BY APB Staff on 14 Jan 2023

It's the first time the SailGP series has made its way to Asia

 
Singapore Sail Grand Prix presented by the Singapore Tourism Board

The F50 catamaran fleet does a practice start during a practice session ahead of the Singapore Sail Grand Prix on 12 January 2023. Photo: Bob Martin/ SailGP

A fleet of nine hydrofoiling catamarans took to the water this morning, racing for two podiums at Parkland Green in Singapore’s East Coast Park during the SailGP weekend (January 14-15 2023).

The races are taking place between 2pm and 3.30pm today and Sunday, and spectators who are keen to secure an unobstructed view to the thrilling action can purchase tickets to the SailGP Beach Club.

Located on the beach at Parkland Green, East Coast Park, ticket holders can revel in an unparalleled race experience as they watch the battles on the water play out in front of them. 

Great Britain SailGP Team and Switzerland SailGP Team sail past the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Photo: Felix Diemer / SailGP

It’s the first time the SailGP series has made its way to Asia. Singapore is the eighth stop on the series 3 tour, after which the league will head to Sydney, Australia and Christchurch, New Zealand before the Grand Final at San Francisco Bay in May 2023. 

Keith Tan, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board says: “We are excited to welcome the participants and fans of the first Sail Grand Prix in Asia. The event strengthens our calendar of sporting events and reinforces our position as a leading leisure and business destination. We support SailGP’s comprehensive strategy to reduce its overall carbon footprint, which furthers our ambition to become a top innovative sustainable urban destination.”

The yacht used by SailGP teams is the foiling F50 catamaran, which can achieve speeds of up to 50 knots or more. The data collected by each F50 is accessible to all teams and fans, with the onboard technology allowing fans to “see” what is happening onboard in real time via the SailGP app.

Last year, SailGP CEO, Russell Coutts laid out his vision for the SailGP expansion, noting he hoped Asia would be part of the expansion.

The Singapore Sail Grand Prix includes female athletes as part of the league’s new ‘Women’s Pathway Programme.’ It also aims to introduce the sport to young people from diverse backgrounds through SailGP’s youth and community outreach programme, SailGP Inspire.

Photo: Bob Martin/SailGP

As the league’s inaugural visit to Asia, mid-leaderboard-table teams need to make their mark on this eighth event of the third season of SailGP to stay in the game, experts say.

This leg will pose a real opportunity for Phil Robertson’s Canada, which with 40 points, is in sixth place, behind Denmark, says broadcast commentator Stevie Morrison. He points to this newcomer team’s commanding performances in Bermuda and Chicago earlier this season, which resulted in two consecutive podium finishes. Singapore’s stable conditions will be similar to those of both Chicago and Bermuda.

The heat is also on seventh-place America, which is at 39 points. After Singapore, teams will be heading for the Australia (February 18-19) and New Zealand (March 18-19) SailGP events, which are expected to see confident performances from season-three leaders Australia and New Zealand as they reach home waters. Australia currently has a nine-point lead over New Zealand with 60 points.

Team Canada in recent SailGP action. Photos: SailGP

Denmark is a team under pressure to perform in Singapore, to have a chance of making it into the winner-takes-all Grand Final in San Francisco on May 6 and 7.

“From our inception, we have made it clear that our ambition is to be a truly global championship, with some of the world’s most iconic waterfront cities as our backdrop,” says Coutts. “With the confirmation of our first Asian Grand Prix, the addition of Singapore to the line-up and Season 3 now spanning four continents, our vision is becoming a reality.”

www.sailgp.com