Displaying items by tag: SailGP
Australia’s SailGP team repeated their performance from February in Sydney as they raced to victory against Japan in the US debut of the event this weekend.
Thousands were in attendance at the Marina Yacht Club Peninsula Race Village to see Olympic gold medalist Tom Slingsby and his team extend their lead after the second leg of the stadium yacht racing series, launched by America’s Cup winners Larry Ellison and Sir Russel Coutts.
The Australian team had struggled in training ahead of the meet in San Francisco and were disappointed by their performance in the first day’s racing on Saturday 4 May, which saw Japan dominate with three wins.
But the final races on Sunday 5 May saw the Japanese boat stymied by a software issue that meant they were ‘sailing blind’ around the course, while the Aussies capitalised to go two points up in the overall rankings — one step closer to the series prize of $1 million.
“We’re stoked, it’s no secret that we struggled all week,” said Slingsby after the event. “Nathan Outteridge and his [Japan] team were better, but we kept saying we are going to come back. We left it late, but we did come back and won the match race and then the event.”
The next event is scheduled for 21-22 June in New York, where Great Britain will be looking to climb up from their solid third place overall following their first race win this weekend.
More than 20,000 people turned to for the inaugural SailGP event on Sydney Harbour this past weekend, with the home team Australia — helmed by local hero Tom Slingsby — beating Japan in the final to clinch the first victory of the series.
Six nations are taking part in the stadium yacht racing series launched by America’s Cup winners Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts.
Olympic gold medallist Laser sailor Slingsby and his crew of flight controller and tactician Jason Waterhouse, wing trimmer Kyle Langford, grinders Sam Newton and Ky Hurst, and Kinley Fowler “gave a masterclass to the rest of the fleet”, according to SailGP, sailing with a definitive edge over pre-race favourite Nathan Outteridge and his Japanese team.
SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said: “A huge congratulations to Tom, Nathan and their teams. It has been a fantastic event and I want to say thank you to Sydney for supporting the event. It has been a great venue to launch SailGP.”
The next stop for the inaugural SailGP series is San Francisco on 4-5 May, followed by New York (21-22 June), Cowes on the Isle of Wight (10-11 August), and Marseille in the south of France (20-22 September) for the finale.
Described by Oracle co-founder Ellison as “the evolution of sailing”, SailGP will begin its inaugural season in February next year – a little over four months from now – with teams from six countries racing identical 50ft foiling catamarans, designed for high-speed racing in harbour environments that will bring spectators closer to the action on the water.
The F50 catamaran is adapted from the AC50 that raced the most recent America’s Cup in Bermuda, with the specialists at Core Builders Composites in New Zealand spending the last year tweaking the design with the aim of reaching speeds in excess of 50 knots.
Sydney Harbour will hold the debut event from 15-16 February, before SailGP moves on to San Francisco (4-5 May), New York (21-22 June), Cowes on the Isle of Wight (10-11 August), and Marseille in the south of France (20-22 September) for the finale.
The World Sailing-sanctioned SailGP is the brainchild of Ellison and Sir Russell, respectively owner and CEO of Oracle Team USA — winners of the 2013 America’s Cup in dramatic fashion.
They have devised a competition that will see five fleet races each round, their results determining the two best teams who will race a head-to-head final in each host harbour.
In the final round, a winner-takes-all match race between the season’s top two teams will be held with $1 million up for grabs.
However, SailGP co-founder Sir Russell has played down suggestions that the concept is a rival to the America's Cup, saying that the two competitions were "absolutely not" at odds.
Sir Russell was speaking at the launch event for SailGP in London this week, which also unveiled the British team that will be taking part.
“The concept of SailGP immediately excited me,” said Dylan Fletcher, Rio 2016 Olympian and helmsman of the Great Britain SailGP team.
“This league allows us to compete with and against the best, and to challenge ourselves in every way possible while sailing the world’s fastest catamarans.”