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Royal St George Waszp Sailor Charlie Cullen Finishes Second at SailGP in Saint Tropez

17th September 2021
Charlie Cullen of Dun Laoghaire's Royal St. George Yacht Club competing at the Saint Tropez SailGP Waszp event
Charlie Cullen of Dun Laoghaire's Royal St. George Yacht Club competing at the Saint Tropez SailGP Waszp event

Dun Laoghaire Harbour's 2021 Waszp European Slalom & U20 Champion Charlie Cullen was one of 16 young sailors, consisting of multiple World and European Champions from various classes, who were selected to race in last week’s SailGP event in the Saint Tropez, on the French riviera. 

As Afloat reported in August, the result is the fourth international podium for Royal St. George's Cullen this summer in the Waszp class.

The foiling dinghy fleet is partnering with SailGP in their quest to form a pathway for young sailors into the professional ranks and its 'SailGP INSPIRE' programme is used as a  talent identification pathway for young sailors under 21 to gain exposure on the world stage.

While racing was a big part of the week, the young sailors received expert coaching and got up close with some of the world’s best sailors. 

Charlie Cullen (on right, sail number 3) with other Waszp sailors and the French SailGP catamaranCharlie Cullen (on right, sail number 3) with other Waszp sailors and the French SailGP catamaran

“It was a surreal experience, seeing the incredible F50’s up close and learning how they work from the sailors themselves”, Cullen told Afloat. 

The week comprised of training and qualifying races, where the best talent from around France and Europe sailed in a strong breeze and a big swell next to the beautiful shore of Saint Tropez harbour.

After training the sailors had tech discussions with sailing heroes such as Sail GP CEO Russel Coutts and the F50 sailors themselves. 

After a windy and wavy qualifying series, the top 8 sailors prepared for a light wind final series. Non-foiling shifty conditions made the racing extremely tight. Charlie kept a consistent form to finish second overall with Eliot Savelon of the Netherlands taking the win and Eliot Coville of France finishing the podium.

Ireland's Charlie Cullen (second from left) with other SailGP Waszp sailors on the Saint Tropez podiumIreland's Charlie Cullen (second from left above) with other SailGP Waszp sailors on the Saint Tropez podium

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About SailGP

SailGP unites world-class athletic talent and cutting-edge technology. Eight teams representing Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States will contest eight events held in as many countries over an 11-month period. Following the season opener in Bermuda, the championship visits renowned sailing locations in Italy, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Spain and New Zealand. San Francisco, United States, has the honour of closing proceedings with the Grand Final on 26–27 March 2022. Among those vying for the crown is the Great Britain team led by Rolex Testimonee and four-time Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Sir Ben Ainslie, who says: “The sailing world was crying out for the creation of such a concept. SailGP is a major milestone in the evolution of yachting, but it also represents continuity. The combination of state-of-the-art technology and sporting prowess is widening the appeal of sailing.

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