Dubois injury forces replacement
Sebbe is a world-renowned dinghy and multihull sailor; he has represented Belgium at three Olympic games, most recently in Beijing where he sailed in the Tornado class, competing against his new Ecover team mate Will Howden. Sebbe has posted top ten results at all three Olympics he has attended and he also has previous experience of the Extreme 40 class. Sebbe sailed on board Holmatro during the first season, when the class was originally conceived in 2004.
“I’m really looking forward to joining the team in Amsterdam," said Godefroid. "I am sure the course will throw many surprises our way, this really is sailing at the highest level and we are going head to head against the best in the world, I can’t wait to get going!”
The team has been based in Amsterdam since Monday where they are putting in time on the water before the racing kicks off on Friday. The race course in Amsterdam is a tricky place even for the most experienced sailors. The nine boat fleet is given a really small body of water, so it is very hard to manoeuvre the boats - particularly when you put several other boats in that same stretch of water! The race course is lined by two very high lanes of buildings either side, which provide small gusts of wind coming through the gaps and then big shut-downs when the boats are in the lee of the buildings.
After a media and practice race day on Thursday, racing takes place from Friday until Sunday on the IJ-Haven between Java Island and the Tosaristraat Bridge. Racing will start at 1400 (GMT +1) each day, with up to eight short and sharp races scheduled each afternoon. There will be a parade of sail before each afternoon, and onshore commentary to help visitors keep up with the fast-paced action, while the iShares Cup race village in the IJ-Haven will be also be open to the public.
“We are all looking forward to round 5 in Amsterdam," said Golding. "It is naturally sad that Bruno cannot be with us but his 'bonce” is recovering well. I am delighted to welcome Sebbe to the team in Bruno’s place. Sebbe will undoubtedly bring some fresh talent and ideas to the team and whilst we don’t have any real practice time before this regatta I’m looking forward to the challenge of Amsterdam with a real commitment to improving our performance on the water.”
Amsterdam has a strong history with the iShares Cup and has been the scene of many dramatic moments on the water. Yet again the Extreme 40s will bring sailing right to the heart of the capital city, racing on a seemingly impossibly small course of approximately 800m long and 200m wide. City workers and residents alike will watch the catamarans sailing just inches from their windows.
“It really is some tight racing,” commented Ecover crew member Fraser Brown, who has previously raced at this event in Amsterdam. “The sail changes and manoeuvres have to be spot on, there really is little room for error and it makes for some really dramatic sailing and all in front of huge crowds!”