Muscat: The global sailing circuit, the Extreme Sailing Series (ESS), will start a landmark season this year with the Sultanate confirmed as the host country for the first Act of 2016. Some of the world’s renowned sailors are set to descend on Muscat to be part of a stunning showcase from March 16 to 19. To celebrate its 10th year, the series will see a complete refresh in format. The introduction of a fleet of ultra-fast, GC32 hydro-foiling catamarans and a shake-up in racing, to include open water and match-racing elements, will give skippers and crews some tough new challenges. In previous years, the class used as racing boats was the X40. The teams will get their first chance to open up the throttle and see what the new boats are made of. The first Act of the year will see the fleet racing in the historic city of Muttrah before competing along the coast to finish the day in front of the Extreme Club. The schedule will then return to three days of spectacular Stadium Racing in front of Almouj Golf. David Graham, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Sail, partners to the Muscat Act, explained: “The world will be watching the first Act of the 2016 as the fleet fly on foils for the first time. We are delighted to host the opening Act and to be able to welcome the international sailors to experience Oman, which is becoming renowned as one of the best sailing venues in the world. It will be a spectacle for the ever-growing global audience and the sailing fans of Oman.” Speaking about the promising showcase of action racing, Race Director Phil Lawrence commented: “Stadium Racing remains at the core of what we do, but in 2016 we will be including a variety of open water race formats to offer the skippers variety and new challenges”. Oman Sail actively works to position Oman as a premier venue and host country for high profile international sailing events. In 2013, Oman hosted its first world sailing championship with the Laser World Championships taking place at Musannah Sports City. In 2015, the country hosted the Laser Radial Women's World Championship and the RS:X Windsurfing Championship.