A week away from Act 2 in Qingdao, China, the team end a mountain of pre-event physical preparation, and begin a mountain of logistical work that is involved in getting ready to race in the Extreme Sailing Series.
The team’s base near the marina in the port city of Qingdao is becoming a hive of activity as the crew begin to arrive on site. Hitting the start line on race day means first unpacking two shipping containers full of gear, assembling the GC32, mobile workshop, and our quay-side VIP lounge. It means servicing, cleaning, checking, and double-checking all the systems on the GC32, and on the team’s two support RIBs. It means briefings and data analysis, and it means – despite all this – keeping up with a tough physical training program under a fog of jet lag. Despite this the team are itching to get the preparations behind them and get back on to the water – on to a boat that has proved to be as exciting to sail as it is challenging.
After a few well-deserved rest days following Act 1 in Oman, it was back to business. The crew shrugged off any lingering disappointment from the final race in Oman, and focussed their attention ahead to China, and to keeping themselves in peak condition. Keeping in peak condition, for the whole sailing team, means tailored programs in the gym, and hours spent on the water. The team hone their quick thinking, their tactics and their foiling technique in foiling Mach-2 Moth dinghies, and onboard their semi-foiling M32 catamaran. For co-skipper Rasmus Køstner, keeping in peak condition also meant competing in a 100 kilometre kite-skiing race in the mountains of Norway. And for skipper Jes Gram-Hansen, legs and core have been shown no mercy as he has clocked up hundreds of kilometres on his race bike in the Swiss Alps.
Ahead of Qingdao, we touched base with Rasmus Køstner who explained why the venue holds a special place in the team’s heart;
“Qingdao is a special venue for us – it was where our SAP sponsorship started 2012 and the venue where we won our first act on the Extreme Sailing Series. We are sure it will be just as close and exciting as always but also a good opportunity for us to bounce back from a disappointing last race in Muscat”
Commenting on the game plan, he says;
“With gusty wind conditions ranging from super light to very windy in seconds it will be all about sailing in the best pressure and not putting too much effort into covering our opponents. Figuring out the best track will be very difficult in the unpredictable conditions. However Qingdao can also be smooth sailing outside the breakwater with high emphasis on good starts and boat speed”
For the mean time the game of unpacking and continues. As for the racing, kick off is on April 28, and the four race days are bound to be action-packed. As per usual live 3D graphics and insights from SAP will be available on our website on April 28, followed by three days of live coverage from April 29 to May 2. Stay tuned!