SailGP to host eight races in 2021-22 season
(Reuters) – SailGP’s second season will feature eight teams participating in eight races, starting in Bermuda from April, the tournament organisers said on Wednesday.
The second season will begin with the Bermuda Grand Prix from April 24-25 this year, a month after the end of the 36th America’s Cup, and conclude with the United States Grand Prix in San Francisco, scheduled for March 26-27 in 2022.
Season 2 was initially scheduled for 2020, but events were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the results from the opening race in Sydney in February were declared null and void.
SailGP was set up in 2018 by Oracle founder Larry Ellison and America’s Cup veteran Russell Coutts and culminates in a winner-takes-all $1 million prize.
The championship has been billed as sailing’s equivalent of Formula One and uses the F50 catamarans, which have hit speeds of 50 knots (93 kph).
The 2021-22 season has expanded from its five-race calendar last year, with races also to be held in Italy, England, Denmark, France, Spain and New Zealand.
“There’s rarely been a time in my lifelong sailing career when I’ve been as enthusiastic as I am about our upcoming season,” said SailGP CEO Coutts.
“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.”
The new season will feature Tom Slingsby’s reigning champion Australian team, along with teams from Denmark, France, Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the U.S.
The championship last year was suspended after the first race in Sydney, which was won by a British team led by four-times Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)
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