Germany joins SailGP for Season 4
Published on May 31st, 2023
Germany is the latest nation to join SailGP as team owner Thomas Riedel and double Olympic sailing bronze medallist Erik Heil lead the new squad into the fourth season of the global racing league on June 16-17 in Chicago, IL.
Inspired by entrepreneur and investor Riedel – president of the leading communications company that bears his name – alongside his new co-investor and retired four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, both will take an active role in the management and performance of the team. Heil, who won Olympic bronze medals in the Men’s Skiff event at both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, will drive the F50.
A passion for high-performance sports, an interest in the latest technologies, and a shared belief in SailGP’s approach towards sustainability is what has brought Riedel, Vettel, and Heil together for the joint campaign. Ten teams are now listed for Season 4.
Riedel is no stranger to SailGP, as his communications company provides the on-site wireless communications and TV production infrastructure for the league as a technology supplier. The wireless network connects, among other things, the F50 catamarans, support boats, referee and camera boats, as well as drones and helicopters for aerial filming.
“As a company, we have always been able to not only understand formats but evolve them through technology and innovation,” said Riedel. “I see great potential in all directions with the Germany SailGP Team: sports, business, and media. We believe that a great movement can emerge from this.
“In addition, we can credibly implement our concerns in terms of sustainability and diversity. That’s one of the reasons why I approached Sebastian as a trusted partner and knowledgeable technology and sustainability expert.
“Sebastian also knows how to win. So, he’s not just a co-owner of the Germany SailGP Team, but an equal partner who can help us succeed in everything we do. However we are aware that success is not something you can achieve in a few races, and it may take some time, but I believe we have the team to make sure it happens.”
In addition to Heil, female German-Brazilian double Olympic champion from Rio and Tokyo, Kahena Kunze, joins the team as strategist. The full line-up will be announced next month.
Tim Krieglstein, who will be the team’s CEO, was Red Bull’s senior marketing manager for nine years and brings experience in the field of events as well as campaign set-up and management. Alongside Krieglstein, Anne van der Wereld takes on the role of team manager. She joins the German team with experience from The Ocean Race and as team coordinator for the New Zealand SailGP Team last season.
Teams for Season 4
Australia (Tom Slingsby)
Canada (Phil Robertson)
Denmark (Nicolai Sehested)
Germany (Erik Heil)
Great Britain (Ben Ainslie)
France (Quintin Delapierre)
New Zealand (Peter Burling)
Spain (Diego Botin)
Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter)
United States (Jimmy Spithill)
Season 4 – 2023
June 16-17 – Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier
July 22-23 – United States Sail Grand Prix | Los Angeles
September 9-10 – France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
September 23-24 – Italy Sail Grand Prix | Taranto
October 14-15 – Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía- Cádiz
Season 4 – 2024
January 13-14 – UAE Sail Grand Prix | Venue to be announced
February 24-25 – KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney
March 23-24 – ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Auckland
May 4-5 – Bermuda Sail Grand Prix
June 1-2 – Canada Sail Grand Prix | Venue to be announced
June 22-23 – United States Sail Grand Prix | New York
July 13-14 – SailGP Season 4 Grand Final | San Francisco
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.