Extreme 40s in the Bosphorus
Proceedings in Istanbul will get underway tomorrow, with the third event in the Extreme Sailing Series.
In a first for the Extreme Sailing Series, on Saturday morning the eight Extreme 40 catamarans will also face the challenge of racing in one of he world’s narrowest straits, on the notorious Bosphorus.
At just 700m wide at its narrowest point, the Bosphorus is a crucial shipping channel, with heavy traffic crossing between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. The shores of the straight are heavily populated, but the residents are more accustomed to seeing ferries and tankers as opposed to the racing catamarans.
Race Director Phil Lawrence spoke of the challenges the teams will face: “The Bosphorus is an iconic stretch of water that presents enormous challenges with the volume of shipping and ferries, coupled together with a four knot current. It will be a huge challenge for the skippers. We have light winds forecast for the first two days but big breeze for the weekend.”
The Extreme 40s last met in Qingdao, China seven weeks ago and over the last two days, the teams have been making the most of the time to fine tune their boats and put in some practice on the water.
British Olympian Leigh McMillan, skipper of The Wave Muscat, is top of the leaderboard after a win in China, and is eyeing the podium for a third consecutive event. “We had a really good start this year, we were straight out of the blocks with two podium finishes and we are hoping to maintain this with another podium finish in Istanbul.”