New SailGP format provides more racing
Published on September 9th, 2022
Saint-Tropez, France (September 9, 2022) – The Sail GP event format has been boosted at the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix on September 10-11. The addition of one qualifying race – taking place on the second day of every event moving forward – will now provide the nine teams with six heats in which to earn entry into the last winner-take-all race.
While the opening Race Day will remain in its current format with three races, the intention is to now schedule four races for Day 2 – adding an extra fleet race before the three-team Final.
This means that, over an entire event, there will now be a planned seven races in total – six Fleet Races, and the Final.
“The overall priority is to hold the Final at the end of a regatta, which means fleet races not started may be removed from the schedule and races in progress may be abandoned if required in order to achieve this,” explained Iain Murray, SailGP’s Regatta Director.
“To complete the Final and wrap up the broadcast requires at least 15 minutes. If a fleet race is to be eliminated, the race committee will endeavor to give teams as much advance warning as possible.
“On days where three or fewer races are scheduled, races will be stopped after 16 minutes. On days where more than three races are scheduled, races will be stopped after 14 minutes. On days with four races scheduled, the maximum start time delay that may be requested by a team is five minutes.”
This shake-up of the racing format comes in the wake of the Denmark Sail Grand Prix which included three Fleet Races and the Final on the second day of the event after the opening day was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.
“We’ve come here to race as we are racers, and if we can squeeze more races into the window then we are super happy,” noted Canada driver Phil Robertson. “And it does change tactics quite a lot, because typically you come into the second day in a position where you are either trying to defend or really attack, and now that is all thrown out the window. So I think it will be a different series from here on in.”
Nathan Outteridge, co-driver for the Switzerland SailGP Team, even suggested adding more races to the event schedule. “We should try and push for five races in the future; let’s just keep trying to cram them in.”
Racing takes place in Saint-Tropez between 14:30-16:00 CEST (08:30-10:00 EDT) on September 10 and 11.
Season Three Standings (after four of 11 events)
1. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 36 points
2. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 32 points
3. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 28 points
4. Canada (Phil Robertson), 27 points
5. Great Britain (Ben Ainslie), 26 points
6. France (Quintin Delapierre), 24 points
7. United States (Jimmy Spithill), 19 points
8. Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter), 11 points
9. Spain (Jordi Xammar), 11 points
2022-23 SailGP Season 3 Schedule
May 14-15, 2022 – Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess
June 18-19, 2022 – United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier
July 30-31, 2022 – Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth
August 19-20, 2022 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix | Copenhagen
September 10-11, 2022 – France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
September 24-25, 2022 – Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía – Cádiz
November 12-13, 2022 – Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas
January 13-14, 2023 – Singapore Sail Grand Prix
February 17-18, 2023 – Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney
March 17-18, 2023 – New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch
May 6-7, 2023 – United States Sail Grand Prix | San Francisco (Season 3 Grand Final)
Format for 2022-23 SailGP events:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs across two days.
• There are three qualifying races each day for all nine teams.*
• The top three teams from qualifying advance to a final race to be crowned event champion and earn the largest share of the $300,000 prize money to be split among the top three teams.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all match race for the $1m prize.
* Qualifying schedule increased from five to six races at France SailGP.
For competition documents, click here.
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 for event prize money as the season culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.