New rules, More money at SailGP Tranto
Published on June 4th, 2021
Taranto, Italy (June 4, 2021) – The first-ever Italy Sail Grand Prix gets underway in this Southern Italian city tomorrow as the eight teams return to the race course for the second event of the season with some new faces and tighter rules to keep both the athletes and the boats safe.
To relive the first event in Bermuda, the new series of SailGP: Racing on the Edge looks back at the incident between Jimmy Spithill and Nathan Outteridge, when the United States and Japan SailGP Teams crashed at the opening event of the season forcing both boats to retire from the event and resulted in an against-the-clock effort to get both boats to the startline in Taranto.
“Since Bermuda we’ve done a lot of analysis of the incident and we had a couple of protest hearings and discussions with the umpires,” said Outteridge. “We made the mistake, we were the give-way boat and we did not give way.
“We just have to not do that again and I have to put my hand up there, it was a mistake. Mistakes happen. These boats close speed very quickly. The good thing at the end of it is that no one got hurt, the boats are fixed and we can focus on racing here. But, we won’t stop pushing, if we are not pushing, we might as well go home.”
As a result of the collision, tougher rules are now in place – from Italy onwards – to avoid a collision and ultimately serious damage to the high-tech, identical F50 catamarans. In Bermuda, there was no option but to penalize both boats equally.
The updated ruling gives more discretion to the umpires to award harsher penalties in the event of a collision which are given depending on the extent of damage. Both for the boat in the wrong, but also if the other boat didn’t do enough to avoid the collision. This could also result in ramifications to the points in the overall SailGP Season Championship.
“In the sport of sailing this style of racing is unlike anything else,” noted Spithill. “This is very, very fast and decisions happen very quickly so mistakes are going to happen. Putting that behind us, it will be nice to get through the weekend and complete every race. We only got to race on the first day in the last event and we’d love to get a strong result here.”
New to the circuit will be Paul Goodison at the wheel of the Great Britain SailGP Team who will go head-to-head with Arnaud Psarofaghis, who makes his debut in the driving seat of the New Zealand F50. They will be joined by an on-form French team under the leadership of Billy Besson, the young Spanish team led by Phil Robertson and Florian Trittell, Tom Slingsby’s Australia team – that will be hungry for victory this weekend – and Nicolai Sehested’s Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL.
The Italy Sail Grand Prix will comprise two days of racing, with five fleet races followed by a podium race with the top three boats in the ultimate showdown to decide the winner. As an added incentive, additional prize money will be awarded to the top three boats at each event in addition to the $1 million up for grabs at the Grand Final in San Francisco in March 2022.
Racing will be held June 5-6 and gets underway at 1:30 p.m. local.
Format for SailGP events:
• Each event runs across two days.
• There are three races on each day, totaling six races at each event.
• The opening five fleet races involve every team.
• The final match race pits the three highest ranking teams against each other to be crowned event champion.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all match race for the $1m prize.
SailGP Season 2 Schedule*
April 24-25, 2021 – Bermuda Grand Prix
June 5-6, 2021 – Italy Grand Prix – Taranto
July 17-18, 2021 – Great Britain Grand Prix – Plymouth
August 20-21, 2021 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Grand Prix – Aarhus
September 11-12, 2021 – France Grand Prix – Saint-Tropez
October 9-10, 2021 – Spain Grand Prix – Andalusia
January 29-30, 2022 – New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch
March 26-27, 2022 – United States Grand Prix – San Francisco (Season 2 Grand Final)
*Subject to change
2021-22 Teams, Helm
Australia, Tom Slingsby
Denmark, Nicolai Sehested
France, Billy Besson
Great Britain, Ben Ainslie (alternate – Paul Goodison)
Japan, Nathan Outteridge
New Zealand, Peter Burling (alternate – Arnaud Psarofaghis)
Spain, Jordi Xammar (alternate – Phil Robertson)
United States, Jimmy Spithill
Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans with the season culminating with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.