In just two weeks, the Extreme 40 racing machines will line-up on a brand new stadium racecourse in Florianópolis, Brazil where they will be joined by Brazilian sailing royalty Lars Grael at the forefront of the invitational entry, Team Brazil.
The team representing the home nation brings together some of the country's top multihull specialists who will complete the starting grid of eight Extreme 40s for the final Act of the year, from the 14-17 November at Act 8, presented by Land Rover.
Team Principal Lars Grael, a multiple Olympic medal winner and 10-times Tornado national champion, will manage the team alongside his 1988 Olympic bronze medal winning crew and Team Brazil skipper and helmsman Clínio de Freitas. The remaining four crew positions will be chosen after a series of selection trials commencing on the 2 November, where some of Brazil's finest multihull sailing talent will undertake a rigorous training programme to determine their positions on board.
André Mirsky, an experienced Tornado sailor, and Daniel Santiago, a four-times J24 world champion, both sailed with Team Brazil alongside the country's most successful ever Olympian Torben Grael at the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series final, and will be hoping their previous Extreme 40 experience will stand them in good stead. Local Florianópolis Tornado sailors Bruno di Bernardi and André Chang, a national champion, will both be using their knowledge of the local waters to the best of their ability throughout the trials to give them the edge.
Cláudia Swan, who represented Brazil at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games in the 470 and is campaigning in the Nacra 17 to sail on her home waters at Rio 2016 with husband and Team Brazil skipper Clínio de Freitas, will join a list of notorious female Extreme 40 sailors that has historically included double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson, Olympic champion Anna Tunnicliffe and London 2012 silver medallist Hannah Mills if selected to sail with the team.
A seasoned professional, Team Principal, Lars Grael has clear goals and expectations for Team Brazil. "Everyone in this team has multihull experience and the fact they have all sailed together previously will put us in a good position. We do, however, need to be realistic. The Extreme Sailing Series is a circuit that is now in its seventh year and some of the best sailors in the world are going to arrive in Brazil with a full seasons racing under their belts. That will be tough for us but our aim is to honour our country and to show the world how talented our Brazilian sailors are."
Florianópolis has a reputation the world over as one of the most desirable surfing destinations on the planet, hosting over 80 international surfing competitions annually, including the ASP World Surfing Championships. The Extreme 40s will bring a whole new style of action to Florianópolis' famous beaches, racing on a stadium racecourse located in the heart of the city, giving the locals front row seats to all the action. Grael elaborated, "The format of the Extreme Sailing Series is geared toward the fans. The boats are very fast which requires expert handling and that all takes place right in front of the public. It is a great show for those watching and I am sure the public will come to see and support us."
With predominately northwest winds providing optimum sailing conditions in November, the city-centre stadium is sure to provide a spectacular venue for the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series grand finale, and with five teams in contention for a podium finish, it will go down to the wire.
Extreme Sailing Series Website