Sydney, Feb. 27, 2020 – For the United States SailGP Team, the past five months of training, playbook development and team building will be put to the test as SailGP’s Season 2 kicks off tonight in Sydney Harbour, when the Americans will line up against Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan and Spain to begin their quest for the $1 million prize.
“I’m ready for action,” said Helmsman Rome Kirby. “We’ve put so much effort over these past five months to prepare for this moment, and now it is time to go out, sail hard and finish races.”
Kirby, age 30 of Newport, R.I., and his teammates, Wing Trimmer and newly named Olympian Riley Gibbs (24, Long Beach, Calif.), Flight Controller Taylor Canfield (30, United States V.I.), Hans Henken (26, Coronado, Calif.), Peter Kinney (29, Newport Beach, Calif.), and Ben Bardwell (41, Brownsville, Vt.), have spent six productive days training on Sydney Harbour the past two weeks.
“We’ve maximized every moment on the water here in Sydney,” said Kirby. “It’s been great to have as much time training here as we’ve had. It’s meant we can try new ideas for everything from rudder averages to how we can make our maneuvers most efficient. Add to that two days of side-by-side testing we did with Ben Ainslie and the Great Britain SailGP Team and we can’t wait for that first race.”
Besides new sailing team members, key additions during the off-season included hiring seasoned America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race winner Kimo Worthington as general manager, and Joe Glanfield, former coach of the Great Britain SailGP Team.
Worthington and Glanfield are pleased with how well the American squad has come together to form a tight-knit team, on and off the water.
“This is a very talented, very hungry group,” said Glanfield. “I’m really pleased with how everyone’s off-season dedication gave us a jumpstart when we hit the water here. We’ve made the most of our extended training time in Sydney, creatively thinking as a group how we can open up the race course against the other teams. We are ready.”
Beyond the team’s training time, Glanfield also credits the availability of the open-source Oracle Cloud data for their ability to fine-tune rudder settings on their F50, “The Eagle”. The rudder rake and differential settings optimize how the rudders slice through the water with minimum drag, translating into additional horsepower during maneuvers.
“These are especially critical markers for us to improve performance across the myriad of wind conditions that we expect to see this weekend on Sydney Harbour,” Glanfield said.
Full 2020 schedule here:
-Sydney SailGP, February 28-29
-San Francisco SailGP, May 2-3
-New York SailGP, June 12-13
-Cowes SailGP, August 14-15
-ROCKWOOL Copenhagen SailGP, September 11-12