SailGP Season 2 will kick off in Bermuda over the weekend of 24 and 25 April 2021 featuring eight teams and an expanded eight-event calendar.
Ben Ainslie and his Great Britain SailGP Team will be hoping its second time lucky, as they won the first event held in 2020 only for it to be declared null and void when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and the series was cancelled.
This second SailGP season has pulled in more America’s Cup sailors making the event something of the rival ‘one design’ America’s Cup event that originators Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison intended.
Ainslie and his America’s Cup based SailGP team will face America’s Cup winner Pete Burling and his New Zealand SailGP team (also AC based), and Italian AC team Luna Rossa’s helm Jimmy Spithill who has joined the United States SailGP Team.
With the 2020 series cancelled after the first event in Sydney due to the coronavirus pandemic, SailGP will be hoping that the roll-out of vaccines world-wide will lead to a lifting of travel restrictions.
Like the recently completed 36th America’s Cup match in New Zealand which was hit by lockdown restrictions for several preliminary events, but eventually managed a successful event, the SailGP series involves world-wide travel for the competitors and the boats so there could be some hiccups on the way.
A further complication will be that some competitors are competing at the delayed Tokyo Games in July, so will be switching between the SailGP events in F50 multihulls, and lead-up class events in their Olympic boats.
This involves them in yet more travel and equipment logistics as well as possible exposure to Covid-19 and the constantly changing quarantine restrictions in many countries.
The opening event in Bermuda is a pretty safe venue – last Covid death 8 Jan – although there are entry and quarantine restrictions in place, particularly for visitors from the UK.
Season 2 will culminate with the Grand Final in San Francisco on 26-27 March 2022, when the champion will be determined in a single $1 million winner-takes-all final.
SAILGP SEASON 2 SCHEDULE
April 24-25, 2021 – Bermuda Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess
June 5-6, 2021 – Italy Grand Prix | Taranto
July 17-18, 2021 – Great Britain Grand Prix | Plymouth
August 20-21, 2021 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Grand Prix | Aarhus
September 11-12, 2021 – France Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
October 9-10, 2021 – Spain Grand Prix | Andalusia
January 29-30, 2022 – New Zealand Grand Prix | Christchurch
March 26-27, 2022 – United States Grand Prix | San Francisco (Season 2 Grand Final)