Extreme Sailing Seriers 2017 Barcelona
The GC-32 world championship of catamarans that develops in eight different cities, on three continents. For the first time, it comes here too in Barcelona.
The best opportunities happen by chance. And so it was. A few days before the start of the competition, I notice the event manifesto by chance. Few steps: I visit the site, www.extremesailingseries.com I ask for information to access as a photographer. I receive permission. Perfect. Quick check of my equipment and Thursday 20 are inside. Easy, no?
For the first time this catamaran competition has arrived in Barcelona, in the beautiful background of the Mediterranean Sea, right in front of the Hotel Vela, a few steps from the Barceloneta district.
Arrival in the afternoon. A large structure has been set up to receive participants, guests and photographers from various agencies and some freelancers. Like me.
Unfortunately the same day the whole race is suspended due to too rough sea. It matters little, I take this opportunity to take a ride upstairs. A beautiful terrace opens the view where the future competitions will take place the next day, until Sunday. I take some pictures, there are few people. I’m going home.
I have a free day today and I want to dedicate it only to this event. In the morning there is the tender of catamarans of lower class. The Flying Phantoms. From the terrace the view is good but my photographic equipment decidedly amateur does not give me many possibilities. The photos depict small boats, without interesting details. My miserable 300 can not compete with distance. The other photographers more than experts, extract a paraphernalia from fear. Professional lenses with lengths starting from 400. Multipliers, high quality machine bodies. I feel a little uncomfortable. But the saying that says: you need the good eye to make good photos gives me courage. Only half.
At this point I get an idea. Why not get on one of the many boats reserved for journalists and photographers? Come on! We must dare a little. Way to the port and amazing! A dinghy pilot was just waiting for a photographer.
He asked me -: Is your name Mark?
I -: well, in a sense yes!
Pilot -: are you a photographer?
I -: yes!
Pilot -: do you speak english?
I -: of course!
Conclusion -: jump on!
Incredible but true: He was just waiting for a photographer named Mark. Some occasions can not be missed! Too bad that in some events the error space is not very wide and after a few minutes I was back on the ground. On the other hand, however, I managed to fix an inflatable boat with other photographers for the afternoon.
Taking pictures in the middle of the race is a whole other thing. Seeing the catamarans lean so hard to tackle a few tens of meters from your location gives me a good adrenaline rush. Too bad it’s not that easy, the boats are moving fast. The rubber boat does not remain immobile.
It is fun to review the shots in this case. All sky, all sea, all sky again. Oh! A head and a half boat. Synchronize sea movement, a good time to photograph and obviously press the button is not easy. But not impossible.
The GC-32 sail fast in search of the wind to reach the arrival mark. Switzerland, England, New Zealand, Spain, Denmark are some of the nations taking part in the competition.
After about an hour we must return to the port to give way to others to resume the event. A nice experience. I would have liked to stay until the end.
But I’m content to go back to the terrace and have a few drinks to refresh my ideas. The race continues alternating the victories with different teams. It will be the final score to decree the first place.
I had to work. Ask others how it went.
Final day. Unfortunately, in the morning I have to skip it. I end up working on the two but fast I slug at the Barceloneta to have another chance to get on a raft. No way. Technical problems and maybe my delay keep me on the ground. A little bad. I follow the last steps from the Piazza della Hotel Vela. Alterno shots to moments of pause inside the room where I can not help but drink a few glasses of fresh red bull. I do not want to be a profiteer but I’m thirsty!
Last moments of the race and we reach the end. In the meantime, I know some other photographer. They have a lot of experience behind them, at least it seems. Their eyes and their looks express a bit of fear and paternity at the same time towards me. I feel like a brat. Better this way.
Normally during this world competition, only six crews participate. For the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Olympics, the FNOB Impulse Team also participate. Another team that joins is the TEAM Extreme of Calafell of Tarragona. During the four days starting at 15:00 different race sessions were held. Which brought several crews in the head. The final sum of the scores will decide the winner of the race here in Barcelona.
The award ceremony follows quickly. l Extreme Sailing Seriers 2017 Barcelona concludes. by sum of points the winner of this stage of the Extreme Saling Series 2017 in Barcelona is Oman Air. Few points of detachment from other boats separate the first classified. Extreme Sailing Series, Red Bull Sailing Team, SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi. Which leaves a lot of margin to decide the final winner. Next stage will take place in Hamburg, Germany from 10 to 13 August.
Remember for more information visit www.extremesailingseries.com
The square empties. I am quite tired by this weekend, but satisfied. Now as always comes the beauty. Among all the photos there will be at least some decent?
Judge for yourself in the gallery below.