SYDNEY (AP)Sydney Harbour is set to host SailGP racing for the next three years, including the ninth event of the international series’ third season in February 2023.
SailGP said Friday that the Australian Sail Grand Prix would be held from Feb. 18-19. An estimated 20,000 people turned out to watch Tom Slingsby’s Australia SailGP team win its home event in December 2021.
Slingsby, the team’s driver and chief executive, said it was good to get the race locked in for the next three years ”on the most beautiful harbor in the world.”
”We’ve been sort of living on a year-by-year, fingers-crossed basis,” Slingsby said. ”So to secure our future in Sydney is unbelievable for us. We should have great wind, great weather that time of year and it’d been great to win on home soil again.”
There are 10 teams competing in Season 3, including new franchises Canada and Switzerland and returning teams Australia, Denmark, France, Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States.
In the opening race of the season in Bermuda in May, Slingsby hit the starting line in the podium race in control and sailed ahead of Britain’s Ben Ainslie and Canada’s Phil Robertson for an easy win, reaching 42 mph (68 kph) as his 50-foot catamaran.
The victory came just six weeks after the Aussies’ dominating win in the $1 million, winner-take-all grand final of the pandemic-delayed Season 2 on San Francisco Bay. Team Australia also won the $1 million top prize in 2019, the inaugural season of tech tycoon Larry Ellison’s global league.
Slingsby, an Olympic gold medalist and former America’s Cup champion, has won four straight SailGP regattas and six of the last seven.
The next race in the SailGP series is this weekend in Chicago.
Remaining 2022-23 schedule after Chicago:
July 30-31: Plymouth, England
Aug. 19-20: Copenhagen, Denmark
Sept. 10-11: Saint-Tropez, France
Sept. 24-25: Cadiz, Spain
Nov. 12-13: Dubai
Jan. 14-15: Singapore
Feb. 18-19: Sydney
March 18-19: Christchurch, New Zealand
May 6-7: San Francisco (and season 3 grand final)
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