Sydney retains season-opener for SailGP’s second campaign

Sailing series SailGP has announced it will return to Sydney to open its second season as it prepares to wrap up its inaugural campaign next week.

Sydney kicked-off the global league’s inaugural season earlier this year and SailGP will return to the Australian harbour on February 28-29 for the first event of season two. More than 22,000 people representing 25 nations turned out to watch Australia’s Tom Slingsby and the Australia SailGP Team win the first event.

Tourism Australia will again support the return of SailGP in 2020, with organisers claiming February’s event saw $21m (€19m) spent in relation to Sydney SailGP and a total economic impact of $18m. “Sydney was a spectacular venue to launch SailGP earlier this year on every level – the iconic harbour backdrop, the competition, the fans – and we can’t wait to return,” SailGP chief executive Sir Russell Coutts said.

“The teams will be spending the winter testing new wing sails, and other exciting upgrades on the F50s. The boats are getting faster and the teams more competitive, and we expect Sydney will once again be a great natural amphitheatre to showcase these incredible athletes and boats.”

SailGP currently features teams representing Australia, China, France, Japan, Great Britain and the United States. Next week, the SailGP Season 1 Grand Final will take place in Marseille, France, culminating with the season’s top two teams competing for the SailGP Championship trophy and a winner-takes-all $1m prize.

Following Season 1 events in Sydney, San Francisco, New York and Cowes, Slingsby leads the overall standings by four points ahead of fellow Australian Olympic gold medallist Nathan Outteridge, helm of the Japan SailGP Team.

SailGP enhanced its management team in June with a host of new hires, including sports business veteran Harvey Schiller.