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World's fastest on-water racing set for San Francisco as part of SailGP's inaugural season

by SailGP 29 Jan 03:29 PST May 4-5, 2019
SailGP trials of the supercharged F50 boats © Sam Greenfield / AUS SailGP Team

SailGP, now embarking on its inaugural season, today revealed new details of its highly anticipated San Francisco event, which will take place on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, introducing U.S. audiences to a redefined form of sailing while showcasing the members of the national team on their home turf. Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, February 21, at sailgp.com/races/san-francisco.

As SailGP's first grand prix in the United States, the San Francisco engagement will be the second in a series of five events happening throughout the inaugural year and around the world in 2019. Spearheaded by Sir Russell Coutts and Oracle founder Larry Ellison, SailGP is officially sanctioned by World Sailing.

Each of this year's events will feature teams representing six countries the United States, Australia, China, France, Great Britain and Japan all racing on identical 50-foot foiling catamarans, known as the F50 the world's fastest, most technologically advanced flying catamaran.

A new boat class, the F50 is a redesigned, supercharged incarnation of the exceptional foiling catamarans used for the past two America's Cups. Twelve months of further development at the hands of leading designers, technicians and engineers, the F50s are expected to break the 50-knot (60mph/100kph) barrier.

On Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, San Francisco SailGP will take place from 12 to 2 p.m., just off the Marina Yacht Club Peninsula, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, and with the Golden Gate Bridge serving as a stunning backdrop. Each national team will compete in a total of five short-format fleet races, culminating with the top two teams facing off in a match race finale to determine the event winner on Sunday afternoon.

"San Francisco has a unique harbor that is perfect for sailing and we are thrilled to hold our first U.S. SailGP event in the Bay Area," said Coutts. "The Bay's consistently strong thermal winds will create an ideal test for these top sailors, and the shoreline serves as a natural amphitheater for spectators to take in the action. Fans in San Francisco will witness six flying catamarans going faster than ever before in a race environment this is the next generation of sailing."

Beginning today, fans can register at sailgp.com/races/san-francisco to receive exclusive updates on unique experiences available for the event, including access to ticket pre sales, as well as on-water boater registration, which offers special perks for fans wishing to watch the action from personal boats. Those who register early will also receive important race management information, including detailed schedules, spectator zones and the latest race course maps.

U.S. fans will be treated to the state-side debut of the U.S. SailGP Team comprised of some of the most talented high-performance sailors in the country. As announced in October 2018, the five team members are: Rome Kirby, 29, of Newport, Rhode Island (helmsman); Riley Gibbs, 22, of Long Beach, California (wing trimmer); Hans Henken, 26, of Coronado, California (flight controller); Mac Agnese, 24, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida (grinder); and Dan Morris, 31, of Newport, Rhode Island (grinder).

SailGP's Sydney inauguration will occur in February (15-16), after which SailGP will move on to San Francisco in May (4-5), followed by New York in June (21-22) and Cowes in August (10-11), before the Marseille final in September (20-22), which will feature a winner-takes-all, $1 million championship match race between the season's top two teams to conclude three days of racing.

All six SailGP teams will be in San Francisco practicing for two weeks prior to the start of San Francisco SailGP.

About SailGP

SailGP is sailing redefined. Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and San Francisco, SailGP is an annual, global sports championship featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring athleticism. The fan-centric, inshore racing takes place in some of the most iconic harbors around the globe and culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race. Rival national teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States battle it out in identical supercharged F50 catamarans, engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 60 mph/100 kph). Visit SailGP.com for more information.

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