It was an historic week of firsts in Cadiz in the build-up to the Spain Sail Grand Prix on 9-10 October.
As we counted down to the first ever SailGP event to take place in Spain, we were on Monday treated to the debut appearance of Quentin Delapierre – the new Driver for the France SailGP Team – aboard our cutting-edge F50 catamaran.
Delapierre, brought in to replace Billy Besson, showed off his talents in the French F50 as he practiced with his teammates for the first time, just days ahead of making his competitive bow in the Cadiz event.
Delapierre’s first training session was not the only landmark set during Monday’s practice either, as further SailGP history was made when our newest team also took to the water for the first time.
The Switzerland SailGP Team, announced last month as the ninth team to join the global sailing league, will begin racing at the start of Season 3, with three of their crew already confirmed.
Sebastien Schneiter has been appointed Driver of the Swiss boat, and he got his first taste of being onboard an F50 this week as he went out on the waves in Cadiz alongside Switzerland teammates Nils Theuninck (Tactician/Grinder) and Arthur Cevey (Grinder).
With Spain’s F50 used for the practice session, Schneiter, Theuninck and Cevey were shown the ropes and taught how to use one of the most cutting-edge racing boats in the world, with Spain Driver Phil Robertson acting as teacher.
Spending around two hours on the water on Monday as the wind speed averaged 18.1km/h, the rookie team managed to take their boat speed beyond 50km/h on a number of occasions, in what can only be called an impressive first training session.
Schneiter and his teammates were back out on the Bay of Cadiz on Tuesday for a second period of practice, and we expect to see the Switzerland team utilsiing similar training sessions throughout the remainder of Season 2 as they aim to get to grip with the F50 before making their competitive debut at the start of Season 3 next year.