The Great Britain Sail Grand Prix, July 17-18, hosts the eight national SailGP teams for the third event of the second season in Plymouth, UK.
Great Britain, the home team of this event, won the campaign opening event in Bermuda, with Nathan Outteridges Japan winning the 2nd event in Taranto, Italy. However, it is the consistency of Spain that tops the ranking of the season championship.
Homeland fame for Great Britain after disappointment in Taranto?
The champion of the season opener race in Bermuda, Great Britain, saw a more disappointing sixth place finish in Taranto the last time under interim rider Paul Goodison. With main skipper Ben Ainslie on paternity leave, Goodison is aiming for an improved performance in front of the home fans in order to improve his second place in the season’s top list.
Spain hopes to extend the championship lead
Kiwi skipper Phil Robertson’s team, who finished fourth and third in Bermuda and Italy respectively, will be wondering if they can stay at the top of the field at this standard or if their Plymouth result needs to be improved to get control of the season to keep.
USA finally end streak of bad luck?
It was a rather unfortunate start to life in SailGP for Jimmy Spithill.
The US rider, who had signed up for season two, saw his team at his debut event in Bermuda due to a collision with Japan that damaged both F50s so badly that they withdrew for the remainder of the event were the last to cross the finish line.
Things looked much better in Taranto when the USA qualified for the winner-takes-all final.
Once again, damage to the F50 meant the US had to give up, and Spithill is now attending its third SailGP event, still hoping to get one to a close.
Denmark on the hunt for shape before the event in Aarhus
If SailGP goes to Aarhus after the UK event, the Danish home team are hoping to be in better shape this season than they have shown so far. It’s too early in the season to write off the Danes, but Nicolai Sehested and his teammates need to move up the table to take silver with a single shot.
Replacement drivers to impress
Both Great Britain and New Zealand used interim drivers at the Italy Sail Grand Prix, with Paul Goodison and Arnaud Psarofaghis leading the teams instead of Ben Ainslie and Peter Burling.
Psarofaghis did better, winning Race 4 and finishing fourth up the weekend, but neither really excelled when they first saw the F50.
But now that they have had the full experience of an event, both Goodison and Psarofaghis hope to see improved performances in Plymouth to ensure the Brits and Kiwis stay within reach of the top of the season championship leaderboard.
SailGP Season Championship (after 2 events)
1. Spain, 16 points
2. Great Britain, 15
3. Japan, 14
4. New Zealand, 13
5. France, 12
6. Australia, 12
7. United States, 11
8. Denmark, 11
Format for SailGP events:
• Teams compete against each other in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs over two days.
• There are three races each day for a total of six races at each event.
• All teams are involved in the first five fleet races.
• In the final match race, the three best-placed teams compete against each other to crown the event champion.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all-match race for the price of $ 1 million.
SailGP season 2 schedule *
24.-25. April 2021 – Bermuda Grand Prix
5th-6th June 2021 – Italian Grand Prix – Taranto
17th-18th July 2021 – Great Britain Grand Prix – Plymouth
20.-21. August 2021 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Grand Prix – Aarhus
11.-12. September 2021 – French Grand Prix – Saint-Tropez
9-10 October 2021 – Spanish Grand Prix – Andalusia
17th-18th December 2021 – Australian Grand Prix – Sydney
29.-30. January 2022 – New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch
26.-27. March 2022 – United States Grand Prix – San Francisco (Season 2 Grand Finale) * Subject to change
2021-22 teams, helmet
Australia, Tom Slingsby
Denmark, Nicolai Sehested
France, Billy Besson
Great Britain, Ben Ainslie (alternatively – Paul Goodison)
Japan, Nathan Outteridge
New Zealand, Peter Burling (alternatively – Arnaud Psarofaghis)
Spain, Jordi Xammar (alternative – Phil Robertson)
United States, Jimmy Spithill
Founded in 2018, SailGP aims to be an annual, global sports league that features fan-centric coastal racing in some of the legendary ports around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans, with the season culminating in a winning take-all-match race valued at $ 1 million.
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