In just two days, Switzerland SailGP Team, led by Geneva’s Sébastien Schneiter, will make its racing debut in Bermuda, the opening event of Season 3. The newly formed young team is part of the next generation of SailGP talent and will go head-to-head with many of the sport’s top athletes.
Three 15-minutes races are scheduled each day starting at 14.12 local time BDA (- 5 hours CEST). The sixth and the final race of the event is a head to head to winner takes all sprint, featuring the three highest placed teams from the weekend. Fans in Switzerland can watch all the adrenaline fuelled action from 19.00 CEST on Blue Sport.
Ten national teams will contest SailGP’s third season, and the Swiss team is one of only two new teams – along with Canada SailGP Team - that will be on the start line. Schneiter, a two time Olympian and World Champion, will be the youngest driver ever to compete in the global league. He first took to the wheel of the Swiss F50 just two weeks ago and since the launch, the crew have been putting the boat through its paces during training sessions on the Great Sound.
Schneiter on his SailGP debut, “The boat has been feeling good and really fast. Every time you sail on board the F50 the speed is still really impressive! We’ve had some pretty perfect sailing conditions here on the Sound these past two weeks and we’ve been training in quite a lot of breeze which has been good for getting to grips with the boat.
"I have great memories of racing here in Bermuda and I can't wait to get out racing with the fleet this weekend.”
Switzerland SailGP Team is a new team with a talented crew. Between them, the Swiss line up for Bermuda has competed at six Olympic Games, two around-the-world ocean races and one America’s Cup. Joining Schneiter to race under the Swiss flag this weekend is Olympic gold and silver medallist, Stuart Bithell (GBR) as wing trimmer, two-times Olympian, Jason Saunders (NZL) as flight controller and experienced athlete, Richard Mason (GBR) as grinder. The talented trio all have past SailGP racing experience, with Mason a firm fixture in the league since the inaugural season.
For Swiss sailors Eliot Merceron and Julien Rolaz, it will be their first-time ever racing on a F50 in the grinder position. Elodie Mettraux, a two-times round the world ocean racer, will also get her first taste of racing onboard in Bermuda. Laurane Mettraux will assist the team from the shore and Jérémy Bachelin will support as Reserve Athlete. The team is also supported by Italian Coach Jacopo Plazzi, a young but experienced high-performance racer and CEO, Tanguy Cariou.
Cariou on the team’s progress so far; “There’s only two days to go until our first event here in Bermuda and we are really looking forward to racing on the Sound. We’ve been building up to this event since September 2021 and the team feels ready for it now and we are feeling good going into Season 3.”
Switzerland SailGP Team is supported by its main partner and Race for the Future partner, the VI Foundation. The team will be racing with an important call to action for competitors and fans world-wide; to ‘#BacktheBid’ to see the sport of sailing reinstated in the Paralympic Games in time for LA28.