(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Switzerland's Realteam became the sixth confirmed entry for the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) and will make its debut in the opening leg in Muscat, race organiser OC Sport confirmed recently. With an invitational team and a local team, in most likelihood, Oman Air, to join the confirmed six teams, the three-day first leg at The Wave, Muscat, starting on March 5, will have eight teams at the start line.
Realteam has been built around the successful crew that claimed the D35 Championship in 2012 with Realstone Sailing. Skippered by team director Jerome Clerc, a multihull expert who won the D35 Vulcain Trophy and the Bol d'Or in 2012, Realteamis looking to defend the D35 title on Lake Geneva, US, and also attempt to make its mark in the ESS. Two-time America's Cup winner Alinghi is the other Swiss entry in the 2013 Series. Speaking about the upcoming challenge, Clerc said, ''For us, this professional evolution is a logical next step. Our strength is built on teamwork, which has led to our success in D35 racing. It's a unique opportunity to join the Extreme Sailing Series under the Swiss flag.''
The Realteam crew will comprise sailors from the Geneva Regatta Training Centre, who will get to compete in at least one of the eight legs of the series. Arnaud Psarofaghis, trimmer with Groupe Edmond de Rothschild in 2012, and Nils Palmieri will share the role of the main trimmer. Bruno Barbarin, who sailed with Alinghi in the final leg of the 2012 ESS in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Denis Girardet will look after the tactics, Cedric Schmidt and Bryan Mettraux will take charge of headsail trim and Thierry Wasem will be the bowman.
With GAC Pindar unveiling a new line-up and Realteam making its debut, both teams will hope to make their presence felt in a fleet showcasing seasoned campaigners.
Some of the top names at the 2013 series are Austria's double- Olympic gold medallist Roman Hagara (Red Bull Sailing Team), 2012 winner and British Olympian Leigh McMillan (The Wave, Muscat), two-time America's Cup winner Ernesto Bertarelli (Alinghi) and the Danish duo of Rasmus Kostner and Jes Gram Hansen (SAP Extreme Sailing Team).
2013 ESS schedule: March 5-9: Leg 1, Muscat; April 11-14: Leg 2, Singapore; May 2-5: Leg 3, Qingdao, China; June 20-23: Leg 4, Istanbul, Turkey; July 25-28: Leg 5, Porto, Portugal; August 23-26: Leg 6, Cardiff, Wales; October 3-6: Leg 7, Nice, France; November 14-17: Leg 8, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.