Ecover announce their Extreme 40 crew
With two weeks to go until the start of the Extreme Sailing Series the Ecover Sailing Team have announced an all-British line up for the season ahead.
British Olympic Tornado sailor Leigh McMillan is one of two new crew announcements, as he takes on the helm of the Ecover Extreme 40 in 2010. America’s Cup and TP52 sailor Jonathan Taylor also steps onboard in the role of bowman when they line up for the first event in Sète, France at the end of May. Skipper Mike Golding takes on the role of trimmer, with 2009 Ecover crew member Will Howden remaining in the joint role of mainsheet and tactician.
The new line up reunites McMillan and Howden, who competed together at World and Olympic level in the Tornado class from 2004 until to 2008. As one of the world’s top dinghy and multihull sailors, Leigh is no stranger to Extreme 40s. In 2009 he took charge of Oman Sail Masirah during the 2009 Extreme Sailing Series Asia, steering the team to victory during this inaugural event.
“Since the Tornado class was withdrawn from the Olympics the Extreme 40 seemed an obvious choice," said McMillan. "I did some coaching for the Ecover Sailing Team during the European season in 2009, and then jumped onboard Oman Sail Masirah for the Asian series. These boats are multihull sailing at its best, it’s fast, intense and the standard of competition is very high. It’s great to be sailing again with Will, and the experience Mike and Jonathan bring from the world of IMOCA and the America’s Cup is invaluable. I’m looking forward to getting some strong results and mixing it up with the top teams from last season."
After a small refit on the boat, the team has been training out of Hamble in the build up to the first event.
Skipper Mike Golding commented: “Training has gone really well. Will and Leigh have a great synergy onboard, so it has been a very smooth process working in the role changes. 2009 was a learning curve for all of us, and I hope this year will see us raise the bar in terms of performance on the water. Leigh will be fantastic on the helm, and we intend to make an impact on the leaderboard this season”.
Despite its position in the Mediterranean, Sète has a history of being a great location for sailing. The town of Saintes-Maries-de-Mar (commonly known as ‘the trench’ in France) is close by, which has been the location for many speed records.
“We have a fantastic team in place and the series will take us to some brilliant locations for racing. I am sure the competition will, as always, be very close. I hope to attend some events and I am looking forward to seeing the Ecover Sailing Team in action. Good luck for 2010!” said Michael Bremans, CEO of Ecover.