Less than 24 hours to go…
The boats are prepped for battle, the venue is ready for spectators and the teams are raring to go. It is now less than 24 hours until the final of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ gets underway.
Since Act 1 in Muscat in March each team has experienced highs and lows in their fight to be crowned champion of the ultimate Stadium Racing championship, and it all boils down to what happens over the next four days.
The venue for the decider is Cabo San Lucas in Los Cabos, known as the ‘End of the Earth’. Over the past week the eight teams, from eight nations, have had time to familiarise themselves with the beautiful Mexican venue and soak up some of the local culture.
The stadium racecourse is set just off the shore of Médano Beach, near the distinctive rock arch formation ‘El Arco’.
“We’re enjoying the Mexican culture. We went out to the arch this morning to have a swim and a paddle. It’s a very nice spot and it’s just great to be here. The thing I was most excited about was the Mexican food but I’m a little bit over it after having it for every single meal; I think I might have overdone that a bit,” said Phil Robertson, skipper of Team Oman Air, who are second in the running for the 2017 title.
“But it’s nice, it’s warm and we’ve had some stellar conditions for the first few days of training. We’re feeling great, we’re feeling relaxed, it’s Mexico so it’s all good,” added Robertson
A year-round average temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit and around 350 days of sunshine makes it a challenging venue for the sailors who will be working hard in the heat of the day to sail the physically demanding foiling GC32s.
“It’s hot and sweaty,” laughed Adam Minoprio, helm of SAP Extreme Sailing Team. “It’s a great location, we’re having a lot of fun; we’ve had a few Pacíficos, a few tacos and a few hot chilies. We just need to make sure we can really focus on the racing and make sure we have a strong result to finish up the season.”
The venue is famed for its diverse marine wildlife, which includes a variety of whale species including the humpback whale, pacific bottlenose dolphins and orcas. Later this week the sailors will be taking part in a baby turtle release, a common conservation activity in the area.
“There’s lots of seals in the harbour which is cool, you’ve got to dodge them on the way out,” said Josh Junior, co-skipper of NZ Extreme Sailing Team. “It’s a great place to sail and it’s pretty beautiful with the rocks and the sandy beaches. Hopefully we get a bit of breeze and it will be magic.”
Racing begins tomorrow at 14:00 local time (UTC-7). Fans can follow the action via the live blog on race day one and two and can watch the live stream on Facebook and YouTube on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December from 14:00 – 17:00 local time.
The free-to-enter public Race Village, located in front of the Breathless Hotel Beach Club on Médano Beach, is open daily from 10:00 – 19:00 and features a variety of activities including volleyball, soccer and snorkelling. VIP packages are also available and offer the opportunity to ride on board one of the boats during racing. Find out more information on the official event page.