SailGP Season 4 is almost here, as the fleet returns to Chicago to kick off a new racing calendar in style on Lake Michigan.
The ROLEX United States Sail Grand Prix takes place on 16-17 June and will see the world’s best sailors racing on freshwater in an iconic setting, with thousands of spectators lining Navy Pier to create a stadium atmosphere.
For ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team, which took sixth place overall in Season 3, the new season brings an opportunity to level up and cement the progress made over the past 12 months.
Big steps forward in Season 3
With three event final appearances last campaign, the Danes have certainly shown that, when at their best, they can compete with the SailGP heavyweights – but, Sehested explains, it’s time to start putting those performances together on a more consistent basis.
“We are quite happy with our showing in Season 3, although in the end we dropped a place in the final event which also leaves you feeling a bit frustrated, we have to look at the bigger picture,” he says.
“We managed to grab 17 podiums across the season, from 50 fleet races, which is a big step up from our performance in Season 2 – so we have to keep pushing, but we feel that with a bit more consistency we really aren’t too far off making a tilt at the overall top spots.”
He adds: “We had a lot of technical issues last season – arguably more than any other team – so with more hard work, a bit of fine tuning, and a little luck along the way, I have high hopes for this season.”
__Great British America’s Cup talent joins the team; “one of SailGP’s best all-rounders” __
The word of the moment for the ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team is ‘consistency’. So, to that effect, the Danes are sticking with the current team for their third SailGP season.
There is one new face, however – that of British sailor Richard Mason – who has signed on permanently after impressing in two events last season.
Mason, who has previously raced with both Great Britain SailGP Team and Switzerland SailGP Team, joins the Danish team on a permanent basis after jumping in to race with the team in Saint-Tropez and San Francisco.
“Maso is a fantastic addition to our squad, and brings heaps of experience of racing in high- performance teams on these kinds of boats, in both SailGP and the America’s Cup,” explains Sehested.
“He is a monster of an athlete, and in my opinion, one of the best all-round sailors in SailGP. He’s intense on the water, and also a calm and assured character, who brings more competitive edge to us for Season 4. I’m really delighted we’ve been able to sign him on a long-term basis.”
New look for Denmark
The Denmark team will also showcase a new-look boat on the Season 4 start line – transitioning to a bigger, bolder design and switching from a red to a ‘basalt black’ and ‘lava red’ boat.
“We’re now three years into this project, and we wanted to make a statement,” admits Sehested. “SailGP is getting bigger and better all the time – with new sponsors and more eyeballs – and we want to show that we’re not here to make up the numbers.”
He adds: “It’s also a big vote of confidence from ROCKWOOL in the way we are doing things – we have hit our goals and objectives, and they have re-affirmed their long-term commitment to our team in a visible way.”
As part of the shift, the team name will officially change to ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team, from Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL. Don’t miss the ROLEX United States Sail Grand Prix on 16-17 June. ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team fans can head to sailgp.com/watch to check out how to watch in their market.
The racing begins at 1600 CDT (2300 CEST) on Friday and Saturday.