A sailor from Kingswear, has won the prestigious Extreme Sailing Series Europe. Nick Hutton won the final event of the five stop Series in Almeria, Spain, and with it claimed the series title.
The Extreme Sailing Series was established in 2007, and the competitors helm state-of-the-art multihulls on very demanding courses, close to the shore.
The Extreme 40s are sailed with four crew members, and can reach incredible speeds of up to 40knots, flying around the race course on one hull. Eight teams lined up this Series, all vying for the title, and among them are some of the world’s most respected sailors.
This was the first Series for Nick and the young team on Oman Sails Extreme 40 The Wave, Muscat, who were considered by some the under-dogs at the beginning of the series, making their victory all the meaningful.
Nick told the Devon Week: “To win the series was amazing; beating people with gold medals, America’s Cups and round the world records it an incredible feeling.”
Having started sailing at a young age Nick has enjoyed an impressive career in competitive racing.
“I started sailing age six in an Optimst at the Royal Dartmouth Yacht Club,” he said. “My parents have been very influential with their support and knowledge.
“I always wanted to sail competitively and the Extreme 40s are such an incredible boat and the Series is really competitive. At the start of this Series, me and the team on The Wave, Muscat set ourselves the goal of finishing on the podium at every event, but walking away with the series title is beyond our expectations.”
Although The Wave, Muscat are the youngest team in the fleet, Nick is considered one of the most experienced sailors in the Extreme Sailing Series having campaigned on an Extreme 40 for the last three years, previously sailing with Double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson OBE on board both the JPMorgan Asset Management and iShares Extreme 40s.
The Extreme Sailing Series began in Sète, (France) in May and visited five European venues across the course of the series including, Cowes (UK), Kiel (Germany), Trapani (Sicily) and, finally, Almeria (Spain). After 130 races, Nick and The Wave, Muscat were crowned victors, having sailed in front of tens of thousands of spectators over the course of the tour.
The racing was action-packed throughout the final event of the Series in Spain. Breezy conditions on the final day saw the eight boats blast round the tight stadium set inside the port of Almeria in front of thousands of public. It was a spectacular finale to the five-event circuit that began in May, with the overall victor decided in the final race of the Series.
“The series highlight was the last race in Spain for sure,” said Nick.
“After the windward mark we knew we just had to stay right in front of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (France) to win the series! They were favourites to win the series at the beginning and they proved to be our biggest rivals. They gave us a good fight!”
The victory of The Wave, Muscat sailing under the Omani flag in Almeria, also achieved one of Oman Sail’s key milestones; an Omani sailor standing on the podium of a top international sailing event for the first time in the country’s history.
To say the level of competition at the Extreme Sailing Series is high can only be put into perspective by the achievement of the 32 sailors competing in Almeria, between them they have won six Olympic medals, 67 World Championships and 137 European Championships, attended 30 Olympic Games and America’s Cups, sailed 21 laps of the world and hold 19 world records for their achievements.
With the victory at the Extreme Sailing Series under his belt Nick’s plans for the winter don’t allow him any respite, with training starting again for the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series in November in Muscat, Oman. With an eight-event global circuit confirmed for 2011, across Europe, the USA, the Far East and GCC region, you can expect to see Nick and his team out to defend their title next year.