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50 days to 50 knots: The countdown to San Francisco SailGP starts now

by SailGP 17 Mar 2019 06:12 PDT 4 May 2019
San Francisco SailGP © SailGP

In just under 50 days, SailGP will debut on U.S. waters, expecting to break sailing's elusive 50-knot barrier (60 mph) when its six supercharged F50s take flight on San Francisco Bay.

SailGP will bring the all new on-water racing spectacular to San Francisco on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, marking the second event in the championship's 2019 inaugural racing calendar, and its first-ever grand prix in the United States.

In San Francisco, the U.S. SailGP Team comprised of world-class sailors from across the country will assume center stage as they take on five rival teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain and Japan. All six teams will race in identical, supercharged 50-foot foiling catamarans at speeds that have never been seen before in sail racing.

Racing will take place just off the Marina Yacht Club Peninsula in the heart of San Francisco Bay, with the stunning Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island as a backdrop. Competing in a total of five short-format fleet races, the top two teams will face off in a match race finale to determine the event winner on Sunday afternoon.

The U.S. SailGP Team is comprised of Rome Kirby, 29, of Newport, Rhode Island (helmsman); Taylor Canfield, 30, of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (flight controller/tactician); 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 Edina, Minnesota (grinder).

"Sailing on F50s is going to be awesome in San Francisco," said Kirby. "We all love the city, especially for the opportunities that it presents for high-level sailing. With the right conditions, we should break the 50 knot mark, and that will be a major, groundbreaking moment for the sport. The natural race track that the San Francisco Bay is providing us to sail on is unreal."

As the countdown continues, fans can explore a wide array of ticketing options to take in the action, on land or water. The San Francisco SailGP Race Village is a free-to-the-public event, with two ticketed options available to enhance the SailGP experience. The SailGP Race Village Plus package offers in-demand tickets for access to a shore-side area with spectacular front-row viewing, live race coverage and commentary and refreshments available for purchase. SailGP Race Village Grandstand will offer reserved grandstand seats with a premium shore-side view, live race coverage and commentary, and dedicated amenities including refreshments available for purchase.

"San Francisco is a beautiful place, and holds its own iconic status in sailing. The crowds viewing the racing are going to love it, and we are going to love it too," said Morris. "To be able to sail in our home country, in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, and with views of the Marin headlands, is quite a special experience, and we all consider it a true privilege."

Earlier this week, SailGP announced a partnership with Red and White Fleet San Francisco's leading bay cruise operator as the exclusive provider of on-water experiences for families, individuals and corporate guests. Exclusive ticketed experiences will be offered on the Red and White Fleet's newest vessels, the Zalophus and the Enhydra, with both spectator boats having prime viewing position within the race zone, guaranteeing the closest viewing of the action, as well as complimentary food and beverage.

To purchase tickets for land or on-water viewing, visit SailGP.com/sanfrancisco.

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