Season 4’s opening battle takes place in Chicago, with the expanded 10-strong F50 fleet going head to head on the waters of Lake Michigan. From Germany’s racing debut to pressure on the United States, we round up five things to watch out for when racing gets underway.

Germany’s racing debut

Season 4 // United States Sail Grand Prix Chicago // German F50 flying in practice

The stakes are high for newcomer Germany, with the team going head to head against the fleet on for the first time. With a newly announced crew, Germany will look to make its mark when racing gets underway. But will Erik Heil’s fledgling team prove competitive? Time will tell.

Will the United States bounce back from Season 3’s Chicago disaster?

Season 3 // United States Sail Grand Prix Chicago // US boat flying high

Season 3’s Chicago showdown proved disastrous for Jimmy Spithill’s crew, with the home town team finishing in eighth place - their worst result of the season. Coming into Chicago, Spithill has described his team as a ‘solid, locked in squad’, but will this pay off in improved results?

No practice racing

Season 4 // United States Sail Grand Prix Chicago // Australia and USA in Chicago

The cancellation of practice racing means teams only had a few hours of training ahead of official racing getting underway on Friday. What will this mean for newcomer Germany and the young teams of Spain and Switzerland? And will this hand the edge to the likes of Australia and New Zealand?

Canada’s ownership uncertainty

Season 4 // Canada SailGP Team // Canada strategist view

It’s an uncertain time for Phil Robertson’s Canada, which is undergoing an ownership shake-up. The team’s previous owner stepped away following Season 3, and the team is now being operated by SailGP as the league mulls ownership offers from other parties. Robertson has admitted the situation is ‘unsettling’, but will that disrupt the team’s performance on the water?

Can Australia continue its momentum?

Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney | Season 3 | Fleet | Racing

Riding high from their third consecutive Championship triumph, Tom Slingsby’s Australia will be looking to make a mark early on by repeating its Season 3 Chicago victory. But can the team carry over the momentum to Season 4?