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Home » PEOPLE AND PLACES in MA » MASSACHUSETTS (all topics) » Extreme Sailing – An International Competition Comes to Harborfest
Extreme Sailing – An International Competition Comes to Harborfest

Boston, Massachusetts

By Peter F. Demers | June 27, 2011

The Extreme Sailing Series, which splashes down in the US later this week, showcases close combat racing on high-tech, high-speed catamarans raced by some of the world’s best skippers.

This event, the first Extreme Sailing Series act to be staged in the US, forms part of Harborfest – a six-day long 4th of July festival.   Now in its thirtieth year, Harborfest comprises over 200 daily events that showcase the colonial and maritime heritage of Boston.

Extreme Sailing is a stadium event running from Thursday, June 30 through Monday, July 4, 2011 at Boston’s Fan Pier. Eleven international teams composed of some of the world’s best sailors, including Olympians, World Champions, Americas Cup sailors and record holders will compete.

This is the fourth event of the year, the sailors having competed already in Sultanate of Oman, Quindago, China and Istanbul, Turkey. The final five locations will be Cowes, UK; Trapani, Sicily; Nice, France; Almeria, Spain; and Singapore. Sailors are from countries across the globe including Italy, Sweden, France, Australia, the US , Germany and Austria.

Extreme Sailing is combat racing on high-tech catamarans called Extreme 40’s. These half-million dollar, super-powered Maseratis of the sea were created in 2005 with two things in mind – action and adrenaline. They took the biggest, fastest sailing boat in the Olympics – and made it faster and twice the size. Extreme 40’s can reach up to 35 knots (40mph) on flat water surfaces.

Each event will generally consist of five days of racing and be true to the core aspirations of the Extreme Sailing Series ethos – mixing ‘open-water’ racing with ‘stadium’ short-course racing in front of the public, including all the various disciplines and courses used already from fleet racing to match racing, straight line duels and speed trials.

Organizers are providing an eight-hour mix of entertainment on ‘public’ days. On the water a number of support acts, like the Olympic 49er class, windsurfing and kiteboarding, will build up to the main Extreme 40 headline act. Dynamic stadium seating arrangements providing an up-close-and-personal experience of Extreme 40s racing.

A strong local community and charity campaign will see Boston schoolchildren given the chance to get on the water each morning.

Wrapped around the on-water competition there will be onshore entertainment from 11AM to 11PM daily in “Race Village” featuring the Red Bull Air Force skydivers, fireworks displays, live music entertainment, street performers and dancing.   A family friendly kid zone will feature interactive games, a bouncy-castle and more.

There will be ample food and drink sampling including oyster shucking from Legal Sea Foods and a special “Splash Time” daily from 4PM to 7PM.

In addition to the Extreme Sailing, other Harborfest events include tours of some of Boston’s prized historical public buildings, like the Bunker Hill Monument and Old State House, as well as private residences like Paul Revere’s home and Boston’s oldest brick residence, the 1713 Clough House.   Numerous other tours and events make up the six day celebration.

For further information, visit www.BostonHarborfest.com.

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