SailGP: Lights, cameras, action
Published on February 14th, 2019
Sydney, Australia (February 14, 2019) – The launch of SailGP gets underway tomorrow when the world’s most technologically advanced race boats, crewed by some of the world’s best sailors, will go head to head in the nation-versus-nation battle on Sydney Harbour.
All six teams grabbed the chance for some final training today on the F50s in light winds which saw a different team triumph in each of the four races. Race wins were shared between Australia, Great Britain, Japan and United States, with nationalism as a building theme for SailGP.
“I used to represent Australia at the Olympic Games and now I’m back here with an all-Australian team in the green and gold,” said Tom Slingsby, CEO and helmsman of the Australia SailGP Team. “We’ve got a kangaroo on the boat and we are out sailing on Sydney Harbour with the Harbour Bridge in the background.”
Japan SailGP Team CEO/helmsman Nathan Outteridge has spent the most time at the wheel of the 2,400 kg. high-tech foiling catamaran, making him a pre-favourite among the other skippers.
“We aren’t getting ahead of ourselves,” said the double Olympic medallist. “Our goal is to have a good event in Sydney and be one of the top two teams at the end of Marseille, so we can challenge for that $1 million season prize.”
The forecast is for lighter conditions over the next few days which will limit speeds but could make consistency a challenge.
Young Guns: The field includes teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan, and USA, with the American squad having the youngest crew. Rome Kirby (29, Newport, RI) leads the team as skipper and helmsman, joined by Taylor Canfield (30, USVI), Dan Morris (31, Edina, Minn.), Mac Agnese (24, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Hans Henken (26, Coronado, Calif.), and Riley Gibbs (22, Long Beach, Calif.).
Sydney Schedule: There will be three races on February 15 (4-6pm local) and three races on February 16 (3-5pm local). This translates to very late hours in North American (and a day earlier) or very early hours in Europe. For time conversion in your area, click here.
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)