Switzerland SailGP Team has joined forces with Stiftelsen VI, known as the ‘VI Foundation’, announcing them as the main partner of their SailGP campaign for the next three years.
The VI Foundation is a Norwegian based initiative, with global ambitions. The foundation is focused on giving disabled people improved quality of life, better health, increased self-esteem, and the opportunity to become more integrated.
Alongside becoming Main Partner, Switzerland SailGP also welcomes the VI Foundation as their SailGP Race for the Future Purpose Partner and looks forward to working together to develop exciting projects that build on the foundation’s key principles of championing equal opportunities to achieve.
Sport is at the heart of the Foundation’s operations. Working closely with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and Confederation of Sports, their support extends from individual federations and clubs, to improve the facilitation of sports at a grass root level for people with disabilities. They also support many elite-level Paralympic athletes, across a number of sport disciplines.
SailGP’s inshore racing takes place in some of the world’s most iconic waterfront locations and Switzerland SailGP Team will use the global platform to help the Foundation to reach and educate new audiences. First up in six weeks, the team will race their cutting-edge F50 in Bermuda for the first time, the opening event of SailGP’s third season. After Bermuda they will race in Chicago before heading closer to home, at events in Plymouth (UK), Copenhagen (Denmark), Saint-Tropez (France) and Cadiz (Spain). The final event in 2022 takes place in Dubai and two events in 2023 have been confirmed so far, Christchurch (New Zealand) in March and the season finale in San Francisco in May.
Driver Sébastien Schneiter, from Geneva, will be the youngest ever driver to compete in the global championship said: “We are proud to announce the VI Foundation as both the main partner and Race for the Future Purpose Partner of the Switzerland SailGP Team and are excited to start our new journey together in just under two months.
“The Foundation and its work is really inspiring and they have already achieved so much. Working closely with Bjørnar Erikstad and their talented team of ambassadors, we have an amazing opportunity to be more powerful together to make a change.”
Among the many VI Foundation ambassadors is Norway's top Paralympic sailor, Bjørnar Erikstad, who also works for the Foundation said: “The purpose of the VI Foundation is to contribute to give people with disabilities equal opportunities to achieve in the society and in life, and thereby ensuring higher quality of life, improved health, and more inclusion through increased participation. Sports is the Foundation's main vehicle to educate about inequalities, create heroes and role models, and to drive change. The partnership with the Switzerland SailGP Team is a fantastic opportunity for VI to bring this message to a global audience. One of our shared goals is to again include Paralympic sailing as part of the Olympic program for the games in Los Angeles in 2028.”
The Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by the Hamilton Princess takes place 14-15 May. In the lead up to the event, the Switzerland SailGP Team and the VI Foundation will share more on the initiatives they will strive to develop throughout the 2022/23 SailGP season.