Adrenaline is set to be pumping throughout Plymouth Sound next July, as the world’s most exciting racing on-water returns to the city.
SailGP will host its Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth for the second year running, following a bumper event in 2021, which saw an estimated 27,500 spectators enjoying the spectacle that brought £6.9 million into the local economy.
The thrilling racing is set to take place on 30 and 31 July 2022. Plymouth is one of the initial eight locations confirmed on the line-up for SailGP Season 3, which also includes stops in Bermuda, Chicago, Saint-Tropez and Dubai.
Councillor Nick Kelly, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news. SailGP is a globally significant event that’s helped to really put Plymouth on the map. We’ve proven we can host epic events of this scale, and it was one of our manifesto commitments to bring more major sailing events to the city, so I’m proud we have delivered by winning the opportunity to host again following such a competitive global process.
“Bringing SailGP to Plymouth is no mean feat. We have worked tirelessly to bring this marvellous event to our shores so that the people of Plymouth can benefit from not only the spectacle of world-class sport on their doorstep, but also the wider economic benefits of thousands flocking to our city will bring.
“We’ll be working closely with SailGP to maximise all the opportunities that the event brings us and look forward to creating another unmissable weekend of on-water action in Britain’s Ocean City, home of the UK’s first National Marine Park.”
Councillor Mark Deacon, Cabinet member for Customer Services, Culture, Leisure & Sport, added: “This year’s Great Britain Sail Grand Prix was one of the city’s absolute highlights, bringing thousands of excited spectators to our stunning waterfront, giving hundreds of local children the chance to try out sailing for the very first time and providing a much needed multi-million pound economic boost.
“I can’t wait to showcase our beautiful, vibrant waterfront city to the watching wide world.”
As it once again brings sailing’s best roster of athletes together, SailGP is also set to welcome two new franchise teams for its third season. Canada and Switzerland are new additions, joining the existing teams from Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States.
Great Britain SailGP Team CEO and Driver, Ben Ainslie, commented: “We are delighted that Plymouth has retained its place for Season 3, it has one of the world’s most visually stunning harbours and its natural amphitheatre creates the perfect SailGP race village for fans to immerse themselves in the racing.
“The city’s environmental commitments, and its status as Britain’s first National Marine Park, also seamlessly align with our team ethos to protect our pitch. We are looking forward to again supporting our Race For The Future partner, the local community and event organisers in numerous activities that will help will help amplify positive scientific knowledge and empower young people to take positive action to protect nature, people and our planet.
“I was an armchair fan for this year’s event and whilst it was a great sporting spectacle to watch on TV, I’m really looking forward to racing in front of our home crowd again next season.”
As the first climate positive sports and entertainment property, SailGP will continue to push boundaries in the global event industry and its ‘Race for the Future’. Since its inception in 2019, SailGP has been measuring, reducing and contributing its entire carbon footprint and has set an ambitious target of 55 per cent reduction of its carbon footprint – based on science – by 2025, as well as committing to being fully powered by nature by 2025 on shore and on the water.
In 2021, SailGP partnered with Plymouth based Ocean Conservation Trust to connect sport and conservation, with a programme of free engagement and educational opportunities, a mammal protection plan for the racing weekend and the restoration of seagrass meadows in Plymouth Sound National Marine Park.
For 2022 – alongside continuing this important conservation and development work aligned to the National Marine Park – the city will also sign the league’s Climate Action Charter, committing to local impact projects that focus on clean energy impact and wider ocean conservation.
As part of SailGP’s better sport strategy, diversity and inclusion will also be a continued focus during Season 3. This includes giving opportunities to female athletes as part of its Women’s Pathway Program to accelerate inclusion within the sport and inspire change.
SailGP will also use its community-engagement arm – SailGP Inspire – to introduce young people from diverse backgrounds to the sport and give career opportunities within the wider marine industry.
During 2021, 120 local young people enjoyed sailing experiences thanks to the Inspire programme and a legacy programme with local sailing organisations ensured the event had a long-term impact, offering a further 480 on-water experiences to young people from Plymouth.
For more information about SailGP, visit SailGP.com.
Find the latest information about the Plymouth event on visitplymouth.co.uk/SailGP.
Plymouth’s bid to host the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix was led by Plymouth City Council with support from Associated British Ports, English Cities Fund, Destination Plymouth, Plymouth City Centre Company and Plymouth Waterfront Partnership.