Apr 22, 2021
Eight teams will compete in the same boats on eight different events to take a prize of $1 million. Competing teams this year are Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States. The first event of the Sail GP Season 2 begins in Bermuda. The regatta is taking place from the 24th to the 25th of April in Bermuda.
As the organisers welcome a new edition of the SailGP season, it also welcomes fresh cutting-edge technology. For all fans of this nautical sport, the F50 catamarans now have a new wing. This 18-meter wing is now capable of using two different heights with a new adjustable design installed.
Originally, the 24m wing was good for lower winds but riskier on blustery days due to its size. The new adjustable wing system allows crews to opt for the smaller wing during stronger winds and use the longer version during lower ones. This means there are less chances of calling off a race due to the weather.
SailGP’s cutting-edge catamarans hit nearly 52 knots and are built for a crew of five members. The overall length of the boat is 15m and weighs 2,400 kgs. Not only is the SailGP one of the best sailing competitions with crews formed by members of the America Cup, but also it follows a clean and inclusive initiative.
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Teams are training non-stop with their new boats, but last training session we saw the Australia team capsized as the boat flipped on its side. The incident interrupted the training session for Slingby’s crew as their boat suffered the consequences.
There was a clear damage to the top of the wing caused after hitting the surface of the water with force. The crew was able to get back on track with only minor injuries and are ready for the race. However, this incident might have caused Team Australia to suffer technical issues during the whole event. For instance, they slowed down the pace during the Final, meaning British sailing star Sir Ben Ainsley’s crew ended up being crowned.
Skipper Tom Slingsby said their boat suffered some malfunctions. However, they were able to win 4 out of 5 races during the competition, being the favourite team in the Final. They are now second in the Sail Grand Prix.
The first competition of the season is taking place in Bermuda. This year, SailGP is taking place in eight different locations across the entire world. This is the expected calendar for this year’s season:
The competition will prolong during the year and at the beginning of the following year. As many of the members compete in other competitions such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games or the America’s Cup, spacing out the event allows them to focus on these.
Another race we have our eyes on happening later on this year is the Ocean Race: one of the toughest challenges in the sailing world. We will be watching the race with excitement to find out more about this latest edition of the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix.
Images from Simon Bruty and Ugo Fonolla for SailGP