At just 700 metres wide at its narrowest point, the Bosphorus is a crucial shipping channel, with heavy traffic crossing between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. The shores of the straight are heavily populated, but the residents are more accustomed to seeing ferries and tankers as opposed to the racing catamarans. Race Director Phil Lawrence spoke of the challenges the teams will face. "The Bosphorus is an iconic stretch of water that presents enormous challenges with the volume of shipping and ferries, coupled together with a four knot current. It will be a huge challenge for the skippers. We have light winds forecast for the first two days but big breeze for the weekend."
The Extreme 40s last met in Qingdao, China seven weeks ago and over the last two days, the teams have been making the most of the time to fine tune their boats and put in some practice on the water. British Olympian Leigh McMillan, skipper of The Wave Muscat, is top of the leaderboard after a win in Act 2, and is eyeing the podium for a third consecutive event. "We had a really good start this year, we were straight out of the blocks with two podium finishes and we are hoping to maintain this with another podium finish in Istanbul."
Racing takes place over four days from the 7-10 June, with one day of open water racing followed by three days of stadium style racing when the event opens to the public. Adding to the action on the water will be the NeilPryde Racing Series, on the 9-10 June, including a special LED night race scheduled for Saturday night. You can find out more about Istanbul and view the full race schedule online.