SailGP is sailing redefined. Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and San Francisco, SailGP is an annual, global sports league featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring athleticism.
The fan-centric, inshore racing takes place in some of the most iconic harbors around the globe and culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race. Rival national teams battle it out in identical supercharged F50 catamarans, engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 60 mph/100 kph).
SailGP will utilize short-format, inshore stadium racing to maximize impact and excitement. Each grand prix will include two competition days featuring a total of five fleet races leading to a final match race between the two leaders. Points will be accumulated in each race throughout the season, culminating with a final match race between the top two teams for the SailGP Championship, with a USD $1 million purse and trophy presented to the winning team.
SailGP racing is sanctioned by World Sailing, and boasts an internationally acclaimed race management team headed by Regatta Director Iain Murray, Olympian and former America’s Cup helmsman. Richard Slater, one of the world's top international judges and vice chairman of the World Sailing Racing Rules Committee, is serving as chief umpire and chairman of racing rules. In addition to relying on its sailing experts, SailGP will utilize modern electronic race management and remote umpiring to ensure consistency, fairness and safety.
SailGP’s nationality rules are currently being finalized by World Sailing. While the majority of SailGP teams will be fully comprised of athletes native to the country they are representing, select countries without the experience necessary to safely and competitively power the F50 boats will be provided a pathway to build to 100 percent nationality. In season one, China and Japan will be designated as developing teams, and will start with a 40 percent nationality requirement, which will increase by 20 percent annually. On the individual side, the nationality rules will be narrow, and sailors will not be eligible to compete for more than one country, with a variety of criteria required to satisfy nationality requirements.
SailGP is built on the talent and athleticism of its world-class crews, and their safety is the league’s top priority. The boats are engineered, and the competition is formatted for fast-paced, intense racing. But SailGP is also setting new safety standards, with the latest technology and clothing, equipment and training all geared toward keeping its stars safe.
SailGP is being fully underwritten by Larry Ellison, a passionate sailor who has been personally and financially committed to the growth and advancement of sailing for multiple decades. The framework for the league will mature over time as it becomes commercially viable and with the adoption of a franchise model. In an effort to reduce operational costs for all teams and avoid duplication of personnel and facilities, shared services will be utilized in a number of critical areas. On the sailing side, design, shore logistics, boats and equipment transportation will be handled by SailGP. A number of business and commercial services will also be provided centrally.
SailGP has appointed Whisper Films as its global production partner to deliver exciting and impactful programming to broadcast rights holders throughout the world. With a goal of widening appeal and growing viewership, SailGP broadcasts will highlight personality-driven content, and enhanced pre- and post-race analysis. Programming will be available in a variety of formats with a focus on free-to-air television and OTT platforms, and will feature an augmented version of the LiveLine™ technology that to greatly enrich the viewer experience.
Starting by season two, SailGP will launch global youth sailing programs to leave a sporting legacy in each market. The youth programs will provide opportunities for young sailors to develop via school programs and yacht clubs, creating a pathway to professional racing.
SailGP strongly believes in respecting and protecting the ocean and surrounding environment, and is committed to responsible intentions and practices. Sustainability efforts are and will continue to be a priority for SailGP, and an initial goal is working toward the elimination of plastic waste during all races.