February 14, 2019
The prize is a million!
Tomorrow, on Friday, February 15, the very first races of the new (and widely publicized) international sailing league – SailGP – will be held in Sydney Bay.
We have already written about this league, but now, on the eve of the start, it is not a sin to recall something.
The initiators of the creation of SailGP are one of the richest people in the world, the owner of Oracle Team USA, Larry Ellison and his right hand, five-time winner of the America's Cup, Russell Cutts. They announced their project at the beginning of October last year.
Many, just having heard these two names – Allison and Cutts, immediately gave up: it’s not worth waiting for anything from these people, this is just another commercial dummy.
Yeah, the reputation of Alisson and his faithful squire Cutts is not the best. But – pay attention! – after a couple of days, World Sailing not only declared its full support for the new league, but also included it in the list of the most important sailing competitions in the world.
As you can see, in the international federation SailGP they did not consider a dummy. The fact that the Rolex company hastened to become a sponsor of the league speaks volumes. These are definitely no money to the wind.
From October to February – four months. 120 with a few days. During this short time, the project, we must pay tribute to its organizers, managed to become a reality.
First, 6 identical 50-foot F50 class catamarans were built. But if someone thinks that we are talking about the well-known AC50, who took part in the “America's Cup” -2017 draw in Bermuda, then he is greatly mistaken.
Because the AC50 concept, according to Cutts, was subjected to the deepest and most intense modernization, affecting almost all elements of the car. Work on the new boat continued in Core Builders Composites in New Zealand for a whole year. The developers are confident that the winged catamarans of the F50 class will be able to overcome the barrier of 50 knots. Moreover, during the training the riders were already approaching this line.
Secondly, 6 national teams were formed (in crews – 5 people each), to which F50 were transferred. Everyone had time to get acquainted with the boats and practice on them. These commands are:
Australia. Steer Tom Slingsby – 2012 Olympic champion in Laser class, eight-time world champion in different classes, winner of the America's Cup -2013 (was a tactician), winner of the title of the Best Yachtsman of the Year 2010;
Great Britain. Steering Dylan Fletcher, the 2017 world champion in the 49er class, now competes in 470;
China. Steering – Phil Robertson (New Zealand), multiple world champion in M32 class;
USA. Steering – Rome Kirby, winner of the Cup "America" -2013, a member of two Volvo Ocean Races;
France – helmsman Billy Besson, four-time world champion in the class Nacra 17;
Japan. The helmsman is Nathan Autteridge (Australia), 2012 Olympic champion in 49er class, winner of 19 medals of world championships in different classes, skipper Artemis Racing in two America Cup.
Whatever the helmsman is a star. The highest world level.
On the rules of the Sydney stage, we still have time to talk tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, when it comes to the competition.
In the meantime, let us say that this year another 4 stages of SailGP will be held – in San Francisco (May 4-5), New York (June 21-22), Kaus (Great Britain, August 10-11) and, finally, in Marseille (September 20-22).
The winner will be determined in the duel of the two best teams by the sum of all stages. He will get a prize – $ 1 000 000. There is something to fight for!
288 February 14, 2019 # 8794