hours’ drive away from Singapore the following week as he bids to land a fifth World Match Racing Tour title in Johor, Malaysia.

The final of Monsoon Cup, and the 2014 series, was moved to the resort and delayed for nearly three months, during which time the turmoil in the foreign exchange market caused by the actions of the Swiss Central Bank led to the demise of event sponsor Alpari. The only reason Williams’ eyes will be on the money is that he wishes to beat the man who pipped him last year, Taylor Canfield of the US Virgin Islands.  

The Danes and the Austrians will be back for the first regatta in Singapore next month, as will Russia’s Gazprom team, and they will be joined by a new Italian team and a Turkish team.

The series of eight regattas sees the return of Germany and St Petersburg, with the Cardiff regatta brought forward to June to avoid clashing with the ACWS regatta in Portsmouth in July, itself pushed back from earlier plans to stage it in June as Italy’s Prada/Luna Rossa challenge opens the series in Cagliari, Sardinia.  

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