SailGP has partnered with Champagne Barons de Rothschild to add the requisite podium sparkle for the 2021 Season events across three continents and eight countries.
The delayed second Season will start in Bermuda on Saturday 24 April – in identical supercharged F50 catamarans representing national teams from Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the USA.
Ben Ainslie and his Great Britain SailGP Team, who swept the single event completed in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic stopped any further racing, will be back in action in an enlarged field of eight teams.
This is his opportunity to show his ability back in a one-design, fleet race format. Something that has brought him five Olympic medals – four gold, one silver.
The F50 has an estimated top speed of 52+ knots (60 mph), and the Australia SailGP Team holds the honour of becoming the first crew to break the 50 knot barrier in sail racing, doing so at Cowes, UK in August 2019.
All the build-up to Cowes was focused on hitting 50 knots, and the Great Britain SailGP Team managed it in practice – only to later see Tom Slingsby claim the official record as he helmed the Australians to 50 knots while crossing the finish line of the first race.
SailGP has managed to bring together a of World and Olympic champions, going head-to-head without the baggage of the America’s Cup bickering to distract from the on-water action.
Whether the racing can live up to the hype is another matter, but at least the podium should have plenty of fizz . . .