Shifty, gusty northwesterly breezes proved challenging for the six international teams contesting New York SailGP in the waters of New York, New York on June 21 & 22, delighting the wildly cheering crowds on the waterfront at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City. Team representing the United States, Australia, China, France, Great Britain and Japan did battle in this third event of the inaugural SailGP season.
The Japan SailGP Team, led by double Olympic medalist helmsman Nathan Outteridge of New South Wales, Australia, won three races on their way to the match race final, in which they prevailed over the Australia SailGP Team, skippered by America’s Cup winning tactician Tom Slingsby. The United States SailGP Team, led by helmsman Rome Kirby of Newport, RI (who’s also an America’s Cup winner), won Race Five in New York to post a 3-4-5-4-1 scoreline for the grand prix. Japan sits atop the SailGP Season 1 leaderboard with 140 points, with Australia just a point astern with 139. Great Britain holds third with 106 points, followed by USA (105), China (93) and France (93).
Billed as “sailing redefined,” SailGP is an annual global championship with teams going head-to-head on identical 50-foot foiling catamarans that are capable of exceeding 50 knots. Featuring short-format, inshore stadium racing, each grand prix comprises five fleet races leading to a final match race between the two leaders. Points will be accumulated in each race throughout the season and added to the final leaderboard at the season finale in Marseille, France, culminating in a $1 million winner-takes-all match race between the top two teams for the 2019 SailGP Championship.
There are five SailGP events this year, and New York SailGP was preceded by the season opener in Sydney, Australia (February 15 & 16) and the San Francisco SailGP (May 4 & 5). Next up is Cowes, England on August 10 & 11, and the season wraps up in Marseille, France on September 20 – 22, where the winning team will take home the $1 million prize. For more information and videos, visit SailGP.com. ■