CARDIFF, WALES (UK) – Hosting the Extreme Sailing Series for the seventh consecutive season, Cardiff served up spectacular sailing as winds pushed the GC32s to the limit, and sometimes beyond. The regatta saw four capsizes over the weekend – from SAP Extreme Sailing, Team Mexico, Oman Air and Team Wales – but Red Bull Sailing thrived in the heavy rain of Day One, finishing on the podium in third. The Austria-based team lost pace in the lighter winds of Day Two and couldn’t find it again in the 20-knot gusts of Day Three, but they surged back in Monday’s final races, with five podiums.
With the Cardiff result, Alinghi, SAP Extreme Sailing and Oman Air lead the overall standings, while Red Bull Sailing remains in fifth overall. “Of course this isn’t the result we were aiming for. The conditions were exciting but we weren’t consistent. However, we have a young team and we keep learning,” said Hans Peter Steinacher, who won two Olympic championships with Hagara and serves as the team’s sport director and tactician. “There are two regattas left, in San Diego and Los Cabos, and Roman and I are already looking toward solutions to produce a strong finish to the season.”
Hagara – who is the hands-on coach for Red Bull Sailing in the Extreme Sailing Series in addition to leading as skipper – and Steinacher have made it their mission to find and mentor the next generation of sailing talent in Red Bull Foiling Generation and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, as well as in the Extreme Sailing Series.
“Our helmsman in Cardiff, Chris Taylor, helmed the winning boat in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, which is why we decided to give him this opportunity,” commented Hagara. The team is rounded out by Ed Powys, Rhys Mara, Dan Morris and Neil Hunter.
The potential of Hagara and Steinacher’s approach to finding and building sailing talent was evident in Olivia Mackay’s remarkable weekend in Cardiff. In 2016, the Kiwi and her sailing partner Micah Wilkinson won the first-ever World Final in the Red Bull Foiling Generation series, and in this weekend’s wild Welsh waters the pair flew to victory in the Grand Finale of the Flying Phantom series. It was then that Mackay made her historic move up to helm Team Wales for the final day’s action in the Extreme Sailing Series, a new milestone for women in sailing.
A fresh lineup of chargers will hope to follow in Mackay’s footsteps when 16 international teams face off at this season’s Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final at Miami, USA on 9-11 November 2018.
But up first: Red Bull Sailing will return to the sunshine – and breezes – of San Diego, USA for the penultimate act of the Extreme Sailing Series season on 18-21 October 2018.
Results Extreme Sailing Series Act 5, Cardiff, UK: 1. Alinghi (SUI) 307 points, 2. SAP Extreme Sailing (DEN) 304 pts, 3. Oman Air (OMA) 303 pts, 4. INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) 282 pts, 5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 275 pts, 6. Team Mexico (MEX) 218 pts, 7. Team Wales (GBR) 202 pts
Overall Extreme Sailing Series rankings after five of seven acts: 1. Alinghi (SUI) 57 points, 2. SAP Extreme Sailing (DEN) 55 pts, 3. Oman Air (OMA) 51 pts, 4. INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) 46 pts, 5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 41 pts, 6. Team Mexico (MEX) 35 pts
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About Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher
Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher are Austria’s most successful summer sport athletes, having won two Olympic gold medals (Sydney, Athens) and numerous world championships. They are the only Austrians to have competed on the America’s Cup World Series. Determined to see sailing progress to the next level, they groom the next generation of sailors by leading the Red Bull Sailing Team in the Extreme Sailing Series and by serving as sports directors for Red Bull Foiling Generation and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.
About the Extreme Sailing Series 2018
In seven events spanning three continents, the Extreme Sailing Series brings the action right to the public, with stadium sailing on foiling catamarans in the heart of vibrant global destinations. Schedule 2018:
14-17 March: Muscat, Oman
24-27 May: GC32 World Championship, Lake Garda, Italy
14-17 June: Barcelona, Spain
5-8 July: Cascais, Portugal
24-27 August: Cardiff, UK
18-21 October: San Diego, USA
29 November-2 December: Los Cabos, Mexico