The Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix marks SailGP’s first ever visit to the city, with the F50 fleet going to battle on the Port of Los Angeles for the first time.

Despite being an untested battleground by the league, the Port of LA could provide some of the breeziest conditions yet thanks to hosting a thermal acceleration zone known as Hurricane Gulch.

Season 4 // Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix // USA crew in practice

The weather phenomenon occurs when hot inland air mixes with the cool marine layer, creating a steady sea breeze.

“Typically, the mornings are very calm,” SailGP regatta director Iain Murray explained. “Then at around lunchtime, this circulation of thermal breeze of around 22 km/h gets going.”

Season 4 // Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix // Spain and Australia in practice

The breeze does not affect the sea state however, resulting in steady wind conditions and flat water - perfect conditions for F50 racing.

The conditions are why the area is so popular with kite and wind surfers. “There’s a cult following of these conditions,” Murray said. “All the people who want to go fast have their favorite spots.” Murray pointed to the fellow SailGP locations of San Francisco and Cadiz, which provide similar conditions.

Season 4 // Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix // Kahena crosses German F50 in practice

LA’s tight racecourse, combined with the conditions of Hurricane Gulch, could make for dramatic racing and eye-watering speeds.

“It’s going to be all about boat handling and speed,” Murray said, adding that teams will be under pressure to maintain speed throughout ‘lots of tacks, jibes and mark roundings’.

Season 4 // Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix // Swiss F50 underway in practice

“It’s the sort of course the more experienced teams will look forward to, but a tougher course for the newbies.”