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US wildcard teams ready for San Diego action

The fleet of eight hydro-foiling GC32s headed into San Diego Bay earlier today for the final day of practice racing ahead of the start of the penultimate stage of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ season tomorrow. Amongst that fleet were two US-flagged wildcard crews, Team Extreme San Diego and Lupe Tortilla Demetrio, whose crews are raring to get the real racing underway.

Thursday 19th October 2017

The fleet of eight hydro-foiling GC32s headed into San Diego Bay earlier today for the final day of practice racing ahead of the start of the penultimate stage of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ season tomorrow. Amongst that fleet were two US-flagged wildcard crews, Team Extreme San Diego and Lupe Tortilla Demetrio, whose crews are raring to get the real racing underway.

Skipper of Team Extreme San Diego, Morgan Larson, is pleased to be back in the fray following a break from his profession. The Californian sailor has competed in the Series four times previously, including a win in 2014.

“I’ve pretty much had a year off from sailing enjoying some great family time skiing in the mountains and surfing in Mexico. I raced half as much as I had the previous 10 years of my career and as much as it was great I’ve really missed the competition and friends that I have on tour. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow,” said Larson.

During the practice racing Team Extreme San Diego had a run in with Land Rover BAR Academy. The British entry sustained a hole in the hull but both boats will race tomorrow.

Larson explained: “It took a little while to get to grips with the boat again and I think that showed because I misjudged a manoeuvre and hit Land Rover BAR Academy at the bottom mark, but that’s all part of it.

“Lupe Tortilla Demetrio looked good. I think it’s going to take them a little time to get used to this format of racing and the way it goes out here, it’s cut throat. They’re going to be on the steep part of the learning curve,” commented Larson on his US competition.

For John Tomko, skipper and helm of Lupe Tortilla Demetrio, San Diego is his first time in the GC32.

“It was a good first day for us to get in there and mix it up with everybody. We didn’t do too hot, but I think we learned quite a bit, got a bit more comfortable being around other boats, so it was positive for us,” he said.

Tomko and his mainsail trimmer Jonathan Atwood recently finished competing in the 2017 Flying Phantom Series, which was held at the European Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series. Both sailors have now made the step up to the GC32, a scaled-up version of the hydro-foiling Flying Phantom crewed by five sailors instead of two.

“It’s quite a bit different to sailing in the Flying Phantom, just the teamwork aspect of it. There’s a lot of coordination going on. I’m used to just one other person to deal with and now there’s a lot to get right, because if you get something wrong it all goes bad pretty quickly. Yesterday was our first time together sailing the boat so there’s quite a bit to learn in little time, but we’re going to work at it,” commented Tomko.

Race Director John Craig commented: “We got all the eight boats out, four practice races in, and a couple of practice starts. The teams are ready to go and the view from the water back on shore makes the Race Village look very impressive.

“The forecast is looking similar to today so the better part of the breeze will be in the early part of the day and then it will die out a little bit, but Friday and Saturday are looking spectacular,” added Craig.

The GC32 Stadium Racing begins tomorrow at 13:30 UTC-7 and the free-to-enter public Race Village is open from 10:00. Those who can’t make it to the water’s edge can follow the action via the live blog and get updates on the official social media channels.