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Strong line-up for Italy SailGP this weekend

by Switzerland SailGP Team 22 Sep 09:13 PDT 23-24 September 2023
Switzerland SailGP Team helmed by Sebastien Schneiter in action during the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto, Italy © Bob Martin for SailGP

This weekend, Switzerland SailGP Team will race in the Southern Italian city of Taranto, the second of three back-to-back European SailGP events (23-24 September).

The racing takes place in front of the iconic Castello Aragonese in the City of Two Seas, but for the first time this season only nine teams will be on the start line. New Zealand SailGP Team, which suffered a dramatic wing collapse after racing on the French Riviera, will not race this weekend.

Fans in Switzerland can watch all the action from Italy live on Blue Sport and SailGP's YouTube channel (13:30 - 15:00 CEST). How to watch here

The Swiss team is led on the water by Geneva's Sebastien Schneiter and the talented crew line-up for Italy includes Olympic gold and silver medalist, Nathan Outteridge and multihull specialist, Olympic medallist and Wind Powered World Land Speed Record Holder, Glenn Ashby. Two times America's Cup winner, Ashby, makes a return onboard as wing trimmer, stepping in for Will Ryan. He last raced with the team in Christchurch, New Zealand, jumping onboard on race day without any prior training time.

Taranto will be the first time Ashby and strategist, Outteridge, will race together onboard the F50. Outteridge is familiar with racing on the Italian waters, his Japan SailGP Team picked up the event trophy back in SailGP Season 2.

Completing the Swiss line-up for Italy is François Morvan (FRA) racing in the flight controller position alongside Swiss Grinders, Eliot Merceron, Julien Rolaz and Laurane Mettraux who race in the roles of G1 and G2 and Nicolas Rolaz (SUI) supporting as reserve athlete. Team coach Jacopo Plazzi is one of only a few Italians within the SailGP league.

CEO Tanguy Cariou said: "Taranto this weekend marks the fourth event of Season 4 and we are pleased to welcome Glenn [Ashby] back onboard. He's been supporting the team in a coaching role these past events and is excited to jump back onboard and get racing! Having Glenn and Nathan [Outteridge] racing alongside Seba and the team will help to make it a really strong crew line-up for the weekend.

"The Swiss had some highs and lows earlier this month in Saint-Tropez. We continue to progress event by event, but we know we must be more daring on the water if we want to be at the front of the fleet. We had a clear understanding of our weakness after Saint-Tropez, we will work on this and be more ambitious on the water this weekend."

Driver Schneiter said: "I think we're all excited to get some good breeze, it's been a while before we've raced these boats at high speed, so we were excited to go on the water today and test it out.

"Having Glenn back onboard is a luxurious replacement [for Will Ryan] he's been part of the team for a long time as sailing advisor, we know him well and he knows the boats and the wings really well too. We're pretty confident heading into the event with him onboard.

"I think it's just the starts we need to make the most improvement on, the whole team is doing a great job around the racecourse but if we start in front, we're able to fight the top teams and get the results."

The Swiss team head into the weekend on a high on shore, with a second place finish in SailGP's Impact League's first focus area 'Waste to Zero'. The team will develop its cleaning station and water recycling project over the season. Find out more here

Switzerland SailGP Team crew line up for the Italy Sail Grand Prix:

  • Sébastien Schneiter - Driver
  • Nathan Outteridge - Strategist and sailing advisor
  • Glenn Ashby - Wing trimmer
  • François Morvan - Flight controller
  • Julien Rolaz - Grinder (G1)
  • Eliot Merceron - Grinder (G1)
  • Laurane Mettraux - Grinder (G2)
  • Nicolas Rolaz - Reserve Athlete

SailGP Season 4 Championship standings (after three events):

  1. Australia - 26 points
  2. Spain - 24 points
  3. ROCKWOOL Denmark - 23 points
  4. Emirates GBR - 19 points
  5. New Zealand - 17 points
  6. United States - 14 points
  7. France - 13 points
  8. Canada - 12 points*
  9. Switzerland - 7 points

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