Return of the AC50, Kind of…

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
The SailGP circuit will use a turbo-charged version of the same boats that competed in Bermuda

The SailGP circuit will use a turbo-charged version of the same boats that competed in Bermuda

Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison may have lost the America’s Cup back in Bermuda in 2017, but it appears they are intent on stealing a march on current Cup-holders Emirates Team New Zealand with the launch of what they are calling the SailGP sailing circuit.

Announced in early October with all the fanfare only one of the world’s richest men could muster, the circuit will feature six international teams competing in five locations: beginning this February in Sydney, Australia, then moving on to San Francisco; New York City; Cowes, England; and Marseille, France. Racing will take place aboard a fleet of re-engineered AC50s—now called F50s—and include such former Cup stars as U.S. sailor Rome Kirby and UK helmsman Chris Daper. As was the case in Bermuda, stadium-style inshore courses will be used to make sure fans get a close-up look at the action. Oh, and just to keep things interesting, the season will culminate in a single, $1 million match-racing final between the top two teams.

“SailGP distills all of the most successful, exciting and relevant elements of high-performance, professional racing while adding the extra edge that comes with nation-versus-nation competition,” Coutts said. “We are aiming to be pioneers of new technologies, boat design, commercial partnerships and global audience engagement. But with every crew on the same groundbreaking F50 catamaran, this isn’t a tech arms race, rather the ultimate test to establish the best sailing team.”

And then there’s that million bucks... Kind of makes sailing for some silly old cup that doesn’t even have a bottom to it seem quaint by comparison. For the latest on Coutts and Ellison’s latest foray into the world of professional sailing, visit sailgp.com

Photo courtesy of ACEA

December 2018

Related

Pestilence

Sailor-Punk and the State of Cruising

Back when I was a young man, sailing back and forth across the North Atlantic in an old fiberglass sailboat, it seemed fairly obvious to me how all that was wrong in the world might be set right. Everyone should be issued a boat at birth! Or so I declared to any who would listen ...read more

promoOnTheHorizon600x

Cats On The Horizon

Dragonfly 32 Evolution Denmark’s Quorning Boats has been systematically upgrading its line of folding, performance-cruiser trimarans in recent years as part of a long-term effort to incorporate the latest developments in yacht design, with the latest to receive this treatment ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The double range  Every skipper knows about ranging two objects in line to keep the boat on track in a cross-current. What’s less obvious is monitoring both sides of a gap such as a harbor entrance. ...read more

FamilyCruise

Bareboating on Puget Sound

Depending on where you are, Puget Sound can look no bigger than a mountainous version of the Intracoastal Waterway. That’s what I thought when I first laid eyes on it from the lighthouse at Mukilteo Park on a sunny day last July. Then I went to the top of the iconic Space Needle ...read more

Bali4point1

Boat Review: Bali 4.1

Coming fast on the heels of its predecessor, the Bali 4.0, the Bali 4.1 adds a number of improvements, many of them inspired by feedback from owners and charterers. She’s an evolution of a concept that has already proven popular and very many benefits from its builder’s ...read more

Headsail

Ask Sail: Silencing A Rattling Headsail

Q: Our Pearson 26 has a 110-percent jib that tends to rattle very noisily at the top hank. We only bought the old boat recently, but it must have been happening for a long time, since there’s a deep groove worn inside that bronze hank. The jib has an unusually large and wide ...read more

Alerion2048x

Alerion Yachts 33, the 90 Minute Get Away

Easy to sail, luxurious, and swift; the Alerion 33 is the solution to your busy life. The intuitive, simple rig design, easy set-up, and put-away mean there’s no need to wait for crew to enjoy a weekend, a day, or an hour out sailing. Her beauty and comfort are evident in the ...read more