The Extreme Sailing Series attracts the very best sailors from across the globe, with Olympic medallists joining America’s Cup sailors and World and European champions. From its roots in 2007, the series has developed into a spectator-friendly, adrenaline-fuelled set of races, with much in-shore racing in stadium environments.
This makes for incredible viewing for those at the events and ensures that all eyes are firmly on the sailors as they battle it out at each crucial stage.
As the event prepares to get underway in late February, and with teams naming competitors on a daily basis, what exactly does it take to compete in the Extreme Sailing Series?
The Wave, Muscat crew for 2014 includes three Brits, including Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton, who won in Athens and at Beijing.
Meanwhile, the pride of British sailing, Ben Ainslie, has also competed in the series which tests the skills of sailors to their absolute limits.
The quadruple gold-winning sailor will lead an assault on the title once again in 2014, although he will face stiff competition from France’s Franck Cammas, among others.
Two other Extreme 40s will be skippered by Brits too, reigning Extreme Series champion Leigh McMillan and Rob Greenhalgh, both of whom count on Oman Sail for sponsorship. Securing sponsorship can often be as competitive as the main competition itself.
The 2014 series gets underway in Singapore before heading to Oman and the China Olympic Games sailing city of Qingdao.
It then travels to Europe, taking in St Petersburg and Cardiff before Istanbul hosts Act six of the eight Act event.
An additional stage in the Mediterranean is still to be confirmed before Sydney will host the series for the first time in December.
The events are spread out across the year and leave plenty of other space for the world’s leading athletes to compete in other events at the same time.
The eighth series of Extreme Sailing is sure to be just as exciting as the previous events, and with more top class sailors competing, the bar is almost certainly going to be raised again.
Plenty of sailing courses and training have helped them to get to where they are today, as enthusiasm and hard work is coupled with a natural desire to want to be the very best.
With plenty of Brits racing on behalf of various teams at this year’s events, the chances that one, if not more, could make the podium are extremely likely.
If you can see yourself competing on the world stage one day, then advice from the right rya training centre will help to point you in the right direction.
The desire to win among all competitors creates a spectacle full of close encounters and incredible action.
The Extreme 40s are capable of motorboat-like speeds and requires an incredible amount of coordination, finesse and sheer power.
Races are short – lasting around 15 minutes on average – but with up to eight a day and with such strong desire to win, crashes and glory are only inches apart.
With umpires out on the water to enforce the rules of the events and to impose penalties if necessary, the pressure is on the sailors to perform to the very highest level throughout.
But for those that have the desire, tackling the Extreme Series could one day become a reality.