After SailGP cancelled its second season in 2020 due to COVID-19, the global championship in identical F50 catamarans has dramatically revised its intended schedule for the restart in 2021-22 due to continued concern surrounding the coronavirus.
The updated schedule for the first half of its second season will have the opening events in 2021 now at Bermuda (April 24-25) and the southern Italian city of Taranto (June 5-6).
Though San Francisco (April 17-18) and New York (June 4-5) were initially set to host the first events, the league shifted the schedule away from the USA to ensure greater certainty and reduce travel in the early part of the year.
San Francisco will now serve as the SailGP Season 2 Grand Final in which the top two teams meet in April 2022 for a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.
Just over 640 miles off the East Coast of the U.S., Bermuda has been largely shielded from the pandemic. Due to its successful health and safety measures, Bermuda provides a high degree of confidence to host pre-season training and begin the season.
Following the league’s restart in Bermuda, SailGP will shift to Europe – where four of its eight national teams are based – for a series of five grand prix events beginning in Taranto.
As previously announced, the events in Plymouth, UK (July 17-18) and Aarhus, Denmark (August 20-21) remain on the schedule, as do undetermined venues in France and Spain. However, it is not known if Australia/New Zealand, which the league said would host an event in the early part of 2022, remains in the plan.
Overall, nine events are intended for the second season. “This new schedule allows us to plan our first events of 2021 with more confidence while still retaining a U.S. event at the end of the season,” reports SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts.
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, Rome Kirby
* 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.
Source: SailGP, Scuttlebutt
Published on November 23rd, 2020