Making an impact with Impact League
Published on July 14th, 2021
While eight international teams vie for the $1 million grand prize in the second season of SailGP, the teams are also being scored off the race course for the positive actions they make to reduce their overall carbon footprint and help accelerate inclusivity in sailing.
Each team will compete and be accountable across ten key sustainability criteria.The criteria range from pioneering new technologies focusing on clean energy solutions and removing all single-use plastics, to diversity and inclusion and using the team’s voice for good. Each team will be externally audited and an overall leaderboard created after each event.
At the end of the 9-event season – which culminates in San Francisco in March 2022 – there will be two podiums, with the winning team crowned alongside the Season Champions and earning funding for its purpose partner, who supports and advises them throughout the season and is visible on the team’s livery.
Called the Impact League, the current standings show the New Zealand SailGP Team leading the way.
By 2050, over 570 low-lying coastal cities, including SailGP host venues such as Plymouth, Saint-Tropez, and Sydney, will face projected sea level rise by at least 0.5 meters, putting more than 800 million people at risk from the impacts of rising seas, extreme weather and storm surges.
To mitigate this threat, SailGP has made leading on the development of new sustainable initiatives part of its founding goal, and the creation of the Impact League is a key step on that journey and a way to take responsibility for the change they want to create.
By independently measuring and auditing every aspect of sustainability, the Impact League ensures that SailGP and its teams are maximizing their efforts, ensuring genuine systematic change and crafting the new ‘sustainable-normal’.
“We believe in the power of sport for good and that sport has a responsibility to lead by example to inspire others to make simple changes for a better planet,” said SailGP CEO Russell Coutts. “Our commitment to sustainability is much deeper than words or promises, it’s based on long-term, measurable action.”
SailGP Season Championship (after 2 events)
1. Spain, 16 points
2. Great Britain, 15
3. Japan, 14
4. New Zealand, 13
5. France, 12
6. Australia, 12
7. United States, 11
8. Denmark, 11
Format for SailGP events:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• 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
December 17-18, 2021 – Australia Grand Prix – Sydney
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.