Revisions for United States SailGP Team

Published on December 6th, 2023

The United States SailGP Team, which has seen a new ownership group replace driver Jimmy Spithill (AUS) with Taylor Canfield (USA), gets its first test on December 9-10 in Dubai, UAE.

But rather than minimize change, the USA squad has also seen wing trimmer Paul Campbell-James (GBR) and coach Philippe Presti (FRA) move on to the Canadian team. Who will be filling the void?

Joining the team is two-time U.S Sailing Coach of the Year and multi-world champion Mark Ivey as the new coach. With more than 24 years coaching and professional racing experience, a highlight of Ivey’s career has been coaching the Swedish Star Class team to a gold medal during the 2012 London Olympics.

“Mark is a proven winner on and off the water,” says Mike Buckley, U.S. SailGP Team CEO. “His ability to lead a team is unparalleled and I’ve long admired how he can establish the foundation for a team culture that inspires connection and confidence while striving for success.”

With Spithill, the US team won the previous event in Spain on October 14-15 with Campbell-James (Wing Trimmer), Canfield (Flight Controller), Mac Agnese (Grinder), Alex Sinclair (Grinder), and Erika Reineke (Strategist).

The changes for Dubai begin with Victor Diaz de Leon as wing trimmer: “This is an opportunity of a lifetime. Taylor, Mike, and I have had great success in the past racing together. I look forward to jumping in with Sara, Alex, Mac, PK, and Scott; this is going to be a hell of a fun fight.” Diaz de Leon is well known around championship circuits to make every boat he sails on better, as evidenced by eight world championship victories and counting.

Sara Stone, strategist/grinder: A 2022 nominee for Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, Stone will be bringing her offshore sailing acumen, and experience and strength as a foiling Nacra 17 crew into SailGP’s short-course racing. “It’s been an intense week getting up to speed on the F50. I have an incredible challenge ahead of me as I work with both the grinding team and on the race strategy, and I cannot wait to get into race mode this weekend.”

Mac Agnese, flight controller: Agnese, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was a grinder on board the U.S. SailGP Team during its inaugural season, and has been competing in that role for the past two seasons. He will take the flight controller position for the first time here in Dubai.

Scott Ewing, grinder: Ewing will make his debut in Dubai. The Miami, Fla., native was also a member of the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and selected to race in the first-ever qualifier for the Red Bull Foiling Generation Series.

Peter Kinney, grinder: Kinney has raced with the team previously as grinder and was part of the winning team alongside Canfield, Agnese and Sinclair during the Spanish event. He’ll be bringing his multihull experience and collegiate football firepower to the strength-focused grinder position.

Alex Sinclair, grinder: Sinclair has been a familiar face with the American team the past two seasons and is already putting his F50 knowledge to good use during this week’s training sessions to help new teammates quickly get up to speed.

Leo Takahashi, reserve flight controller: On a short-term contract, Takahashi joins the team in a dual role as advisor and reserve flight controller. Takahashi first raced in the league with the Japan SailGP Team, and competed in the 49er class in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Mike Buckley, CEO / reserve strategist: New co-owner Buckley is the reserve strategist for this weekend’s racing in Dubai. The two-time world champion Buckley and Canfield have been long-time teammates, competing as tactician and driver respectively in multiple classes and match racing, winning the World Match Racing Tour in 2020, and second multiple times.

SailGP informationDubai detailsYouTubeHow to watch

Season Standings (after five of 13 events; results and total points)
1. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 2-3-2-2-3; 43 points
2. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 4-2-4-7-2; 36
3. United States (Jimmy Spithill), 9-5-5-3-1; 32
4. Spain (Diego Botin), 5-1-3-6-6; 32
5. Great Britain (Ben Ainslie), 7-6-1-1-8; 32
6. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 1-7-8-DNC/6-4; 30
7. Canada (Phil Robertson), 3-4-10-5-5; 24
8. France (Quintin Delapierre), 6-8-6-4-7; 24
9. Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter), 8-9-9-9; 11
10. Germany (Erik Heil), 10-10-7-8-9-10; 8
• Canada SailGP Team: Docked four points in Season Championship for eight-point penalty at France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
• Germany SailGP Team: Docked two points in Season Championship for four-point penalty at Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix
• New Zealand SailGP Team: Granted six event points for Italy Sail Grand Prix as unable to compete due to wing damage suffered at France Sail Grand Prix.

Season 4 – 2023
June 16-17 – 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
December 9-10 – Dubai Sail Grand Prix | Dubai*

Season 4 – 2024
January 13-14 – Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix | Abu Dhabi
February 24-25 – Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney
March 23-24 – New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Auckland
May 4-5 – Bermuda Sail Grand Prix
June 1-2 – Canada Sail Grand Prix | Halifax
June 22-23 – United States Sail Grand Prix | New York
July 13-14 – SailGP Season 4 Grand Final | San Francisco
* Added October 3, 2023

Format for Season 4:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs across two days.
• Up to seven qualifying fleet races of approximately 15 minutes may be scheduled for each regatta.
• The top three teams from qualifying advance to a final race to be crowned event champion and earn the largest share of the $300,000.00 USD event prize money purse (increases to $400k after Abu Dhabi) that’s divided among the top three teams.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race for the top three teams in the season standing with the winner claiming the $2 million USD prize.
• The top team on points ahead of the three-boat Championship Final will be awarded $350,000.00.

For competition documents, click here.

Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing among national teams in some of the iconic harbors around the globe.

Source: SailGP

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