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Denmark leads Impact League overall after taking top spot in Chicago

20 JULY 2022News
by Miranda Blazeby, Digital Editor

Denmark is now leading the Impact League leaderboard overall after taking the top spot at the T-Mobile United States Sail Grand Prix.

It comes after the team, which is led by Driver Nicolai Sehested, came second overall in Bermuda. The team swept to victory in Chicago with 169 points while Great Britain was a close second with 164. Tom Slingsby’s Australia meanwhile came third with 163 points while Switzerland picked up the most improved title after increasing their score by 16 points.

Season 3 // Denmark SailGP Team // Mini Impact League Copenhagen athletes

Speaking about the results, Sehested said he was ‘proud’ to have ‘taken the Impact League win in Chicago’.

“It's especially nice to win on the anniversary of the Impact League, which launched this time last year,” he said, adding that the competition of the Impact League has ‘increased’ in Season 3.

“We are competitive athletes, and in a league format, we always want to win – whether it's on the water, or on shore – but it's really exciting and inspiring to see all the great work being done by athletes and crew from all SailGP teams and across the organisation, as we work together collaboratively to build a better future.”

Season 3 // U.S Sail Grand Prix // Local Impact Project // Friends of Chicago River

The total prize money of $25K will be divided between the three top teams and donated to their partners. Denmark is awarded $13K for their partner One Ocean Foundation, Great Britain picks up $7K for Protect Our Future and Switzerland wins $5k the VI Foundation for being the most improved team since Bermuda.

Great Britain strategist Hannah Mills said the team were ‘delighted’ to finish in second place.

“The Impact League is a real game changer in sport, we are now not only racing on the water but also off the water and this has really inspired the whole team to come up with ideas and concepts to reduce our impact,” she said.

“Whilst it is a competition it’s also about collaboration and it was great to work with a number of other teams to engage the fanbase in Chicago."

As the winning team, Denmark is also awarded a Golden Crane Ticket - an on-water advantage that allows the winner of each event to adjust their crane slot assignment to suit their team’s schedule and ultimately allow for more time on the water to train.

Season 3// United States Sail Grand Prix // Hannah Mills purpose blog // Jackson Yacht Club

The Impact League is measured across 10 criteria, including travel and accommodation, food, and diversity, equality and inclusion, which are aligned to SailGP’s targets to reduce its carbon footprint by 55%.

Key highlights during the T-Mobile United States Sail Grand Prix saw Denmark implement a new waste management system, which reduced the overall waste sent to landfill. They also created a Chicago sustainability guide prior to athletes arriving on site, which identified sustainable transport and food options and ultimately reduced the carbon emissions produced by the team.

Great Britain meanwhile spearheaded a solar project for their chase boat, which saw shore crew member James Chapman install two small 20w solar panels on the chase boat to trickle charge the house battery. This resulted in lower energy consumption and the team are now looking to roll this out across the fleet.

Switzerland engaged an external sustainability consultant, who briefed and helped the team improve its sustainability strategy, helping to improve their team's actions and scores to win them the most improved title.
Speaking about the team’s result, Driver Sébastien Schneiter said: “After our time in Bermuda, we worked hard to better understand how we could implement positive actions during the Chicago event and it was a big team effort to make these improvements.”

Season 3 // United States Sail Grand Prix Chicago // Impact Project Chicago river

He added: “We are looking forward to building on these actions and making more changes to keep improving as we progress through the season.”

Speaking about the results, SailGP’s director of purpose and impact Fiona Morgan said: “It’s great to have another closely contested Impact League and a new event winner and leader. I’m so proud of all the teams for leading the way and showing how sustainability can be integrated into the fabric of sport to drive real change for a better sport and better planet.”

The Impact League has been simplified in Season 3 to ensure it drives maximum impact, while reducing the time taken for teams to collect and report on all criteria at every event. It is more weighted towards quantitative data, encourages collaboration and learning between teams, while aligning to SailGP's global sustainability goals and actions.

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