From Giles Scott’s racing debut to the return of Tom Slingsby, we round up five things to watch out for when racing gets underway at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

SailGP’s first ever event in Abu Dhabi

This weekend’s event marks the first time SailGP has ever visited the UAE capital, marking a first for all competing teams. With a light air forecast and tight racecourse on the iconic Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi promises to throw a fresh set of challenges at SailGP’s 10-strong F50 fleet.

Giles Scott’s racing debut at Emirates GBR driver

Season 4 // Emirates GBR driver Giles Scott crew shot

Freshly unveiled as Ben Ainslie’s immediate replacement, Olympic champion Giles Scott will take the wheel for his SailGP racing debut on board Emirates GBR this weekend. With a few days of practice in Dubai behind him, and another crucial training day in Abu Dhabi, Scott will take charge of the team and go head to head against the F50 fleet for the first time.

The return of Tom Slingsby

Season 4 // Close up of Australia driver Tom Slingsby in Cadiz

After missing Dubai for the birth of his first child, Australia driver Tom Slingsby will return to the Flying Roo this weekend, and remains on the hunt for the team’s first Season 4 victory. Still top of the leaderboard, the triple SailGP champions haven’t won an event since Season 3’s San Francisco Grand Final, despite appearing in all six Season 4 Finals so far. Could Abu Dhabi host the Aussies’ first win of the season?

The wind whisperer returns

Season 4 // Nathan Outteridge leads WPP training event in Dubai

With ROCKWOOL DEN driver Nicolai Sehested out on paternity leave, former Japan driver Nathan Outteridge - who drove Japan to two season finals - will take over the Danish wheel. It will be a fresh challenge for Outteridge - who last drove an F50 18 months ago and has been working with the Switzerland SailGP Team since Season 3 as a sailing advisor. But with a reputation for dominating in light air venues, could Nathan Outteridge steer ROCKWOOL DEN to its first ever event win?

Is France running out of time?

Season 4 // Quentin Delapierre in Dubai Mixed Zone

Abu Dhabi marks the 7th event of Season 4’s 13-event calendar - which means we're now past the halfway point of the season. From here on in, the pressure will really ramp up on the mid-level teams. After a commanding Season 3 performance with driver Quentin Delapierre, France has so far had an underwhelming Season 4. Currently sitting 8th out of 10th teams, time is running out for Delapierre to turn the team’s fortunes around. Can the French transform its Season 4 fortunes with a stellar performance in Abu Dhabi?

The Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix will take place on January 13-14, with racing kicking off at 2pm GST.