SailGP: British team gets off the dole

Published on December 8th, 2022

Founded and funded by billionaire Larry Ellison, the global sports league SailGP began in 2019 with six teams, and the mission of these teams was two-fold: put on a good show and become self-funded in five years.

That clock hasn’t stopped ticking, and while the pandemic postponed Season 2 in 2020, the field of now nine teams knows their existence in the league is dependent on become commercially sustainable.

Fulfilling that mandate is the Great Britain SailGP team which got valued at $40 million when a new investment round relieved Ellison of his financial position in the team.

In the deal, English sailing legend Ben Ainslie takes majority ownership of the team. An undisclosed minority portion is split evenly between commodities trading executive Chris Bake and Misland Capital, an investment arm of Bermuda property tycoon Peter Green.

Last year, Ainslie and Bake took over majority ownership of the team by converting an option offered by Ellison that required operating costs and liabilities be covered in full. The Misland investment cashes Ellison out of the last 10% stake he held.

“As SailGP continues to grow, hopefully we’ll see more teams become privately owned with inward investment,” said Ainslie. “With Season 3 seeing unprecedented growth in the form of an expanded global calendar, increased teams, new owners, commercial partners and history breaking viewing figures, Season 4’s calendar looks [to be] on a strong growth trajectory.”

The third season began with an awakening for Nathan Outteridge’s Japan SailGP Team which lost its F50 boat when their commercial position was not sufficiently stable, and the league needed a boat for a new self-funded team from Canada.

As for the other teams… tick tock, tick tock.

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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