Published: Thursday, 23 February 2017

After securing its third season podium in the Extreme Sailing Series last year, 2017 will see Red Bull Sailing Team return to compete in the Stadium Racing circuit, spearheaded by Austrian Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher.

Red Bull Sailing Team To Return To Extreme Sailing Series 2

(Photos: Predrag Vuckovic, Dean Treml For Red Bull Content Pool / Extreme Sailing Series)

With a combination of experienced sailors and young chargers – including a standout newcomer – the Austrian team is hungry for its first championship title.

Two-time Olympic gold medallists, Hagara and Steinacher, will lead Red Bull Sailing Team in what will be its seventh year competing in the Extreme Sailing Series.

The introduction of new GC32 foiling catamarans in 2016 meshed with the mindset of the Austrian innovators, who delivered a powerfully consistent campaign, resulting in podium spots in seven out of eight Acts and third place overall.

"The 2017 season is going to be more competitive than ever before," said Hagara, aware that, with a foiling season under their belts, all the crews are now familiar with how the GC32s handle in a variety of conditions. "To be successful, we will have to beat the two-time America's Cup champions, Alinghi."

Red Bull Sailing Team To Return To Extreme Sailing Series

(Two-time Olympic gold medalists Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher)

Returning to the crew alongside the experienced Austrian duo are trimmer Stewart Dodson and bowman Adam Piggott, who both contributed to Red Bull Sailing Team's medal effort last year.

On mainsheet is Will Tiller, a new addition to the outfit with previous experience in the Series as well as match racing experience, having been part of the winning crew on the 2016 World Match Racing Tour.

All three are graduates of the Red Bull Youth America's Cup programme. Having begun the 2016 season with little training time in the GC32, Steinacher is confident that this year Red Bull Sailing Team will start on the front foot, having had a productive training camp, with the technical team fine-tuning the boat to "perfect condition."

Steinacher added, "I believe the experience that Roman and I bring to the table combined with our young guns can be the winning formula for 2017. We're looking forward to a year full of great sailing in exciting locations.”

The Series will kick off in Muscat, Oman (March 8-11), where the teams will compete in a mix of signature Stadium Racing and coastal racing, set against the stunning backdrop of Muscat's Old Town. Ahead of Act 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series, the team will also compete in the inaugural GC32 Championship. 

Red Bull Sailing Team crew line-up for Act 1, Muscat:

Skipper/helm: Roman Hagara (AUT)
Tactician: Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT)
Mainsail trimmer: Stewart Dodson (NZL)
Headsail trimmer: Adam Piggott (GBR)
Bowman: Will Tiller (NZL)