Swiss team joins SailGP league
Published on September 6th, 2021
With a goal of fielding ten teams, the SailGP global sports league revealed Switzerland SailGP Team as the ninth entrant. In Season 3, which will start in May 2022, the Swiss effort will go head-to-head against rival national teams from Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, Spain, New Zealand, and the United States.
Led by Sébastien Schneiter, just back from the Tokyo Olympics, the latest team to join the global sports league is a young and ambitious Swiss team that will carry the colors of its partner Lundin Energy around the world during the next three years.
“This is a major new chapter for Swiss sailing,” said Schneiter. “Our goal is to create a competitive team with the best Swiss sailors. We have to learn at first but our aim is to sail at the front and compete with the best.”
Established in 2018 and now in its second season, SailGP is an annual, global sports championship featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring athleticism. Powered by nature and driven by purpose, the fan-centric, inshore racing takes place in some of the most iconic harbors around the globe and culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race at the end of the season.
“This is a really exciting moment for SailGP as it takes us another step closer to grow the league to ten teams and twelve events, providing a consistent annual championship for the world’s top professional sailors,” said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. “We look forward to watching Sébastien and his team progress in the league and I am confident they will quickly get up to speed and be competitive alongside the best in the world.”
The Switzerland SailGP Team has been born from Team Tilt, a structure founded in 2012 that provides support to young Swiss sailors. The team has shown its level of ambition since its inception, winning the Bol d’Or Mirabaud and the D35 Trophy in 2015 and finishing second in the GC32 Racing Tour in 2016.
Team Tilt represented Switzerland in both editions of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, in 2013 (4th) and 2017 (3rd). The team went on to win the GC32 World Championship title in 2018 and was runner-up in 2019. It was voted best Swiss sailing team 2019.
In parallel, Schneiter alongside Lucien Cujean, competed at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (13th) and more recently in Tokyo (14th) in the 49er class.
The Swiss team’s crew will mainly comprise of young Swiss sailing talent and be managed by experienced international sailor Tanguy Cariou. Swiss Finn champion Nils Theuninck and Arthur Cevey also join the team, which is set to grow rapidly over the coming weeks.
“We chose SailGP because it is the world’s best organized and most efficient professional championship,” said Cariou. “The boats are high performance one-designs, where the sailors make the difference. The management of the league, its marketing and promotion are also excellent, and constitute an essential asset for the teams and their partners. Finally, SailGP’s sustainable approach, which aims to minimize its impact on the environment with concrete actions, also fits with our philosophy in this respect.”
The Swiss SailGP Team will compete in the next three seasons of the SailGP league starting with Season 3 in May 2022 and has already begun its introduction to the league, attending events in Season 2 as observers. The team’s aim is to get up to speed with the class in the first season and get used to the new boat, before competing against the best SailGP teams and clearly aiming for top performances.
SailGP Season Championship (after 4 events)
1. Australia, 32 pts
2. Great Britain, 30 pts
3. Japan, 28 pts
4. United States, 26 pts
5. France, 24 pts
6. New Zealand, 23 pts
7. Spain, 23 pts
8. Denmark, 22 pts
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 (CANCELLED)
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.