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2017 Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 opens in Qingdao

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-05-02

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The curtain rose on the second act of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series on April 28 in China's Olympic Sailing City of Qingdao. The racing is for the "Mazarin Cup", with seven international teams competing for glory on the waters of Qingdao over four days.

It's the seventh year Qingdao has hosted a round of the Extreme Sailing Series. Following the season opener in Muscat in March, the competition re-convened over China's May Labor Day holiday weekend, with open water racing on day one followed by Stadium Racing in Fushan Bay, a venue notorious for its temperamental weather conditions ranging from gales to flat calms, with unexpected gusts and fog.

Spectators can watch for free from anywhere around Fushan Bay.

2017 Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 opens in Qingdao

Skippers of the seven international teams that will compete for glory on the waters of Qingdao shared their thoughts at a press conference held on April 28. [Photo by Zhou Guanghui/dailyqd.com]

The organizing committee held a press conference in the morning at which seven skippers shared their thoughts on the upcoming campaign of thrills, trickiness and high intensity.

"Qingdao is a great place for sailing but we know we have to be patient with the race course because it can be tricky. We won this event last year but we will need to stay focused, keep learning and push hard if we are to enjoy that success again," said Arnaud Psarofaghis, co-skipper and helm of Swiss team Alinghi.

"This season we've got a similar team line-up to last year, and we were happy with our performance in the opening Act in Muscat. The team really came together and by the end of the regatta we were putting in some good results. Now we're really excited to get racing under way in Qingdao," said Rob Bunce, skipper and bowman of British team Land Rover BAR Academy.

"Qingdao is a very difficult place to sail and it takes good preparation and a bit of luck to get a good result. We're hoping we have both. We won here in 2015 but came sixth last year so we've been studying our previous performances closely,” said Jes Gram-Hansen, co-skipper and helm of the Danish fleet SAP Extreme Sailing Team.

Liu Xue (nickname Black), co-skipper of Team Extreme (CHN) said that "This is not my first time sailing in Qingdao in the Extreme Sailing Series – I'm so happy to be back sailing in this great event in my home city. Because the racing takes place so close to the shore everyone can come to watch, which is a great way to inspire children to take up sailing."

2017 Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 opens in Qingdao

Crews prepare for open water racing on day one (April 28). [Photo by Zhou Guanghui/dailyqd.com]

Following Qingdao, the event will visit six cities including Madeira Island in Portugal, Cardiff in the United Kingdom, Hamburg in Germany and San Diego in the United States.

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