Bermuda in frame to host SailGP
The SailGP Championship is in line to make its debut in Bermuda.
An event spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the island is being considered as a potential host for the international sailing competition for the upcoming 2021 season.
“We are exploring the possibility of a SailGP event in Bermuda as part of our second season in 2021,” SailGP toldThe Royal Gazette.
It is understood that SailGP officials and local authorities have discussed a deal which is now subject to Cabinet approval.
SailGP, co-founded by software billionaire Larry Ellison, is an annual global event featuring national teams that compete in the wing-sailed F50 foiling catamarans that were raced at the 35th America’s Cup, which Bermuda hosted in 2017.
The high-performance multihull is the smallest class raced in the America's Cup and capable of speeds approaching 60mph.
Each grand-prix event includes two competition days, featuring five fleet races leading to a final match race between the two leaders. Points are accumulated at each event throughout the season, culminating with a thrilling $1 million winner-takes-all championship race at the Grand Final.
Bermuda sailor Emily Nagel served as a data analyst for Great Britain SailGP during the inaugural SailGP Championship in 2019.
Australia SailGP, helmed by Olympic champion Tom Slingsby, were the inaugural winners.
The 2020 SailGP Championship was due to commence in Sydney in February but was postponed because of Covid-19.
It will now start in April 2021 in San Francisco and feature the newly formed New Zealand SailGP headed up by co-CEOs Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.
The pair have competed together since 2008, during which time they have earned two Olympic medals, six world titles in the 49er class and the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda’s Great Sound.
“SailGP provides an annual platform for professional, high-performance sailing on the global stage, which strongly complements our existing America’s Cup and Olympic commitments,” Burling said.
“We will bring a competitive team to the championship and look forward to building a collective of partners that align with our sporting and environmental values.”
Russell Coutts, the SailGP CEO, added: “A New Zealand team has been on SailGP’s radar from our inception, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Pete and Blair to the league.
“They are among the best of the best in the world, and will no doubt be incredibly competitive in SailGP.”