Sir Ben Ainslie relishing return to ‛ideal’ Bermuda for SailGP season opener – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Sir Ben Ainslie relishing return to ‛ideal’ Bermuda for SailGP

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Sir Ben Ainslie, seen here during Britain’s 36th America’s Cup campaign, is looking forward to racing again in the Great Sound
Sir Ben Ainslie, seen here during Britain’s 36th America’s Cup campaign, is looking forward to racing again in the Great Sound

The Bermuda Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess, will be held on April 24 and 25, and will set the stage for an expanded season featuring eight events.

SailGP’s eight national teams — Australia, Denmark, France, Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States — are set to arrive on island in the coming weeks and will use the Great Sound to hone their skills before season two gets under way.

Ainslie enjoyed an extended stay on island as part of the Land Rover BAR team as Bermuda played host to the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, providing a spectacular playing field for the competition that first featured the foiling catamarans that evolved into the F50, which is being used for SailGP.

Ahead of season opener, the 44-year-old is relishing his return and getting back to action in Bermuda’s ideal waters for racing.

“The Great Sound is the perfect venue for SailGP and the ideal venue to start the long-awaited season,” said Ainslie, one of the most successful sailors in Olympic history, winning medals at five consecutive Games from 1996 onwards, including gold at the four held between 2000 and 2012.

“The line up is one of the greatest ever seen in the sport with every team in the running to win races.

“We can’t wait to get out there and compete, it will be a real spectacle for the fans, there will be no holding back.”

Meanwhile, Bermudians and international guests can secure their spot on the Great Sound for front-row, on-water access to the racing with tickets now on sale.

In partnership with the ​Island Tour Centre​, on-water tickets offer spectacular views in the heart of the action with two categories available — access and premium.

Premium guests can enjoy an all-inclusive experience with tickets priced at ​$150, while at $79, the access ticket includes preferential viewing positions on the perimeter of the track for racing, with refreshments available for purchase.

Boat owners can also catch all the action by​ registering for the SailGP bring your own boat programme to gain exclusive spectator zone access on the edge of the racecourse.

Boaters who purchase a Premium SailGP pass, priced at $150, will have front-row viewing to the racing plus access to live race commentary. Each vessel will also receive a SailGP welcome pack, including a tote bag, cap and souvenir SailGP flag.

Alternatively, boat owners can choose to register for a free access pass to receive race information including positions to watch the action.

As it was during AC35, Cross Island will once again be used as a spectator area. Further details of the waterfront fan experience will be available by the end of this month.

All ticketed experiences will follow SailGP’s strict Covid-safe plan that has been created in consultation with the Bermuda Government and leading experts, including medical professionals and risk advisers.

• Full ticket information for the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix can be found at ​SailGP.com/Bermuda​.

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Published March 15, 2021 at 3:34 pm (Updated March 15, 2021 at 3:34 pm)

Sir Ben Ainslie relishing return to ‛ideal’ Bermuda for SailGP

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