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12.05.2012, 19:47 RT.com

Meet Europe’s new unifying symbol: a yacht

Meet Europe’s new unifying symbol: a yacht

They’ve come together to become one of a kind - the only yacht in the world to sail to victory under the EU flag. The Russian-funded Esimit Europa 2 is fast becoming a force in the sport, despite only being launched two years ago.

Esimit Europa 2 is one of the most advanced sailing boats in the world, with the sport's cream of the crop onboard. On top of that, they are driven by a simple and elegant idea – representing the European continent at its best, having grown out of a project uniting Slovenia and Italy in 1995 to a powerful symbol of common identity for Europe in the present.

“You win or you don't win. And if we win it means that we are the best, we have the best technology, we have the best people and the best boat. So this boat is becoming the symbol of what we want Europe to become – the best from all points of view,” says the team’s founder Igor Simcic.

In this respect, Esimit has been flawlessly proving its excellence in every race it competes in. The supemaxi yacht, considered the fastest monohull in the world, first broke the waves in 2010 and claimed eleven consecutive wins breaking two course records in her rookie season.

The next year saw a true legend of the sport leading the Esimit crew as skipper – three-time Olympic champion and two-time America's Cup winner Jochen Shumann of Germany. And Europe's boat remained unbeatable.

“That's something new, we never had it in sailing. And this boat, I think, is a perfect ambassador in terms of technologies, teamwork,” says Shumann. “It just represents the efforts that can make Europe stronger and be competitive. And I like that – being competitive.”

Another Esimit dreamcast starman is one of the world's most decorated navigators – America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race winner, Spaniard Juan Vila. He joined the team for the 2011 season, and claims interaction within the multicultural crew is not a problem, but actually makes it even stronger.

“That is also one of the reasons why we are training. To make this possible difficulty of having a multinational crew not a difficulty but a benefit for the team,” he notes.

“Different people on the boat bring different ideas to improve the systems, both the actual boat systems and the systems from maneuvering the boat. It's very much people-driven. So without people, the machine is essentially useless,” Irish bowman Frank O’Leary echoes his teammate.

New challenges for Esimit Europe 2 are just around the corner with the 2012 season opener Giraglia Rolex Cup getting underway on June 8.

The best sailors from seven European countries are fine-tuning their skills and magnificent boat in Spain to get ready to achieve their unifying goal.

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Photo: CNN.com