With the America’s Cup packed away and heading into its negotiation stage for the next couple of years, this is a chance for SailGP to take centre stage . . . if they can.
With the 2020 season reduced to just one event – won by Ben Ainslie’s Great Britain SailGP Team – SailGP have had to sit and watch the new foiling AC75 monohulls fill the media gap.
Creating enough media presence, despite the coronavirus problems, to fill the void and leaving the former America’s Cup, F50 foiling multihull with its solid wing looking very retro.
At this end of the sailing ‘thrills and spills’ scene the AC75 set a new high-bar and SailGP have will have an uphill struggle to convince the speed junkies that the F50 has the legs or the foils to cut-it.
SailGP do have some advantages . . . A major plus is that it is fleet racing and there are more teams this time around, providing startline and mark rounding action, something the AC75 courses and match-race format mostly failed to do.
Secondly if you are one the venue list, you will be able to experience the live event – After the Bermuda opener there are five events in Europe, than in early 2022, one in New Zealand and the $1 million winner-takes-all final in the USA.
The major audience will be on-line, and it will be building and capturing that audience on a regular basis that will determine whether this event has a commercial future or remains a billionaires hobby-project.
The Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess takes place on 24 to 25 April 2021, with the eight teams participating in a pre-season training camp in the lead up to the event.
The teams then cross to Europe where racing will continue in Taranto, Italy (June 5-6), Plymouth, UK (July 17-18), Aarhus, Denmark (August 20-21), Saint-Tropez, France (September 11-12) and Cádiz – Andalusia, Spain (October 9-10).
The saeson 2 league will then finish in 2022 with races in Christchurch, New Zealand and the Grand Final in San Francisco, USA, on March 26-27 – where the sport’s top prize of US$1 million will be up for grabs.