Crashes and Capzises: Extreme Sailing Series Lives Up to Its Name

Never in four years of the Extreme Sailing Series has there been so much drama in one day. In almost unprecedented conditions in Qingdao, China, the public witnessed extraordinary “stadium” racing, first viewing a major collision between The Wave, Muscat and Oman Air at the first downwind mark of the first race, and four dramatic capsizes – The Wave, Muscat in Race 2 and Red Bull Extreme Sailing, Team GAC Pindar and Oman Air all in the final race of the day. In the first two races it was the very gusty conditions that tested some of the world’s best sailors to their limits, and beyond, with 3 to 23 knots, and up to 30 knots by the final race.

“Massive day! The only way to describe it is extreme! The wind was funneling through the big buildings of the city, really puffy and shifty, it caught a lot of people out,” said Will Howden, Red Bull Extreme Sailing.

The Wave, Muscat skipper Torvar Mirsky had his toughest day yet in his first Extreme 40 season, first in Race 1 accelerating into the back of Oman Air right at the first downwind mark with the impact throwing crewman Dave “Freddie’ Carr into the shroud, and then soon after in Race 2 suffering a catastrophic capsize. Freddie has been given the “okay” but remained hospitalized for observation for 48 hours.

“I can honestly say that this is the worst day of sailing I’ve ever had,”commented a visibly shaken Mirsky, the youngest skipper on the circuit. “First of all taking out Freddie and then in the second race, we got hit by a gust that I couldn’t handle, and the boat went down and we all knew straight away that it was going to go over and to hold on.”

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