Please select your home edition
Edition
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

SailGP: Of Flight Controllers, Drivers, Wing Trimmers, Grinders and things

by SailGP 12 Jan 01:32 PST 12 January 2022
Japan SailGP Team helmed by Nathan Outteridge in action 4 Race Day 2. Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG. 18 December 2021. © Bob Martin/SailGP

SailGP's cutting-edge F50 catamaran is a technological marvel and only the most elite athletes can fly one of these boats, which hit speeds of nearly 100 km/h (62 mph) in the perfect conditions.

The crew have to be at the top of their game each time they race the F50, but do you actually know what each of the people onboard are doing on the boat to ensure it flies across the waves?

For those SailGP fans not so up to speed with the intricacies of the F50, we join Japan SailGP Team Driver Nathan Outteridge for a brief explanation of each role on the F50.

Driver “The main thing the Driver does on the boat is make the decision where to go on the racecourse," says Outteridge. "They communicate to the crew what the plan is.

“Furthermore, most of the skippers in the teams, myself included, are heavily involved in the logistics of the event.”

Flight Controller Outteridge continues: “The Flight Controller is responsible for keeping the boat in the air. Every time the boat touches the water is a time the Flight Controller has made a mistake.

“He needs to keep the boat flat and keep the boat locked in going fast. He needs to have a very good relationship with the Driver and Wing Trimmer to make sure the boat is locked in and going quick.”

Wing Trimmer “The Wing Trimmer needs to have a really good understanding of how to generate power, and how to distribute that power on the boat," says Outteridge.

Japan teammate Chris Draper, who trims the wing on the F50, adds: “I can basically control all the power in the boat at any one moment.

"I have to put the wing in the right shape and communicate to Nathan the best modes to sail to get to the goal as quickly as possible.”

Grinder “At the front of the boat we have two Grinders positioned," finishes Outteridge. "One Grinder faces forward and one Grinder faces backwards. Both of the Grinders at the front are turning the handle for the winch to make sure we can trim the wing sheet as effectively as possible.

“Leo Takahashi is our primary No.1 Grinder and he faces forward, and Yuki Kasatani is grinding facing backwards. He’s looking at [Wing Trimmer] Chris Draper in the eyes and making sure he knows what Chris needs in terms of the amount of power.

“He also has to be very brave, because he’s going round the racecourse extremely fast facing backwards, so he has to have a lot of trust in the guys behind him.”

Learn more about the crew roles on one of SailGP's cutting-edge F50s by watching the below video

Related Articles

SailGP announce Season 2 Grand Final Title Partner
'Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix' to take place at San Francisco in March SailGP announced a new partnership with Mubadala Investment Company as Title Partner of the Season 2 Grand Final. The Mubadala U.S. Sail Grand Prix is the culmination of the world's most exciting racing on-water and will take place in San Francisco. Posted on 27 Jan
SailGP: Racing on the Edge // Life Lessons
Sir Ben Ainslie knows a thing or two about lessons that can be applied to life as well as sport As the most decorated sailor in Olympic history, Sir Ben Ainslie knows a thing or two about lessons that can be applied to life as well as sport. Posted on 24 Jan
SailGP Sydney - Bow Caddy Media images
Day 2 was largely incident-free, despite a very solid nor'easter that hit gusts of 30 knots... After a day of drama in moderate airs on Day 1 of SailGP Sydney, Day 2 was largely incident-free, despite a very solid nor'easter that hit gusts of 30 knots or more at times. Posted on 20 Dec 2021
SailGP Sydney - Bow Caddy Media Interviews
Four video interviews - Tom Slinsgby, Nina Curtis, Nathan Outteridge, and James Spithill Four video interviews - Tom Slinsgby, Nina Curtis, Nathan Outteridge, and James Spithill Posted on 19 Dec 2021
SailGP: New Zealand comeback falls short in Sydney
The New Zealand SailGP Team staged a strong comeback on Day 2 of the Australia Sail Grand Prix The New Zealand SailGP Team staged a strong comeback on Day 2 of the Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG but it wasn't enough to clinch a place in the final podium race as it finished fifth overall in Sydney today. Posted on 18 Dec 2021
Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG day 2
Slingsby takes control of SailGP Championship overall, after Sydney victory Tom Slingbsy delivered when it mattered for his Australia SailGP Team. Dominating the final race after an inconsistent weekend of results, the home team claimed victory in the Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG. Posted on 18 Dec 2021
SailGP: Two Australian skippers dominate in Sydney
Two Sydneysiders take the top two slots in the San Fran Final in blustery Day 2 The Australia SailGP Team booked their place in the Season 2 winner-takes-all Grand Final with one event to spare by winning their home Sail Grand Prix in Sydney on Saturday. Posted on 18 Dec 2021
Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG day 1
Destruction on the Harbour, as Great Britain collide with Japan Under perfect Sydney skies it was anything but a perfect day of racing for Great Britain and Japan as a major crash happened moments before the start of race three, turning the Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG, and the season on its head. Posted on 17 Dec 2021
SailGP: A disappointing day for NZSailGP in Sydney
New Zealand SailGP Team has it all to do on Day 2 of the Australia Sail Grand Prix The New Zealand SailGP Team has it all to do on Day 2 of the Australia Sail Grand Prix following a disappointing outing on Sydney Harbour on Friday. The day was marred by a serious collision between Great Britain and Japan at the start of Race 3. Posted on 17 Dec 2021
SailGP: Spectacular collision at start of Race 3
British SailGP helmsman, Ben Ainslie says he didn't see the Japan SailGP F50 catamaran British SailGP helmsman, Ben Ainslie says he didn't see the JapanSailGP F50 catamaran below him at the start of Race 3 on Day 1 of SailGP Sydney raced this afternoon on Sydney harbour. See video replay. Posted on 17 Dec 2021
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERHella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 002 gif BottomNorth Sails 2021 Innovation - FOOTER