There is just one week to go until Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series gets underway in Qingdao, China - a new venue on the 2011 nine-stop global circuit.
The 11 Extreme 40 teams will be vying to win Act 2 for the Double Star Cup, organised in association with the Qingdao Yachting Association.
Throughout the week their will be a host of cultural activities around Qingdao that includes an official opening ceremony on 13 April at Shangri-la Hotel, Chinese Traditonal Dances, Street Dances, Taiji Fan displays, martial arts, acrobatic demonstrations as well as BMX and roller blading displays.
Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series will see two days of 'open water' racing from 13-14 April allowing the management to set 'true' upwind and downwind courses without the confines of the 'stadium' racing format.
And from 15 April, for three days, the 11-boat fleet will be racing in front of spectators within the 'stadium' racing format. And the public will be out in force to support Chinese sailor William Wu who will be joining Roland Gaebler's Team Extreme.
Wu was part of the Chinese America's Cup team, and joined the first Louis Vuitton Pacific Series Regatta in Auckland in 2009.
Like the Formula 1 Grand Prix being staged over the same weekend in Shanghai, the Extreme Sailing Series is renowned for delivering close-combat racing at high speeds all within sight of the spectators - collisions, capsizes and the occasional man overboard are par for the course and the Chinese public will see, for the first time, this exciting circuit first hand.
Vice Mayor of Qingdao, Mr Wang commented, "The competitive and exciting Extreme Sailing Series Event will provide the city of Qingdao another opportunity to play on the international stage and reinforce its image as the sailing capital of China.
"I am expecting to see the Olympic Sailing Center, the venue for the Extreme Sailing Series Qingdao event, turn into a festive mood when the racing is on.
"The Qingdao people will enjoy both the racing and entertainment activities taking place in the race village."
Following on from their Act 1 victory, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild
will be looking to secure another win, but it will be no easy task. The result in the Muscat, Oman went to the wire with victory only secured in the final double-points race by Pierre Pennec's crew who were pushed hard by Artemis Racing
and Red Bull Extreme Sailing
's team (AUT) scored their first podium result since joining the circuit and will benefit from the experience of Will Howden
(GBR) who competed on the waters of Qingdao in the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition.
For Act 2, Santiago Lange
(ARG) will be taking the helm on Artemis Racing from regular skipper Terry Hutchinson
(USA). And Rodeney Adern will replace Sean Clarkson
(NZL) as main trimmer for this regatta.
Great Britain's Mark Bulkeley
part of the 2009 Oman Sail Masirah winning crew, will be joining the Italian's on Team NiceForYou
, replacing Alberto Sonino
View some great images from act one of the Extreme Sailing Series from Oman on our Facebook site.