Saturday, 27 June 2009

iShares Cup: Co-creator of the Extreme 40 Class, Mitch Booth, to drive BT Extreme 40 at Round 2 of the iShares Cup

Extreme 40 fleet in Venice. Image copyright Thierry Martinez/Sea & Co.

by Julie Royer

BT Extreme 40 regular driver, Darren Bundock, has been forced to step down for Round 2 of the iShares Cup in Hyères due to torn knee ligaments. Into the breach steps co-creator of the Extreme 40 Class, Mitch Booth, who will take the BT helm for this challenging round over the 3rd to 5th July.

Few have a sailing CV to match...
Twice named Australian Yachtsman of the Year, Mitch is a two-time Olympic medalist, winning Bronze at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and Silver at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996; he has participated in 64 World Championships and crowned World Champion ten times in the Tornado, Hobie and Formula 18 classes. Mitch is also a world record holder – sailing on Club Med and Playstation – as well as entering into the world of the America’s Cup as sailing manager in 1995. But what really excites the BT Extreme 40 team – who don’t have bad sailing CVs themselves (!) – is that Mitch co-created the Extreme 40 Class: “Mitch has been a key member within the initial design and conception of these boats so it will be great to have him in the Class again. He has in-depth knowledge of the reasons behind certain design elements that characterise the Extreme 40 so we feel very fortunate for the chance to ask the thousands of questions we have in our heads about how to get the best out of the boat,” commented Nick.

BT Extreme 40 in Venice. Image copyright Thierry Martinez/Sea & Co.

The origin of the Extreme 40 is the Olympic class catamaran, the Tornado. Mitch teamed up with fellow Tornado sailors Herbert Dercksen and Yves Loday in 2003 and ‘the rest as they say is history’. Yves Loday completed the Extreme 40 design and Dercksen’s company, Tornado Sport, began construction. Mitch and Dercksen jointly campaigned the Extreme 40 in the early days as the class gathered momentum.

For Darren, its time to rest up and head home for some medical treatment: “It’s a blow for the team but Darren’s health and well-being is obviously the biggest concern. Darren is irreplaceable when you consider the learning's we have made together over the past two years but Mitch is the absolute perfect solution to our predicament. We desperately need a good result in Hyères to maintain the chance of a good overall iShares Cup season performance. Mitch is the best guy we could possibly introduce into the unit to maintain our objectives,” concluded Nick.

After the opening round of the iShares Cup in Venice, BT is in 6th place in the overall iShares Cup standings for 2009.
As surprising as it may seem, the BT Team Ellen skippers have not all attended the same sailing event since Cowes Week last year due to their diverse agendas both on and off the water. But at the iShares Cup in Hyères – Ellen, Seb and Nick will all be present: “I hope to demonstrate my entertaining skills by sailing on a Moth,” said Seb. “This 40 kilos foiling boat is the latest trend in the sailing world and everybody wants to try it! For the first time since a really long time, the three skippers of BT Team Ellen will be gathered together. Ellen is doing some corporate activity and, of course, both of us are there to support Nick and his team in this second event of the iShares Cup season!"

BT Team Ellen

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