Mayor leads welcome as the Extreme Sailing Series™ heads to San Diego
The mayor of San Diego yesterday marked the beginning of the build-up to the first appearance of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in San Diego next month, saying he was sure the event will be a big hit with the locals.
Speaking at a press conference alongside other local stakeholders in the event – set for the weekend of October 19 – 22 – Mayor Kevin Faulconer said: “The Extreme Sailing Series is pushing the boundaries of high-speed sailing to new levels around the world and San Diego is an ideal city to join the impressive list of venues on this circuit.”
He added: “Our region boasts not only a near-perfect year-round climate, great facilities and world-class beaches and attractions, but also sensational dining and premier hotels. Like we have done with so many other major events in the past, San Diego will provide a top-notch experience for everyone involved.”
The penultimate Act of the global, high-speed sailing championship will be held just metres from the shore of Harbor Island on San Diego Bay, with the action starting on Thursday, October 19. Thousands of spectators are expected to visit the free-to-enter Race Village over the four-days.
Two US-flagged wildcard teams were announced at the press conference, hosted by Coasterra restaurant, and they will enter the fray in San Diego as part of an eight-strong international fleet of hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans. This will be the first time that the Extreme Sailing Series has visited America since Boston in 2011, and its return to San Diego in 2018 is already confirmed.
“We are thrilled to be heading back to the United States for the first time after a long absence,” said Andy Tourell, Event Director of the Extreme Sailing Series. “I have no doubt that San Diego, which has a long sailing tradition, will quickly establish itself as one of the classic venues on our circuit, along with the likes of Barcelona, Hamburg and Cardiff in the UK.”
Matt Reynolds, CEO of Extreme San Diego, the local organisation bringing the Series to town, commented: “Our city has extensive history with sailing – having hosted multiple signature events like the America’s Cup, world championships and Olympic trials. This, combined with the natural stadium environment of the Bay, makes San Diego an ideal location for this event.
“As a lifelong sailor, I am pleased that the great fans in our community and sailing enthusiasts from around the country will have the privilege to experience the action and thrills of competitive stadium sailing up close,” he added.
Joe Terzi, President and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, acknowledged the collaboration required to bring such a prestigious event to the Californian city.
“On behalf of San Diego and our thriving, distinguished sailing community, we are honoured to host the Extreme Sailing Series in San Diego next month,” Terzi said. “We look forward to having the highest level of sailing take place on the world-class San Diego Bay. I would also like to acknowledge the key collaboration between San Diego Tourism Authority, SEA San Diego, San Diego Tourism Marketing District, San Diego Sports Alliance and the Port of San Diego in capitalising on the opportunity to host a one-of-a-kind event like this.”
The Series pits some of the world’s best sailors against each other on identical GC32 catamarans, as they compete on stadium-style courses just metres from the shore. Act 7, San Diego, will see two US-flagged wildcard crews, featuring some of America’s finest sailing talent, on the starting grid. Further details will be revealed in the coming weeks.
The Race Village, which is open from 10:00 AM daily and located at Harbor Island Park, 1875 Harbor Island Drive, is free to the public and includes a mix of unique on-the-water entertainment and numerous on-shore activities. VIP packages are also available and include the opportunity to race on board a GC32. For more event, ticket and parking information, visit the official event page.
Friday 20 October will be Military Appreciation Day, in which members of the armed forces are offered free admission for themselves and a guest to the VIP Foiling Club with a valid military ID.