An extreme sport. That's how 18ft skiff sailing will be seen when it bursts onto television screens across Australia, New Zealand and around the world in unprecedented fashion next summer.

The Club Marine World Series GP will show skiff racing to millions of viewers as it's never been seen before. It will be filmed in three stunning locations where the wind is sure to blow - Tahiti, Wellington and the home of 18ft skiff racing, Sydney. Just eight elite crews, including many of the world's best skiff sailors, will be the "Riders on the Storm". They'll be fighting to master the most demanding conditions on specially developed, high performance skiffs. They will be slugging it out for the honour of being recognised as the best heavy-weather skiff sailors in the world.The three international regattas will result in 15 television programs being created for international distribution. Already the Nine Network in Australia and Television New Zealand's TV One have agreed to air the series in premium time slots. In Australia Channel Nine has scheduled the Club Marine World Series Skiff GP as the curtain raiser to next season's one-day cricket matches between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Early indications are that international distribution will lead to the programs being aired in more than 150 countries. The Tahiti regatta will be staged in the exotic and picturesque Leeward Islands, an area known for its strong tradewinds. World Series GP Skiffs has secured the support of the Tahitian Government's promotional arm, 'Tahiti Nui 2000', for the regatta. An island village will host the racing sailors and regatta supporters travelling from Australia on special tour packages.
In Wellington, New Zealand's windy city, the skiff sailors will be staging what promises to be a 'crash and burn' regatta in October immediately adjacent to the city's waterfront. The tourism group Totally Wellington will host the event in association with other sponsors.
The final showdown will come in November on the waters of Sydney's magnificent harbour, the same stretch where more than a century ago the 18ft skiff began what is now a sailing legend. Today's flighty, high-performance skiffs are as they were back then, the fastest single-hulled racing sailboats in the world.
To ensure that the skiffs deliver maximum performance and on-the-edge sailing for the television cameras, the team at World Series GP Skiffs has been busy developing a more extreme 18-footer, one embracing the latest carbon fibre technology. Two new carbon fibre rigs have been produced to give maximum performance in all conditions. New hulls are being built and older ones totally rejuvenated.