SailGP teams return to Taranto, Italy, this weekend 23/24 September for the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix
The ItalySGP marks SailGP’s second visit to Taranto, and will see nine – no New Zealand – of the global league’s international teams battling it out for glory.
New Zealand, Spain and Emirates GBR have each claimed victory in Season 4, while Tom Slingsby’s Australia remains at the top of the leaderboard thanks to consistent performance throughout.
New Zealand is unable to compete in Taranto following the collapse of thie wing mast at the last event, which could shuffle the pack.
Emirates GBR driver and CEO Ben Ainslie won the France GP in Saint-Tropez and will be hoping to carry momentum from there, although it is only a week since he failed to make any impression at the first AC40 Preliminary Regatta in Vilanova, Spain.
There he admitted that they were well below where they aspired to be, and laid the cause at lack of time in the boat (AC40).
Switiching back to the SailGP F50 Multihull, which he has had much more time on over the past couple of years, Ainslie will be hoping that despite the unfortunate interuption he can take another win.
Ainsle commented, “People talk abut momentum being a big deal in sport and I hope that’s the case with us now.”
The Emirates GBR crew remains unchanged with Ainslie on the wheel, Hannah Mills in the strategist role, Iain Jenson on Wing Trim, Luke Parkinson controlling the flight, veteran Nick Hutton as grinder trim and the bulky grinding duo of Neil Hunter & Matt Gotrel on the handles.
There will be three fleet races on Saturday, followed by ftwo fleet races and a matchrace on Sunday to determine the event winner.
The first day of racing in Taranto takes place on Saturday, September 23, scheduled to start at 12:30 BST.
You can watch the Italy SGP here.