Canada driver Phil Robertson has said the change in the team’s ownership is ‘obviously quite unsettling’ ahead of Season 4’s opening battle in Chicago.
The previous owners of Canada stepped away following Season 3 and the team is now being operated by SailGP as the league mulls ownership offers from other parties.
Speaking at a pre-event press conference, Robertson said the team ‘wasn’t sure they were going to be on the start line’ in the run up to Chicago.
But he paid tribute to the fortitude and loyalty of his crew.
“To the credit of our whole squad, they’ve stuck by the franchise and when you’ve got a group of sailors that commits to a team with no money and no certainty that they’re going to be racing - that’s a solid squad.”
He added that the team has ‘been through a lot of adversity’ but turned that into ‘a massive positive’.
“I know I’ve got a strong squad behind me and we’re ready to come out fighting,” he said.
As a newcomer team, Canada had an impressive first championship in Season 3, finishing fifth overall and picking up an event win in Christchurch. The team finished the season on a promising trajectory, finishing the San Francisco event in third.
When asked about Canada’s performance in Season 4, Robertson disagreed that the ownership issues would put additional pressure on the team.
“We’re super motivated and we want to come out swinging in this event, that’s for sure,” he said.
He said the addition of Germany to the league, which increases the fleet to 10 teams, would make the racetrack ‘crowded’, but embraced the challenge.
“SailGP has changed the game and that’s what we’ve got to adapt to,” he said. “As sailors, we’re a pretty adaptable bunch so 10, 12, 14, 16 [teams] - let’s keep growing it.”
The Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier will take place on June 16 & 17, with racing kicking off at 16:00 CDT. Full broadcast information and How To Watch details are HERE.