New York City is the venue for the third event of SailGP, a new annual global championship in which six nations are going head-to-head on identical 50-foot foiling catamarans. Billed as “sailing redefined,” SailGP was conceived “to engage and excite global sports fans year-round in a supercharged, fast-paced version of sailing aimed at increasing its mainstream popularity, introducing the next generation to the sport and creating a career path for extraordinary athletes.”
Teams representing the United States, Australia, China, France, Great Britain and Japan are contesting the inaugural season, comprising five global events, and they’re racing F50 foiling catamarans capable of speeds exceeding 50 knots. Each grand prix, utilizing short-format, inshore stadium racing, features a series of 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 SailGP Championship.
New York SailGP will take place on Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22, with racing on the lower Hudson River. The starting line will be just off the Battery, and the superfast cats will streak north toward Rockefeller Park. Spectators will be able to watch the action from the Official Race Village, located at Brookfield Place on the North Cove Marina, or get even closer to the action through one of the on-water hospitality options.
Races are scheduled to run from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, although these times are subject to change. There will be a total of five short-format fleet races, before the top two teams engage in a match race final to determine the overall event winner on Saturday afternoon. The Hudson, known for the changing windshifts through the Manhattan skyscrapers, strong currents and tidal flow, will be a challenging test for the world-class teams.
Fans can register to receive exclusive updates on unique experiences for New York SailGP, including access to ticketing information, presales and other key event details. Ticket options include exciting on-water opportunities where fans will be able to get a front row seat for the action, with three different offers available. There’s also complimentary Boater Registration Program for fans wishing to watch the action from the comfort of their own boat in spectator zones right on the racecourse perimeter, and participants in this program will receive a commemorative New York SailGP boat flag. To register, log onto SailGP.com/NewYork.
The New York SailGP Race Village will be the best place to experience the racing excitement onshore. This free-to-the-public event will be the hub for all activity over the race period, offering access to big screens showing live race coverage and commentary, concessions, the official merchandise shop, entertainment (including the awards ceremony and athlete appearances), and other activities.
With an average age of 26, United States SailGP is the youngest team in the championship. These talented all-American sailors are Rome Kirby (Newport, RI; skipper & helmsman), Taylor Canfield (St. Thomas, USVI; flight controller & tactician), Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, CA; wing trimmer), Hans Henken (Coronado, CA; grinder), Mac Agnese (Fort Lauderdale, FL; grinder), and Dan Morris (Edina, MN; grinder).
After finishing sixth in the opening event in Sydney, Australia and following up with a fourth in in San Francisco, CA, the United States SailGP Team is currently fourth in the standings. “Sailing hasn’t seen anything like the SailGP, a consistent championship in cutting-edge boats,” said Kirby, who won the America’s Cup with ORACLE Team USA in 2013. “Sailing the F50 is next level. It is more powerful than anything I have sailed before and is a truly intense ride.”
The fourth event of SailGP Season 1 will be in Cowes, England on August 10 & 11, and the inaugural season wraps up in Marseille, France on September 20 – 22, where the winning team will take home the $1 million prize. For more information on New York SailGP including boater registration and tickets, visit SailGP.com/NewYork. ■