In mid December, the Extreme Sailing Series concluded the final and 8th Act of the year and celebrating the 2015 winner of the series in Sydney, Australia.
Team SAP Extreme Sailing took 2nd place in Act 8 and thereby defended the overall 2nd place for the series as a whole. The best overall result in the series for the team since the start 4 years earlier.
It has been a long and rugged road to get this far, with ups and downs, and despite the obvious talent surrounding the team, the success is also built on toughness, tenacity, meticulous planning, analysis and ability to adabt to challenges. The sun always shines on the podium, but it is how you spent the rainy days that brings you up there.
In many ways, the crescendo in Sydney was also an end of an era going back to the start ten years earlier with the introduction of the stadium sailing and the Extreme 40 catamaran. The Extreme Sailing Series announced the change of boat – from the planing catamaran Extreme 40 to the foiling catamaran GC32.
This is a fundamental change in many ways. Helmsman, Jes Gram-Hansen:
“First; it is a sailing concept where the catamaran is not floating anymore but hydrofoiling on its daggerboard, essentially introducing the sailors to vertical parameters as well. Both while sailing, but also technically, strategically and tactically.
Second; With such a change the game is suddenly not transparent anymore, since the whole fleet is saying goodbye to all the benchmarks from the past. The fleet is packed with world class sailors with merits in America’s Cup, Olympic Games and World Championships, so the skill sets are present, but not the experience with the new setup.
This leaves an open question of who will be the team to beat.”
Tactician, Rasmus Køstner follows up:
“At Team SAP Extreme Sailing we embrace change and work with it; Not against it… Since the announcement in the fall of 2015, we have been training in various foiling vessels from Moths to Phantoms and are carefully monitoring the existing facts of the already sailing GC32’s – looking for those small margins that make the difference and we’d like to apply to our new boat.
New settings and changes also demand change of onboard skills and the team will introduce the 2016 crew mid February with some new experts onboard specialized in foiling trim and configurations along with the new boat in an updated color scheme for the new season.”
“We feel well prepared for the task ahead of us, we sure have great ambitions for the new season, but we are also humble of the challenges ahead. We know, like in business, that yesterdays winner is not tomorrows by any certainty when the winds of change are prevailing.”
It is a fresh start for everybody and Team SAP Extreme Sailing can’t wait to the ‘curtain fall’ mid February, where drop the skirt will drop off the new boat and the new crew will be introduced to the public. Stay tuned…