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Act 2 Press Conference – what the skippers said

Before heading out on the water for the start of Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series™, the eight skippers were presented at a packed press conference in Qingdao. Here’s what they had to say…

Stevie Morrison, Team Turx: “I think Qingdao is an amazing place to sail. I have spent a lot of time here and we always have lots of different conditions to race in. But what’s really special is the strong currents, which means the race course is always moving. It makes racing exciting and challenging for us. We look forward to racing here and having lots of fun.”

Bleddyn Mon, Land Rover BAR Academy: “For us the first event in Muscat was a great result (finishing in third). We’re a completely new team and it was our first time sailing together in the Extreme Sailing Series. The biggest thing we learned was how to sail these new boats. The guys did a great job and hopefully we can replicate that success this week in Qingdao.”

Arnaud Psarofaghis, Alinghi: “There’s a new boat for the Extreme Sailing Series this year so the main difference is that our boats now come out of the water on foils. It means a lot of extra speed and makes the game much more interesting. The new GC32s are really exciting to sail and to watch.”

Morgan Larson, Oman Air: “We came away from Muscat with a great result, and that was maybe due to the fact that we’d had more time in the new boat than other teams. But I think you’re going to see a different fleet here in Qingdao – everyone knows the boats much better now and it’s going to be very competitive. I think it could come down to the final race. For us it’s about building on what we’ve learned so far and keeping moving forward.”

Roman Hagara, Red Bull Sailing Team: “We have had some interesting experiences here in Qingdao in past years – we capsized one year and in 2014 we crashed into Alinghi. The photos of that moment are famous. Just stay away from us, we’re dangerous! But seriously, we’re really looking forward to racing.”

Diogo Cayolla, Sail Portugal: “The new boats are a huge challenge for us. We are a new team sailing in the Extreme Sailing Series for the first time, and while most of us come from a catamaran background sailing these new boats is a little different. Sailing these boats is challenging and demanding but then in the stadium sailing format it’s crazy. It’s going to be a great show.”

Rasmus Kostner, SAP Extreme Sailing Team: “We had a very good performance in Qingdao last year (winning the event) and this is something we can take into this year, but it will be very different due to the new boats. Last year we did a good job of understanding the conditions and the race course, and we can use that again, but executing it on the GC32 is going to be difficult. It is going to be full on but we’re really looking forward to it.”

Liu Xue (Black), One: “I feel very proud to be here – I’m Chinese, Qingdao is my home town, and the Extreme Sailing Series is a big event. The level is very high and I am hoping to learn a lot. I’m really excited and happy to be here.”