As opening day for the first event of the 2021/22 SailGP League approaches this weekend in Bermuda, 24-25 April, teams are announcing a rush of big-name signings.
Latest to announce major signings is the Japan SailGP Team skippered by Nathan Outteridge.
He has bolstered his team with Italian America’s Cup helm Francesco Bruni and Great Britain’s Chris Draper, who take on the roles of flight controller and wing trimmer respectively.
The team also includes the all-star Japanese line-up of Leo Takahashi, Tim Morishima and Yuki Kasatani, who were part of the successful team that were runner-up in Season 1.
Following the SailGP female development programme requirement that . . . 1-2 women be selected per team for a two-week trial leading into the first event of Season 2 in April 2021; one female will become a full member of each team.
For the Japan team, world-class female sailors Wakako Kajimoto and Sena Takano complete the team for SailGP Season 2 and will join the team during different stages of the season, with former Japanese national champion and London 2012 Olympian Kajimoto racing in Bermuda, Italy and the UK.
And, former Junior World Champion and Rio 2016 Olympian, Takano participating in Denmark, France and Spain. One of the two will then be selected for the final events of the season.
Outteridge said: “What more could you wish for as sailors – competing against the sport’s best athletes in identical, supercharged boats and at iconic cities around the globe. The competition is going to be fierce but as runner-up in Season 1, our new signings show that we certainly mean business this year.”
And the Australian SailGP Team skipper Tom Slingsby has announced that Britain’s Nick Hutton will join the team for Season 2 as a grinder, replacing Ky Hurst.
The Aussie squad also includes two successful candidates from their female development programme, Olympic silver medallists Lisa Darmanin, and Nina Curtis.
The United States SailGP Team recently added Daniela Moroz a four-time Formula Kite World Champion, and CJ Perez a highly skilled competitor from Hawaii’s flourishing WASZP sailing circuit.
The Bermuda Sail Grand Prix scheduled for 24 and 25 April 2021.
British fans will be able to watch all the action live on the pay TV channel Sky Sports.