Launched at the end of 2018, SailGP is a revolutionary new global sports championship, combining cutting edge technology with awe-inspiring athleticism.
SailGP will make its European debut this summer, splashing down in Cowes following the American leg of the inaugural season.
On Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August, the Great Britain SailGP Team, skippered by Olympian Dylan Fletcher, will take on five rival nations – Australia, China, France, Japan, and United States – as they take centre-stage in the Solent. Racing head-to-head just metres from the shore in identical 50-foot foiling catamarans, the supercharged F50s are capable of breaking sailing’s elusive 50-knot (60 mph) speed barrier.
For Fletcher - who was recently crowned 49er European Champion with team mate and Olympic silver medallist Stuart Bithell - the F50 has taken the pairing some getting used to: “We’ve definitely gained a lot of confidence already but 50 knots in the F50 feels slightly different compared to the 20 knots we’re used to doing in the 49er!”
The skill required to sail these powerful foiling machines is phenomenal and as a result, this new championship has attracted some of the world’s most talented athletes. The Great Britain SailGP Team alone has five Olympic and 17 World Championship medals under its belt. Team CEO, Chris Draper brings with him a wealth of invaluable experience following the 35th America’s Cup where he sailed with SoftBank Team Japan.
A new class of boat
The F50 is a new class of boat. It shares DNA with the revolutionary catamarans used for the previous America’s Cup but it is the next generation and 15% faster. These boats are the culmination of 10 years of development in high-performance, foiling, multi-hull racing.
Draper said: “Racing the F50 is like nothing else you can do in this sport. Constantly balanced on a knife edge, it requires fast decision making, while maintaining total focus on your role, that keeps the boat sailing at ridiculous speeds.”
As a feature event of the world-famous Cowes Week regatta, Cowes SailGP – the penultimate event in SailGP Season 1 - will welcome fans both ashore and afloat to support the home team as they battle to get some more points on the leaderboard.
Currently sat comfortably in third place, the team were thrilled to get their first race win in the second event of the season in San Francisco with Fletcher commenting: “San Francisco SailGP was an incredible event for us, our first win felt amazing - we knew we had it in us and it’s so good to get there.”
With New York SailGP looming on 21-22 June, the team are starting to grow in confidence and really look forward to the home event in August. Draper said: “It’s so great to see the plans for Cowes SailGP making progress and so many people already planning to come and support us at our home event. Racing in front of a home crowd will give us an extra reason to perform at the highest level and we’re planning to put on a show that no one will want to miss!”
But who will come out on top for the final in Marseille (20-22 Sept) where the season’s top two teams will battle it out in a winner takes all, $1 million championship match race?
Back the Brits! Buy your tickets now at www.SailGP.com/Cowes and follow the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @SailGPGBR.
COWES SAILGP - HOW TO WATCH
SailGP Race Village
The Cowes SailGP Race Village will run along the seafront from the end of the Cowes Green up to Egypt Point, directly in front of the race course. The buzzing race village is a free-to-access public event with something for everyone to enjoy – large screens, live commentary, stage shows, exhibits, food stalls and bars.
SailGP Grandstand - plus RYA member discount offer
Reserve your seat for the day with unrivalled shore-side views of Cowes Week races in the morning and SailGP in the afternoon; dedicated amenities, screens, race commentary and 20% discount* on Great Britain SailGP Team fan kit (available at gillmarine.com/gb/range/sail-gp-gbr.html). *Gill discount code will be emailed out once ticket purchase is complete.
RYA members can enjoy a special 20% discount on Grandstand tickets. Use discount code RYACOSGP when you checkout. Offer available for the first 100 tickets only!
Visit sailgp.com/cowes for tickets.
Official spectator boat experiences - plus RYA member discount offer
Join SailGP Cruise Premier for a premium all-inclusive spectator boat experience with spectacular views of the thrilling racing from privileged positions on the racecourse perimeter, plus an on-board commentator, expert insight from a sailing ambassador and live screens to ensure you don’t miss any of the action. 20% discount* on Great Britain SailGP Team fan kit also available with Cruise Premier tickets.
RYA members can enjoy a special 20% discount on spectator boat experience tickets. Apply code RYACOSGP when you checkout. Offer available for the first 100 tickets only!
Tickets will be live soon at www.sailgp.com/cowes
Alternatively, charter your own rib or boat with family and friends and tailor the experience to suit your needs. Contact the official SailGP charter companies Solent Events and Marine Events for more information and to book.
SailGP Boater Programme
For fans wishing to watch the action from the comfort of their own boat, join the free SailGP Boater Programme. Register online to receive important race information, detailed schedules, spectator zones and the latest race maps.
Digital and Broadcast
Download the free SailGP APP and watch live data and video, track performance, compare athletes, change viewing angles, zoom in on the action and watch replays.
BT Sport: Live host broadcast
Facebook @SailGP: Full race replay (on completion of days racing)
To find out more and to purchase tickets visit www.SailGP.com/Cowes
Register here to stay up to date with all the event news.