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The countdown is on: SailGP to debut in San Francisco Bay in one month

by SailGP 5 Apr 2019 08:12 PDT May 4-5, 2019
SailGP to debut in San Francisco Bay in one month © SailGP / Donald Miralle

In just one month, SailGP will make its U.S. debut on the waters of San Francisco Bay, offering the next generation of high-adrenaline sailing. Teams representing the United States, Australia, China, France, Great Britain and Japan will battle on the Bay during the May 4 and 5 grand prix, as spectators take in the action from spectacular on-water and shoreside vantage points, allowing them to get closer to the action than ever before.

Established by Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts, SailGP features the fastest on-water racing in the world. Having commenced its inaugural season just six weeks ago, SailGP offers a fan-centric experience that showcases the incredible athleticism and precision of some of the world's top high-performance sailors. Leveling the playing field, each team will race in identical wingsailed F50s the most technologically advanced catamaran in existence that have been designed exclusively for SailGP competition.

What's at Stake

San Francisco Bay is known for its strong sea breezes and tidal flows, and will present exciting challenges to each of the six national teams. Each elite sailor will be pushed to the limit as teams attempt to break sailing's elusive 50 knot (60 mph) barrier for the first time in a race environment. Competing in a total of five short-format fleet races over the two-day period, the top two teams will face off in a match race finale on Sunday, May 5 to determine the San Francisco SailGP champion.

More than 26,000 spectators attended the first-ever SailGP event in Sydney, which saw each of the six teams earn podium finishes at least once. The Australia SailGP Team helmed by local legend Tom Slingsby currently sits atop the rankings, with Japan nipping at the Aussies' heels. The U.S. SailGP Team led by helmsman Rome Kirby (Newport, Rhode Island), and further comprised of Mac Agnese (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Taylor Canfield (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands), Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, California), Hans Henken (Coronado, California) and Dan Morris (Edina, Minnesota) is looking to move up the leaderboard on home waters in San Francisco.

"We are really excited to get on the water in San Francisco, one of the best sailing venues in the world," said Kirby. "San Francisco always delivers great sailing conditions, which will provide really exciting racing. We didn't get the result we wanted in Sydney, but we learned a lot and have far more confidence going into this next event. With the support of the home crowd, we'll be looking for some strong results."

Following the San Francisco grand prix, SailGP heads to New York (June 21-22) and Cowes, England (August 10-11), before the Marseille, France, final (September 20-22). The season will conclude with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race to determine the overall champion.

A Look Inside the Race Village

The San Francisco SailGP Race Village will run along the Marina Yacht Club Peninsula, providing stunning views of the competition, with the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island serving as backdrops. The course designed to augment the Bay's natural amphitheater shape will be orientated adjacent to the shore.

The Race Village will serve as the center of the festivities, an ideal place to take in the race action and cheer on the national teams. The Race Village will offer an array of food and beverage options, music by a DJ, commentary during the racing to explain and supplement the action, and an award ceremony at the conclusion of the event.

Free parking will be offered at the Marina Middle School, with a complimentary shuttle service operating to and from the Race Village from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ticket Options

While the SailGP Race Village is free to the public, special ticketed options are available to enhance the SailGP experience.

With limited spots remaining, SailGP Race Village Plus offers access to a shoreside area with spectacular viewing, live race commentary, a seating area and refreshments available for purchase.

SailGP Race Village Grandstand offers reserved grandstand seats with a premium front row view, live race coverage and commentary, and dedicated amenities including refreshments available for purchase.

Addtionally, SailGP has partnered with the Red and White Fleet San Francisco's leading bay cruise operator to provide two premium on-water experiences. Exclusive ticket packages are being offered on the Zalophus and the Enhydra, with both spectator boats positioned within the race zone, guaranteeing the closest viewing of the action, as well as complimentary food and beverage.

Tickets are available at SailGP.com/SanFrancisco.

SailGP APP

The SailGP APP a next generation immersive experience that puts fans in control of the action is available free via the App Store. Fans can view live data and video from the thrilling races and personalize the boats, camera angles and data that features in their feeds. An Android version is anticipated to be released prior to San Francisco SailGP.

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