Already the New York SailGP is looking a lot different than how San Francisco played out. This afternoon, all of the six national teams will take to the water to battle it out once again in the hope of making moves towards the million-dollar prize at the end of the inaugural season's championship.
There will be no limit to the action taking place in front of New York City's iconic skyline. Teams will be challenged by a smaller race course set up, changing weather conditions and the ever-increasing competitiveness of their rivals, which will make putting points on the leaderboard more difficult.
New York City's skies are starting to clear and the stage is set for an afternoon of racing in conditions that will showcase the foiling F50’s to the max. By the time the first race kicks-off at 5:10 p.m. local time, the forecast should be in the 15-knot range, with potential gusts exceeding 25 knots. As a result of the weather, the SailGP technical team has decided to have the teams outfit their boats with a combination of their light air foils with rudders designed for heavier breeze. The configuration is planned to help keep the boats under control in the windier conditions. This event will be the first time that the F50s have raced with this set-up and on their light air foils.
The United States SailGP Team is unfazed going into racing today and despite the lack of a practice race on Thursday evening, are looking forward to putting on a show for their home crowd.
"We've had more time practicing here than the other teams and the guys feel ready to put all their hard work to the test today," said Rome Kirby, U.S. SailGP Team helmsman. “We can't wait to get out there and go racing in front of all the American fans."
To win this event on their home turf, they will firstly have to knock the Australia team, the current leaders, off the top spot.
The defending helmsman, Tom Slingsby says today is all about managing the conditions for their team, "Nathan is obviously my rival, and I'm watching out for him, but there are four other boats out there we've got to look out for and on a day like today, its more about how we sail in the conditions. It's going to be crazy shifty with wind pressure up and down."
The course will pose a challenge for teams, while San Francisco fans saw long courses where top speeds decided the winner, the New York race course on the Hudson will be smaller and test the team’s boat-handling and relationship between the helmsmen and the flight controllers.
Nathan Outteridge is eager for a win, "I think we are doing many laps today, as opposed to a longer track, so it'll be more about the maneuvers and less about top speed. It will also be windy. It's strange, we have an unusual combo of foils that might put the boats out of balance," said the Japan Team helmsman. "We want to win this event, and I think we have a good chance to do that."
There's no doubt there will be plenty of action taking place under the New York City skyline, but as to who will be crowned the New York SailGP champions, you'll have to tune into to see.
Streaming of the races for fans in the United States will be available on the SailGP APP, which is available free for both iOS and Android devices. Delayed coverage will be available on CBS Sports at 8.30 p.m. EDT. More information on how to watch where you are check out SailGP.com/watch.
The New York SailGP Race Village, located at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City, will serve as the epicenter of the festivities, an ideal place to take in the race action and cheer on the national teams. Visitors will be able feel the buzz and excitement around this new, global event with access to big screens showing live race coverage and commentary, interactive exhibits, the official merchandise shop as well as the awards ceremony and athlete appearances.
For fans who wish to get closer to the action on-water, there are still limited tickets available for the three premium ticketed experienced at SailGP.com/NewYork.
Crew Lists – Day 1
Australia SailGP Team
Helm – Tom Slingsby
Wing Trimmer – Kyle Langford
Flight Controller – Jason Waterhouse
Grind 1 – Ky Hurst
Grind 2 – Sam Newton
China SailGP Team
Helm – Phil Robertson
Wing Trimmer – Ed Powys
Flight Controller – James Wierzbowski
Grind 1 – Liu 'Leo' Ming
Grind 2 – Jinhao Chen
France SailGP Team
Helm – Billy Besson
Wing Trimmer – Matthieu Vandame
Flight Controller – Marie Riou
Grind 1 – Olivier Herledant
Grind 2 – Nicolas Heintz
Great Britain SailGP Team
Helm – Dylan Fletcher
Wing Trimmer – Chris Draper
Flight Controller – Stuart Bithell
Grind 1 – Matt Gotrel
Grind 2 – Neil Hunter
Japan SailGP Team
Helm – Nathan Outteridge
Wing Trimmer – Iain Jensen
Flight Controller – Luke Parkinson
Grind 1 – Yugo Yoshida
Grind 2 – Yuki Kasatani
Helm – Rome Kirby
Wing Trimmer – Jeff Causey
Flight Controller – Taylor Canfield
Grind 1 – Dan Morris
Grind 2 – Hans Henken