The Extreme 40 crews are studded with past, present and future Olympians - including six sailors who are aiming to compete at Beijing 2008. They will be joined by sailors from the ocean racing world and the America's Cup.
iShares, one of the world's leaders in Exchange Traded Funds, announced back in January that they had agreed to become title partner to the series, 'This is a fantastic opportunity for iShares; a new innovative platform that complements our brand values and offers exciting client entertainment experiences across Europe,' commented Rick ANDREWS, Head of iShares Marketing, Europe.
The iShares Cup will be managed by OC Events part of OC Group co-owned by MACARTHUR. MACARTHUR last sailed on the River Thames over two years ago at the end of her successful solo world record bid onboard her 75 foot trimaran, 'The trimaran and the Extreme 40 share some similarities - they are super light and built for speed. But the Extreme 40 is not built to go round the world, instead they race close to shore right in front of the spectators. The 'fifth man' spot on the boats means some people will actually get to experience what it is like to sail a multihull at speed. We can't wait to put on the first event,' said MACARTHUR.
Racing in the iShares Cup officially starts from 25-27 May just a stone's throw away from Munich, Germany at the popular sailing destination of Lake Starnberg. It will be at this event that the public and media get a first glimpse of the teams competing over the following four months.
Known for its maritime history, Marseille, France will host the second stage of the iShares Cup, 7-9 July. The fleet then heads to Cowes, Great Britain at the start of Skandia Cowes Week for the penultimate stage of the iShares Cup on 3-5 August with the added bonus for spectators of some exhibition racing later in the week right in front of the public.
The 2007 iShares Cup will finally draw to a close in Amsterdam, the Netherlands where the Extreme 40s will compete on one of the cities biggest canals and where the overall winner of the iShares Cup will finally be determined.
As part of the iShares Cup season there are also three iShares Endurances Races, where the Extreme 40s will race at a number of Europe's most prestigious classic endurance races - designed to increase the visibility of the class across Europe. On 16 June, the world's largest inland lake event with over 500 yachts competing, the Bol d'Or Mirabaud, a tough 82-mile race from Geneva to the other end of the lake and back, usually sailed in highly variable conditions. This will be followed by one of the world's largest sailing events, the 55-mile JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, 23 June. The Extreme 40 boats will join over 1,600 boats and 13,000 sailors expected to race around the Isle of Wight, Great Britain, in this popular event. And then on 8 September on Lake Garda, Italy, the Extreme 40s will race in the fifth edition of the prestigious Centomiglia race.
'The iShares Cup is providing an excellent platform for a new phase of growth for this exciting Class, and we have very strong interest from all over the world, which bodes well for the future,' commented Alan HILLMAN, OC Events Race Director.
TornadoSport, originators of the concept, who supply the Extreme 40s, have produced a further four new catamarans this winter, making a total of nine now on the water.