The thrilling SailGP circuit is heading to British shores: here's how to watch the Great Britain SailGP on shore, on the water, or online as racing heads to Plymouth Sound
The foiling F50 catamarans will be heading to Plymouth for the Great Britain SailGP in one week’s time, from July 30-31, and there’s still time for British and visiting fans to buy tickets to view the ‘stadium racing’ on the UK’s south coast.
Great Britain SailGP racing takes place in Plymouth Sound with the race village on the Hoe providing a perfect natural amphitheatre. Three races will be held each day, including a final three-boat decider. Racing takes place from 1400-1530.
Onshore there will be a Fan Village with commentary and live screens (entry £4.75/adult, children free) as well as a seated Waterfront Premium area (£45/adult, £23/child).
You can also watch from the water for free on your own boat – just register in advance to get key course and safety information – or upgrade to Own Boat Premium access for a position at one of the turning gates.
Great Britain SailGP competitors
Nine teams will be competing in the high performance foiling cats, including home crew Great Britain skippered by Ben Ainslie, reigning champions Team Australia with Tom Slingsby, and up-and-coming stars Canada, skippered by multiple world match racing champion Phil Roberston with Brit Chris Draper trimming the wing.
They’ll be racing against Jimmy Spithill in Team USA, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke on the New Zealand boat, plus teams from France, Switzerland, Spain and Denmark.
British skipper Ben Ainslie explained that Plymouth Sound is a ‘challenging but great venue’, with the breakwater providing ‘relatively flat waters’ and the Hoe acting as a natural amphitheatre. “It ticks all the boxes,” he says, adding: “You don’t get many opportunities to race at home at this sort of level and it’s extra special to race in front of a home crowd.”
Unfortunately, after their boat went to the new Canadian entry for the start of the season, team Japan under helmsman Nathan Outteridge have recently officially been ruled out of returning to the competition for the rest of the season. It had been hoped that the Japanese-flagged team could return with a new boat after missing the first few events of the year, but a recent statement from the organisers said:
‘After much deliberation and taking into account logistical and commercial considerations, SailGP has made the difficult decision to pause the participation of Japan SailGP Team indefinitely.
‘The league would like to thank Nathan Outteridge and all of the athletes and staff involved in the Team for their outstanding performance in the first two seasons of SailGP and wish them all the very best for the future.’
Great Britain SailGP royal visit
On Sunday, July 31, The Duchess of Cambridge will be among those heading to Plymouth.
The Duchess is the Royal Patron of the 1851 Trust, and will be joining a group of young people taking part in the Protect Our Future program, before heading out on Ainslie’s British F50 to take part in a friendly Commonwealth race against UN Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh, who will race with Peter Burling and Blair Tuke’s New Zealand SailGP Team.
The guest race will take place ahead of the three SailGP races on the final day of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix and be commentated live from the Official Race Village.
Along with the Protect Our Future programme, there are a raft of sustainability innovations at Plymouth, including the largest solar array SailGP has ever used and bio-methanol fuel used as an energy source at a live event in the UK for the first time ever. This will enable the entire race village to be 100 per cent powered by clean energy.
There will also be electric support boats joining the RIB fleet, and robotic sailing marks by MarkSetBot, while DRIFT Energy will be showcasing their world-first technology of a foiling yacht that produces green hydrogen on board.
How to watch Great Britain SailGP
For those unable to make it to Plymouth to watch the action live, the Great Britain SailGP regatta will be streamed live on YouTube and will be available in most territories.
For viewers in the UK, in addition to the live YouTube SailGP racing, it will be available on Sky Sports with both live racing and a highlights package.
For those in the USA, CBS also will be offering a mix of live broadcasting and highlights packages.
There will also be a delayed full race replay put out on the SailGP Facebook page.
A SailGP app is available as a companion app to the broadcaster coverage. The app provides: live data and video feeds; video and race stats side by side; the option to change viewing angle and zoom in on the action; switch teams, and select data feeds.
The app will offer delayed coverage and full race replay 48 hours after race completion.
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