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New Zealand SailGP Team remains top of Impact League ahead of season finale

2 FEBRUARY 2022News
Tags:
  • New Zealand

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – 3 February 2022 - The New Zealand SailGP Team is on the cusp of claiming the inaugural Impact League trophy after taking out the top spot at the Australia Sail Grand Prix.

New Zealand overcame tough competition from several teams including a much-improved France SailGP Team to win the Impact League in Sydney following an external audit completed last week.

The result gives New Zealand a commanding lead at the top of the Impact League, 51 points clear of second placed Great Britain ahead of the Grand Final in San Francisco on 26-27 March.

A second leaderboard which runs alongside the Season Championship, the Impact League tracks the positive actions teams take to reduce their overall footprint and help accelerate inclusivity in sailing.

At the Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix in San Francisco there will be two podiums, with the winner of the Impact League crowned alongside the Season Champion and taking home a USD $100,000 prize for its Race for the Future partner.

Co-CEO Blair Tuke said: “We’re really happy to maintain our position at the top of the Impact League heading into the Grand Final in San Francisco. The competition has been heating up all season and it’s been awesome to see so many of the teams really pushing one another.

“We’ve been looking at every area of our operations to find ways to improve, develop innovative solutions, introduce new technologies, connect with sustainable partners and use our voice to share the message of ocean restoration and protection with our Race for the Future partner Live Ocean.

“It’s been a huge team effort to get to this point of having a healthy lead in the Impact League heading into the last event in the USA. The goal for the team now is to finish the season off strong, both in the Impact League and in the racing.”

Over the season the New Zealand SailGP Team has focussed on making many small improvements, which are seeing significant collective impact. At the Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney, the New Zealand SailGP Team reduced its hose water consumption by 36 per cent by using vinegar and water to wash down the majority of the F50, meaning less soap suds to rinse off.

The team replaced single-use cable ties with self-adhesive velcro ties for attaching the righting lines to the tramp, saving more than 50 cable ties per event and ensuring no plastic cable ties would end up in the ocean in the event of a capsize.

To help protect and enhance New Zealand’s oceans, the team partnered with Yachting New Zealand on their world-leading Clean Club programme, and also partnered with Gen Less on a campaign, #RightSideNZ, to encourage New Zealanders to be world leaders in clean and clever energy use.

As part of SailGP’s initiatives to increase participation in sailing, New Zealand engaged a SailGP Inspire intern to gain valuable experience working with the shore team, whilst the athletes also held a virtual Q&A and virtual base tour with the youth members of the team’s local ‘Adopt-A-Club’ Hunters Hill Sailing Club.

SailGP director of purpose and impact Fiona Morgan said: “It’s been fantastic to see the New Zealand SailGP Team continuing to innovate and raise the bar with its sustainability efforts this season and also share their learnings and collaborate with other teams. Everyone has really embraced the spirit of the Impact League and looked at the many small actions they can all take that add up to make a big difference. All eyes are now on the Grand Final in San Francisco to see if New Zealand can maintain its position and win sport’s first podium for the planet.”

Live Ocean chief executive Sally Paterson said: “The team has developed into a passionate group of ocean champions and have used their platform for good, taking the vital message of ocean restoration and protection with them as they race around the globe. I’m proud of the leadership the team has displayed and excited by the prospect of watching them seal the deal with an Impact League victory in San Francisco.”

The Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix will be televised live and on replay on Sky Sport NZ. For more information visit SailGP.com

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