- Nathan Outteridge, the Japan SailGP team helmsman, reveals that the team has financial problems.
Outteridge made the revelation at Friday mornings press conference to launch the opening event of SailGP season 3, the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess.
He went on to clarify the seriousness of the situation, explaining that the future of the team has been placed in doubt by the development, and that Japan had loaned their boat to the new team Canada, who are making their SailGP debut in this event.
In an earlier statement by SailGP explaining the absence of the Japan team in Bermuda they commented . . . ‘Outteridge finds himself without a boat for the start of the season with only nine boats available, due to a series of external factors that has meant the tenth boat cannot be completed in time.’
What that really meant was that the financial situation of the Japan SailGP team meant that they were vulnerable, ie had the fewest commercial deals, and as the newcomers are guaranteed a boat, the Japanese boat has passed into Canadian team.
Outteridge continued, “It’s a little tough but I fully understand the situation. This event is just not about results on the water; it’s about making the teams financially successful as well, and that’s where we are really struggling at the moment.”
SailGP have indicated that Japan hope to return to the league for the Denmark Sail Grand Prix in August, when they will have a tenth F50 available . . . and presumably the team will be fanancially secure.
Although Outteridge added . . .“But, really, the team’s main focus right now is finance. If we can’t secure finance, there’s a real possibility that we might not make it to Denmark.”
“If we don’t get some financial investment, there are other teams and franchises out there who want to enter this league. I am well aware that if we can’t get some money together, then the team could be sold to another country, and I might not see you guys again.”
“If there is anyone out there who would like to help us get some finance together, whether it’s people from Japan or people from around the world, I’d love to have a conversation with you.”
The Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess gets underway on May 14-15.