Monday, 28 July 2008

Sails assistant

You're looking at an Extreme 40 catamaran. Each one is built using Formula 1 technology, which means they're light enough to hit 70kph and "fly a hull" at a 55 degree angle. Granted, it looks pretty calm judging by the picture but about 3 minutes later my arse was soaked and I was clinging on for dear life. I was trying out the "fifth man" position that sponsors of this year's iShares Cup are making available to VIPs at the start of every race. But this was far from cushy. In fact, it was nautical miles from the kind of wine swilling corporate hospitality I strive for. There's definitely no "I" on a team-driven catamaran and the only thing you'll be swilling is salt water. All my anecdotes about crossing the Bay of Biscay with my grandpa in the late-80s (I was six), were soon left a bit soggy when I failed to move quick enough on the first gybe. The write-up features in the August issue of the easyJet magazine. Have a look at this year's Lake Lugano races to see how nuts this sport can get (

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