Looking for like-minded SailGP backers

Published on December 1st, 2022

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
The global sports league SailGP wants more teams when the fourth season of SailGP begins on June 17-18 in Chicago, which has prompted the organization to rewrite its rules so that the first fan-owned team could be in the line-up.

While promoting fan engagement is well known in the sporting world, doing so through fan ownership is a level of complexity less understood. Maybe it’s the future, I don’t know, but when 30-year olds can launch cryptocurrency exchanges which collapse to the tune of $32 billion, such as FTX, red flags wave.

The effort to launch a fan-owned SailGP team needs 2000 people to invest $2000 US by January 15. I don’t know if they will get there, but I suspect it will happen. Failure would look bad and SailGP is all about sustaining momentum. The league is determined to be successful, and needs to move away from funding its teams. A fan-owned teams is better than a league-owned team.

To better understand the concept, David Fuller presents a review of the project on his Yacht Business website. If you are financially techie, his report may be of interest, but I will cut to his closing:
The concept of a fan-owned team is nothing new and the question we are asking more than anything is – what benefit does Web3 and blockchain really bring to this project? It seems like a lot of infrastructure and overhead that does nothing to help the team win on the racetrack.

Sail GP

It doesn’t do much for the fans either. $20K is an approachable price point compared to several million to be a team owner, but you own one half of one percent, and you have no idea how much the shadowy, secretive founders own. You don’t even get a t-shirt or a ticket to the show for that – and you have to spend your time in a horrible chat UI reviewing proposals and voting on what pantone shade the battle flag should be.

As a fan, you get to pay for an NFT (non-fungible tokens) that gives you discount on tickets and allows you to suggest things that the owners in the sub-committees get to vote on. Wow – about as fun and engaging as a neighborhood watch meeting.

And then there is the question of how the new team will be measured in the impact league. Does the carbon footprint of the 2000 owners get added into the equation?
For the full report, click here.

SailGP informationSeason 3 scoreboardYouTubeHow to watch

Season Three Standings (after seven of 11 events)
1. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 60 points
2. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 51 points
3. France (Quintin Delapierre), 50 points
4. Great Britain (Ben Ainslie), 48 points
5. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 42 points
6. Canada (Phil Robertson), 40 points
7. United States (Jimmy Spithill), 39 points
8. Spain (Jordi Xammar), 22 points
9. Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter), 16 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.

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