Slingsby and the Australia SailGP Team to visit six Australian regions, showcasing the SailGP Championship Trophy to inspire the next generation.
Gosford, NSW – November 6, 2019 – In celebration of his historic win in the inaugural season of SailGP, Olympic gold medallist Slingsby and members of the Australia SailGP Team today announced they will take the SailGP Championship Trophy on the road over the next five weeks across Australia.
SailGP Season 1 featured five events around the globe – Sydney, San Francisco, New York, Cowes (UK) and Marseille (France) and six national teams went head to head on the world’s fastest sail racing boats. The Australians held the upper hand over the rival Japanese team and the rest of the fleet much of the season, which culminated with a single, 10-minute match race between the top two teams to determine the historic first-ever champion. Just over a month ago, Slingsby and his Australia SailGP Team earned the Season 1 title and a winner-takes-all prize of US$1 million with a victory over Japan in the Championship Final Race in Marseille.
The Australian team will take the 12.5 kilo sterling silver and 24-carat gold plated SailGP Championship trophy, created by leading trophy maker Thomas Lyte who created the Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup, to six regions in Australia during the tour to inspire the next generation of young sailors and promote the high-adrenaline league in Australia.
Slingsby kicked off the trophy tour at Gosford Sailing Club, which bears a special significance to the sailor, as it was the club he learnt to sail at in his hometown.
“We really felt the support from everyone all over Australia when we were competing in SailGP Season 1 and want to repay that support by taking the trophy to as many people as possible,” said Slingsby. “It’s really nice for me to be able to launch our trophy tour at Gosford Sailing Club, where I learnt to sail as a young kid, with many familiar faces. This is where I started my training to be a professional sailor.”
As part of the Gosford leg of the tour, Slingsby showcased the new SailGP Inspire Racing pathway that provides exposure to high-performance foiling for young sailors – aiming to bridge the gap between youth sailing programmes and professional pathways. Slingsby hosted an on-water coaching session with young local sailors at the club on WASZP boats, giving them an opportunity to experience the sensation of foiling for themselves – similar to the F50 flying boat that SailGP is contested in.
Applications are now open for the Inspire Racing x WASZP programme that will debut at Sydney SailGP. Successful candidates will be invited to a high-performance foiling camp with access to expertise from foiling coaches and SailGP team members and get the chance to race on the same waters as the F50s in front of cheering crowds, alongside aspiring junior sailors from local clubs racing RS Cat14’s – inspiring them to become the SailGP athletes of the future. The application form is available here.
"I loved getting out on the water today with the young sailors and seeing them enjoy sailing the WAZSP,” said Slingsby. “This is a fantastic opportunity for young sailors to get experience of foiling boats and learn about the technology – something that is inaccessible for many young people and that’s something we want to change with this programme. I hope many of them will sign-up and we will see them in Sydney.”
The launch of the regional trophy tour marks the 114 day count down to the Season 2 opener for SailGP, which takes place on the iconic Sydney Harbour on February 28 and 29, 2020. Sydney SailGP tickets are on sale now via SailGP.com/Sydney.
The Australia SailGP Team will continue its journey with the SailGP Championship trophy to the next tour stop in Lake Macquarie, the hometown of team member Kyle Langford, before visiting Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.