22 March 2018

Extreme Sailing Series blasts back into Cardiff Bay

Extreme Sailing Series boats in Cardiff Bay, 2017
Extreme Sailing Series tackles Cardiff Bay, 2017 by Shaun Roster
Get ready for three days of aquatic action this August Bank Holiday as the world’s most thrilling marine racing events returns to the waters of Cardiff Bay. Here are a few reasons why you should be excited.

It’s designed for spectators

Established in 2007, the Extreme Sailing Series is the original stadium racing experience. Taking place on short, fast courses close to the shore, you’re never going to be too far from the action. It’s a high-speed spectacle as the teams jostle for position and look for the best lines in an all-out dash for the finish.

It’s a test of pure skill

Unlike in Formula One, where the race is often won by the competitor with the best car, victory in the Extreme Sailing Series all comes down to the crew’s ability. Every team is literally in the same boat (a hydro-foiling GC32 catamaran, to be exact), so it’s up to the five-person team to wring the best from their vessel.

It’s packed with sailing stars

The Extreme Sailing Series attracts some of the most talented competitors from across the sailing scene. Expect to see world champions, Olympic heroes, America’s Cup winners and Round the World sailing legends, when the competition calls into Cardiff. 

You’ll believe a boat can fly

The GC32 catamaran used by the competitors is a razor-sharp racing machine at the cutting edge of marine design. Capable of speeds of 39 knots (45 mph for you landlubbers), the ultra-light vessel’s secret weapon is its unique j-foil. Working much like an aeroplane’s wing, it lifts the boat’s hull out of the water, lessening drag and rapidly increasing speed. Keeping the catamarans flying above the surface is a delicate balancing act requiring all the crew’s skills. More importantly, it also looks pretty cool.

It’s a global competition’s only UK stop

Unless you plan on travelling abroad, Wales is the only place you’ll be able to see this amazing travelling spectacle. Cardiff Bay lines up with glamorous and exotic locations like San Diego in the USA, Los Cabos in Mexico, St Petersburg in Russia and Muscat in Oman as an Extreme Sailing Series host in 2018. 

It’s the perfect excuse to explore Cardiff Bay

We’re celebrating our Year of the Sea in Wales in 2018, so the Extreme Sailing Series is an ideal opportunity to explore a place that’s a huge part of our maritime past and present. See the historic, red-brick Pierhead Building, once a thriving hub of international trade, and enjoy 21st century waterfront living at Mermaid Quay, a buzzing complex of bars and restaurants built on the city’s former docklands.

For more information visit the Extreme Sailing Series website and to see what else is happening in Wales head to our What’s On page.