Double Olympic gold medallist Shirley ROBERTSON has been confirmed as skipper of Team iShares for the 2009 iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series.
(GBR), one of Britain's all-time greatest female Olympic sailors, returns to the helm of an Extreme 40 having also competed in last year's series. She will be joined by former British Olympic Tornado sailor Hugh STYLES
, with the remaining two crew members still to be named.
Having won back to back gold medals at the Sydney Games in 2000 (in the Europe dinghy) and Athens in 2004 (in the Yngling keelboat), ROBERTSON now combines her busy sailing schedule with life as mother of twins and work as a TV presenter for the BBC and CNN.
The Scot was named as the female winner of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award
in 2000 and was awarded an MBE for her services to British Sailing in 2001 and an OBE in 2004. ROBERTSON has played a major role in bringing the Olympic Games to London in 2012 as a key ambassador and athlete delegate in Singapore and as a member of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) Sport Advisory Group.
"We are delighted to have a sailor of Shirley's calibre skipper Team iShares this year and look forward to supporting her and her team throughout Europe in what promises to be the most exciting iShares Cup to date,"
said Rick ANDREWS, Head of iShares Marketing Europe.
ROBERTSON is eagerly anticipating the start of the season too, which kicks off with a launch event in Paris on the 5 May. "Skippering an Extreme 40 is definitely the most fun I've ever had in sailing,"
she says. "Last year we had some good results with a win at the opening event in Lugano and this year I'm back with a new team - Team iShares - and am really looking forward to the start of the season and getting back out on the water and competing."
The iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series is a six-event European sailing circuit featuring the world's best Olympic, round the world, America's cup and solo sailors who go head-to-head in crash and burn racing close to the shore, in some of Europe's most stunning locations.
The 2009 iShares Cup will visit:
Round 1 - Venice, Italy, 15-17 May
Round 2 - France, 3-5 July
Round 3 - Great Britain, 1-3 August
Round 4 - Kiel, Germany, 28-30 August
Round 5 - The Netherlands, 25-27 September
Round 6 - Almería, Andalucía, Spain, 10-12 October
The remaining venues in France, Great Britain and The Netherlands will be announced in the coming weeks. Teams for 2009 will be confirmed following their official entry as per the Notice of Race.
The iShares Cup is an ISAF Special Event. Find out more at www.isharescup.com.