The 5th stage of the prestigious Extreme Sailing Series will take place on September 1-4 in the waters of the Neva near the Peter and Paul Fortress.
Seven teams on the new «winged» GC32 catamarans will compete against each other in a «stadium racing format», in close proximity to spectators who will be able to watch the action from the racing village set up on the beach near the walls of the Peter and Paul Fortress. Entrance to the racing village is free.
During the day there will be 5 to 8 short races, each under 15 minutes in length. The races start every day at 14:00.
The Saint-Petersburg Yacht Club team Gazprom Team Russia received «wild card» from the organizers and will take part in the fifth round of the series. Although the team will join the Extreme Sailing Series fleet only in the middle of the season, its skipper Phil Robertson believes that Gazprom Team Russia has something to surprise its rivals.
Apart from the spectacular competitions, the visitors of the racing village will have other entertainments, such as beach volleyball and tennis, an interactive Land Rover zone for adults and children, where it will be possible to take part in the Land Rover test drive (for children the miniature version of the car will be available). Everything happening on the water will be broadcasted on a big screen.
The broadcast will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 15:30 till 17:00 Moscow time.
St. Petersburg will host races of Extreme Sailing Series for the third consecutive year. You can read about how it was last year here. According to Phil Robertson, the skipper of Gazprom Team Russia, St. Petersburg stage of the series is one of the most challenging ones.
«Last year the race in St. Petersburg proved to be one of the most difficult races of the series. The buildings surrounding the competition area greatly affect the wind. Missing a gust or entering the wind shadow could have a big influence on the result», said the sailor. - But the location itself is amazing. It's right in the middle of town, and the spectators can see every little detail of the race up close».
The competitors in the Extreme Saling Series have had the chance to compete in GC32s on the river - the previous event was on the Elbe in Hamburg - so they're familiar with the challenges involved.
«There are plenty of challenges," says Land Rover BAR Academy team skipper Neil Hunter, who will be visiting St. Petersburg for the first time. - Small space creates more demanding maneuvers, which are physically difficult to achieve with a GC32 class catamaran. The strong currents on the Neva also influence the course of the competition, so each race will be different from the previous one».
ArnaudPsarofaghis, helmsman of Alinghi, compared racing on the narrow Neva to driving an F1 race car through the streets of Monaco. After four rounds Alinghi is in third place in the series with 41 points. Only one point separates Swiss team from Red Bull Sailing Team. The leader of the standings is Oman Air (47 points). The difference between the leading teams is very small, so in St. Petersburg we will see a tough struggle.