April 28, 2006, Baltimore, Maryland – Some of America’s top sailors from the world of Olympic and ocean racing will go head to head when they take part in the Baltimore stage of the Volvo Extreme 40 grand prix series, which starts today.
The American Volvo Extreme 40 Tommy Hilfiger skippered by two times Olympic silver medallist Randy Smyth currently leads the series overall by a narrow one point margin. The boat which is sponsored by the American clothing brand of the same name will have a special VIP sailing with them on the opening day of the series, when they will be joined by the famous fashion designer himself. Smyth’s regular crew includes Stan Schreyer, Jonathan Ferrar and Richard Feeney.
The race course will be a battle of Olympians as stepping onboard Conrad Humphreys Motorola-CHR, which is currently in third place overall, will be 2004 Olympic Tornado silver medallist Johnny Lovell who will be joined for one day by his Olympic team mate Charlie Ogilvy. Completing the line-up will be fellow Tornado Olympian Leigh McMillan from Great Britain and Hamish Oliphant.
Team Basilica is currently placed second and the team are on fighting form after winning the last grand prix event in Rio de Janeiro. British Olympic 49er sailor Alister Richardson takes the helm for the second event in a row competing alongside his all British crew of James Grant, Pete Greenhalgh and newly recruited Ericsson Volvo Open 70 team member Jonathan Taylor.
Just off the podium is the Volvo Ocean Race Team who also boasts an impressive crew line-up for the Baltimore grand prix. Skippered by American Larry Hartreck, the team will be joined by America’s Cup winner and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year recipient fellow American Cam Lewis who will bring to the team a wealth of catamaran experience. Normally seen in catamarans of a considerable size, Lewis is a previous winner of the Trophee Jules Verne for the world’s fastest circumnavigation of the globe, something he shares in common with the Volvo Open 70 sailors. Completing the team is Doug Deaver and Greg Homann.
The final Volvo Extreme 40 completing the line up is Team Holmatro helmed by Olympic Tornado champion Mitch Booth. Booth will be joined by his Tornado crew mate Herbert Dercksen and son Taylor Booth and will be hoping to elevate themselves from last place on the leader board.
Racing commences at 14:00 (local) and continues through to Wednesday May 3, with a break from racing on Saturday 29 May to allow for the Volvo Open 70s to compete in their in-port race.
The Volvo Extreme 40 racing will provide an amazing spectacle for the public as they will be racing metres from the shore in Baltimore’s Inner Harbour.
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