SailGP has confirmed the full race schedule for its second season, which will feature eight national teams squaring off in eight events across three continents.
The schedule represents an expansion from five events in the league’s inaugural season (2019), and prepares to kick off in Bermuda in less than 100 days after COVID-19 cancelled the second season in 2020.
In addition to Bermuda (April 24-25) and previously announced new host cities Taranto (ITA, June 5-6), Plymouth (GBR, July 17-18), Aarhus (DEN, August 20-21), Saint-Tropez (FRA, September 11-12) and Cadiz (ESP, October 9-10), SailGP will also make its first visit to Christchurch for New Zealand’s maiden grand prix on January 29-30, 2022. The season will culminate with the Grand Final in San Francisco on March 26-27, 2022, when the champion will be determined in a single $1 million winner-takes-all final.
SailGP’s second season will feature Tom Slingsby’s reigning champion Australian team, along with crews from Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States.
Denmark and Spain will be embarking on their first full SailGP seasons after the 2020 campaign was suspended, while New Zealand will be making its league debut led by Olympic champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. In addition, Sir Ben Ainslie will be racing his first full season at the helm of the British entry, while Jimmy Spithill will be piloting a new-look U.S. team for the first time.
In its first season, SailGP had a worldwide broadcast audience of 256 million across five events, and expects to see that number grow significantly with the increase to eight stops. Broadcast partnerships for Season 2 are already in place in more than 100 territories, including Australia (Fox Sports), Denmark (TV 2 Sport), France (Canal+ Sport), Japan (DAZN), New Zealand (Sky Sport), Spain (TVE and TV3), UK/Ireland (SKY Sports), and the U.S. (CBS Sports).
“In just over three months, we’ll have the world’s best sailors lining up in equally matched boats for what is shaping up to be some of the sport’s most competitive racing yet,” said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. “I can’t think of a better way for SailGP to reemerge, and I believe our fans will be taking notice not only of our thrilling racing, but of the new standards we’ll be setting in running our events in a sustainable and inclusive way.”
The final venue confirmed for the schedule was Ōtautahi Christchurch – the largest city in the South Island – to host the New Zealand Grand Prix. The seventh SailGP event in the calendar will take place in Lyttelton Harbour, which is located on the side of an extinct volcano on the east coast of New Zealand and under the guardianship of Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, the local Māori community.
“The positioning of the race course is quite similar to the layout of our event in San Francisco, which should provide spectacular viewing for our spectators,” said Coutts. “Surrounded by the natural beauty of Lyttelton Harbour, we expect this event will draw passionate spectators from across the country and Australia, provided the COVID-19 situation improves as we hope it will.
“Aotearoa New Zealand is a strong sailing nation and Ōtautahi Christchurch has a proud sporting heritage, so we expect Lyttelton Harbour will deliver fantastic conditions and a very warm welcome to all teams and visiting fans.”
SAILGP SEASON 2 SCHEDULE*
April 24-25, 2021 – Bermuda Grand Prix
June 5-6, 2021 – Italy Grand Prix – Taranto
July 17-18, 2021 – Great Britain Grand Prix – Plymouth
August 20-21, 2021 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Grand Prix – Aarhus
September 11-12, 2021 – France Grand Prix – Saint-Tropez
October 9-10, 2021 – Spain Grand Prix – Andalusia
January 29-30, 2022 – New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch
March 26-27, 2022 – United States Grand Prix – San Francisco (Season 2 Grand Final)
*Subject to change
Australia, Tom Slingsby
Denmark, Nicolai Sehested
France, Billy Besson
Great Britain, Ben Ainslie
Japan, Nathan Outteridge
New Zealand, Peter Burling
Spain, Jordi Xammar/ Phil Robertson*
United States, Jimmy Spithill
* Xammar will helm with Season 1 skipper Phil Robertson (NZL) serving in an interim capacity. Details.
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 with the season culminating with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.
Published on January 20th, 2021