Getting ready for first US SailGP event
Published on January 28th, 2019
San Francisco, CA (January 28, 2019) – SailGP, now embarking on its inaugural season, revealed new details of its highly anticipated San Francisco event, which will take place on May 4-5, 2019. The will introduce U.S. audiences to a redefined form of sailing while showcasing the members of the national team on their home turf.
As SailGP’s first grand prix in the United States, the San Francisco engagement will be the second in a series of five events happening throughout the inaugural year and around the world in 2019. Spearheaded by Sir Russell Coutts and Oracle founder Larry Ellison, SailGP is officially sanctioned by World Sailing.
Each of this year’s events will feature teams representing six countries – the United States, Australia, China, France, Great Britain and Japan – all racing on identical 50-foot foiling catamarans, known as the F50 – the world’s fastest, most technologically advanced flying catamaran.
A new boat class, the F50 is a redesigned, supercharged incarnation of the exceptional foiling catamarans used for the past two America’s Cups. Twelve months of further development at the hands of leading designers, technicians and engineers, the F50s are expected to break the 50-knot (60mph/100kph) barrier.
On Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, San Francisco SailGP will take place from 12 to 2 p.m., just off the Marina Yacht Club Peninsula, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, and with the Golden Gate Bridge serving as a stunning backdrop. Each national team will compete in a total of five short-format fleet races, culminating with the top two teams facing off in a match race finale to determine the event winner on Sunday afternoon.
“San Francisco has a unique harbor that is perfect for sailing and we are thrilled to hold our first U.S. SailGP event in the Bay Area,” said Coutts. “The Bay’s consistently strong thermal winds will create an ideal test for these top sailors, and the shoreline serves as a natural amphitheater for spectators to take in the action. Fans in San Francisco will witness six flying catamarans going faster than ever before in a race environment – this is the next generation of sailing.”
U.S. fans will be treated to the stateside debut of the U.S. SailGP Team – comprised of some of the most talented high-performance sailors in the country. As announced in October 2018, the five team members are: Rome Kirby, 29, of Newport, Rhode Island (helmsman); Riley Gibbs, 22, of Long Beach, California (wing trimmer); Hans Henken, 26, of Coronado, California (flight controller); Mac Agnese, 24, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida (grinder); and Dan Morris, 31, of Newport, Rhode Island (grinder).
This year, SailGP’s Sydney inauguration will occur in February (15-16), after which SailGP will move on to San Francisco in May (4-5), followed by New York in June (21-22) and Cowes in August (10-11), before the Marseille final in September (20-22), which will feature a winner-takes-all, $1 million championship match race between the season’s top two teams to conclude three days of racing.
All six SailGP teams will be in San Francisco practicing for two weeks prior to the start of San Francisco SailGP.
Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and San Francisco, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric, inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe and culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race. Rival national teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan, and the United States battle it out in identical wing-powered, foiling F50 catamarans, engineered to exceed 50 knots.
Sydney, Australia (February 15-16)
San Francisco, USA (May 4-5)
New York, USA (June 21-22)
Cowes, UK (August 10-11)
Marseille, France (September 20-22)