September 22 -  28, 2019: Issue 422


Australia SailGP Team Win One Million First Prize In Grand Final Of Season 1 SailGP Championship

Australia SailGP Team Celebrations after winning the match race in the Grand Final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseilles, France, Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for Sail GP.

Australia SailGP Team Storm To Victory, Taking Home SailGP Season 1 Championship Trophy And Impressive US$1 Million Purse

MARSEILLE, France – September 22, 2019

Tom Slingsby has lead the Australia SailGP team to a stunning victory and secured their place in history, after beating Team Japan during the final championship match race, to be crowned the SailGP Champion of Season 1.

Slingsby went head to head with long standing season rival Nathan Outteridge from Team Japan on the Rade Nord racecourse, proving the team’s superior tactical prowess and brute strength in the most dramatic race the sport has ever seen.

The victory for Slingsby at the final match race also reflects the team’s consistent performance during the SailGP Season 1, having won three out of the four previous events.

“I like to think that Australia has some of the best sailors in the world; to be able to cement our country as the champions in the first inaugural season SailGP season is a huge honour.

“Throughout the race we were behind after we received a penalty at the pre-start, but we kept fighting as only Aussies can and when we got the opportunity to overtake Japan we took it and sailed away for the win.”

“We have worked hard all year. I’m proud to be Australian, a part of this team and I feel we got the result we deserved,” said Slingsby.

Australia team mate and wing trimmer Kyle Langford shared in the honour of the win saying, “It’s the first series where an entire season of work comes down to one race and we were fighting for every centimeter on the race course today and to be able to come out on top is such an awesome feeling. I said we were the team to beat at the beginning of the season and we proved that today.”

In addition to the victory, Slingsby and the team walked away with the grand Thomas Lyte-designed SailGP Championship trophy and the most substantial monetary prize in the sport, US$1 million. Slingsby plans to distribute the prize money amongst both sailors and shore crew, who he credits as being instrumental in the success of the team on the water.

Slingsby said, “we are going to split the money amongst the team. It’s a huge effort from everyone and I can say with confidence that we wouldn’t have been standing on that podium today without the support of our shore crew and other team members.

The boat worked perfectly at this event and I truly believe we have the best shore crew in the game.”

The Australia team were also able to celebrate with the thousands of fans lining the seawall, who erupted in cheers when the team stood on the winners podium, delivering an electric atmosphere.

“My hands were shaking on the wheel as we approached the finish line. I have sailed into the finish line in the Olympics and the Americas Cup and I can tell you I have never had that reaction before. It just shows how much the moment meant to me and to win the SailGP championship with this team,” said Slingsby.

Slingsby and the Australia team will now prepare to compete in SailGP Season 2, which will be returning to the iconic Sydney Harbour for the first event on February 28 and 29.

“There is nothing more special and motivating for the team than to have the support of the home crowd and be able to sail on our own Sydney Harbour. We are all very focused on delivering another victory for Australia at Sydney SailGP,” said Slingsby.

Tom Slingsby holds the trophy aloft as his team spray him with Champagne after they had won the match race in the Grand Final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseilles, France, Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Sam Greenfield for Sail GP.
Australia SailGP Team skippered by Tom Slingsby pass the finish line in the first race. Race Day 1.The final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France. September 20, 2019. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for Sail GP.

MARSEILLE, France – September 20, 2019 

Tensions heightened in front of the fan-lined Seawall as Tom Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge went head to head on the Rade Nord racecourse at the Marseille SailGP Season 1 Grand Final. The two helmsmen traded wins ahead of the four other national teams to secure their places in the title race of the season. Following another day of fleet racing, the Australia and Japan SailGP teams will be facing off Sunday for the most substantial monetary prizes in the sport, US$1 million.

“Nathan’s goal today was to try and ruffle our feathers, but it didn’t bother us. If he wants to play games in the pre-race starts then that’s fine, we know we are going to sail through the fleet and he’s not going to hold us back. Come the final match race we will be going for him and we’ll see how he reacts." Tom Slingsby said afterwards.

After today's three fleet races the team leads Japan SailGP Team by 5 points and both teams have secured their place in the $1,000,000 match race.

Australia SailGP Team skippered by Tom Slingsby after third fleet race, Race Day 1. Photo: Sam Greenfield for SailGP.

Marseille saw the most competitive racing in the season so far. Massive crowds lining the Seawall had a front-row seat to action featuring the supercharged flying F50s representing six nations. Deafening cheers erupted from local fans as Billy Besson as his French SailGP accelerated crossed the start line first in the opening race of the day.

“Not that I have made an entrance in full stadiums many times in my life, but I think that comes pretty close,” said Besson.

Outteridge’s fans also had a reason to celebrate. The Japan SailGP Team came out fighting to beat long-time friend and rival Slingsby and the Australian team, winning races one and three, and showing an aggressive side that has not been witnessed this season. Outteridge is known for his tactical superiority in tough and shifting conditions like those seen during racing today, pulling out several moves to keep Slingsby and the Australians behind.

“We know we are preparing for the match race and there is a match race within the fleet race,” said Outteridge. “We will take any opportunity to practice our match racing skills as much as possible, and you saw that today. We wanted to slow the Aussies up today and put some boats between them and us to help our points. I will do more of that tomorrow but I think Tom will come out more aggressive.”

Japan SailGP Team skippered by Nathan Outteridge in action in the second race on Race Day 1. The final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France. September 20, 2019. Photo: Bob Martin for Sail GP.

Inflamed by race one’s outcome that saw Outteridge hold Slingsby back at the start, the Australian team came back for a spectacular win in race two, coming from behind to get the better of the Japanese team.

“Knowing him as well as I do, I didn’t think he would be that aggressive!” said Slingsby. “We were not expecting it in all honesty. I thought he was going to race his own race but good on him, he caught us a bit by surprise.”

While the two boats in the championship match race looked pre-set going into the opening day, the race for the remaining podium spot was far from determined. It was a stand-out performance for both the Great Britain and the China SailGP teams. After not finishing races in New York and Cowes, Dylan Fletcher’s Great Britain SailGP Team wanted to see the season out in style and recorded three podium positions to move up into third place overall and increase the gap from the China and United States teams.

There was drama for Rome Kirby’s young American team and his crew retired from racing due to technical issues with a foil. The team was able to return for race three, but the lack of race practice from earlier in the day saw them finish sixth.

As the overall SailGP Season 1 leaderboard stands, Australia has 197 points, leading Japan by a five-point margin. The British team has established a firm dominance on the podium with 145 points over the, now tied United States and China teams, which both have 137 points.

SailGP’s Season 1 Grand Final continues with three more fleet races planned for Saturday and two fleet races and the final match race scheduled for Sunday, with windier conditions expected. Fans are guaranteed high action and high drama when Outteridge and Slingsby come out fighting in the ultimate winner-takes-all match race for Thomas Lyte-designed SailGP Championship trophy and $1 million purse.

“We have done everything we can to prepare. There are no other boats like this in the world so it is hard to train outside of the events, but we had a training camp in Sydney – got the team back together and worked on our communication. We’re ready to go,” said Slingsby.

“We knew we could be 100 points ahead of second place, but then it comes down to a quick match race and if you lose that race, you lose it all. We have won three of the four events and its nice having that confidence.”

Tom Slingsby, helm of the Australia SailGP Team after the third fleet race. Race Day 1.The final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France. September 20, 2019. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for Sail GP.

The Australia SailGP team features some of Australia’s most decorated sailors, led by 8x world champion, Olympic gold medalist and America’s Cup winner Tom Slingsby. The five members of the Australia SailGP Team are: Slingsby, of Sydney (skipper & helmsman); Kyle Langford, of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales (wing trimmer); Jason Waterhouse, of Sydney (flight controller); Ky Hurst, of Gold Coast, Queensland (grinder); and Sam Newton, of Sydney (grinder). Kinley Fowler, of Perth, Western Australia, will serve as the reserve.

The Japan SailGP team features are led Nathan Outteridge, gold medallist in the 49er class at the London 2012 Olympic Games and silver in Rio four years later. He has won 19 world championship medals and mastered a number of classes, including the Moth, 49er and Nacra 17. Outteridge was part of the test team for the revolutionary new F50s, helping develop the class. Off the water, Outteridge’s next challenge will be fatherhood, as he welcomed his first child in January with wife Emma.

Nathan Outteridge, CEO and helmsman of the Japan SailGP Team after the third fleet race. Race Day 1.The final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France. September 20, 2019. Photo: Ricardo Pinto for Sail GP.

Nathan is joined by Leo Takahashi, Grinder, of Auckland New Zealand. Born in Atami, a seaside town in Japan, Takahashi started sailing at 9, was a member of the first Japanese America’s Cup Challenger, has been a member of the Japanese National Team since 2015 and following success at the junior level, was part of the 2017 Youth America’s Cup, representing Japan. In 2018, Takahashi competed at his first senior-level world championship and is currently aiming to qualify in the 49er class for his home Olympics in 2020.

Also on the Japan SailGP Team are Yuki Kasatani, Grinder, Yugo Yoshida, Grinder, both members of the Japanese America’s Cup team, competing at the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda, Luke Parkinson, Flight Controller and Tactician, Freemantle, Western Australia, Iain Jensen, Wing Trimmer, who started sailing at his local club in Wangi, aged 5 and at 16, represented Australia for the first time, winning the Youth World Championships in the double handed 420 class with SailGP teammate Nathan Outteridge. The start of a beautiful partnership was formed and they went on to win three 49er world championship titles before winning Olympic gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Four years later, they added a silver medal to their Olympic tally. Jenson has campaigned as wing trimmer with Artemis Racing in the last two America’s Cups and currently sails with the British team, campaigning in the 36th America’s Cup. Tim Morishima, Grinder, is the final member of the Japan SailGP Team. Tim was born in Australia and educated at primary school in Osaka, Japan, Morishima’s first taste of foiling catamarans came when he was invited to trial for the Japanese team competing in the 35th America’s Cup. He has also represented Japan on the GC32 Racing Tour and in the Youth America’s Cup. After a successful trial with the Japan SailGP Team as part of the shore team in Sydney, Morishima joined the team full-time, with San Francisco SailGP his first event as a sailing team member.

Racing will be shown live in France on Canal+ Multisport. For fans around the world, global broadcast details can be found here. The complementary SailGP APP is available in the Apple and Google Play stores.

Race Day 3 will be broadcast on Sunday 22nd September, 22:30 AEST on Fox Sports 505

Full results here.

Race For Final Podium Place Heats Up On Penultimate Day Of Racing In Marseille

MARSEILLE, France – September 21, 2019

Phil Robertson and the China SailGP Team triumphed with a first-ever race win on the penultimate day of the Marseille SailGP Season 1 Grand Final. Meanwhile, the battle between Tom Slingsby’s Australian team and Nathan Outteridge’s Japan team continued to heat up in advance of tomorrow’s US$1 million match race finale, as the rivals traded victories in the other two races of the day.

China’s success locks the team in a tie with Dylan Fletcher’s Great Britain SailGP Team for third place, to be fought out on the final day of racing in Marseille.

The win is an impressive feat for the Chinese, who questioned whether they would be able to appear on the racecourse earlier in the morning. With grinder Liu ‘Black' Xue out with a back injury and grinder Liu 'Leo' Ming suffering severe gastrointestinal issues, Robertson was left with no option but to retire from racing for the day as the team would not meet the nationality requirements to compete. When Ming heard that his team would be unable to race in his absence, he decided to push through the discomfort. The decision ultimately put the China team back in the running for the podium after a difficult season.

"We did what we could to get out there. We persuaded everyone to get us racing and our guys said they would feel better if we started a race and put some gear on to tough it out,” said Robertson. “It feels fantastic. It's great to get a win, it's been a bit of a tough ride racing against top teams like Australia and Japan but we got a win on the second to last day of the season – it's a great reward.”

A race win, added to a third- and fourth-place results, catapulted Robertson up the leaderboard to tie with Great Britain, with two races remaining tomorrow.

Weather on the Rade Nord racecourse was lighter than forecast for the day, and the six national teams were challenged to search for the wind to stay ahead of the competition. Shifting breezes played to the helmsmen with more tactical styles of racing.

Despite having secured their place in the Championship Final tomorrow, fierce on-water rivals Slingsby and Outteridge were still aggressive during Saturday's racing. Australia had the edge on the day, with one win and two second-place finishes compared to first-, second- and fourth-place finishes by Japan. The two teams will duel tomorrow, with a 10-minute race deciding the overall SailGP Champion and winner of $US1 million dollars.

“We keep getting told that Nathan is better than us in shifty winds, on tough racecourses, that he starts better than us, and his maneuvers are better than us. But we are ahead of him,” said Slingsby.

With the leaderboard tied up in two places, high drama is expected in the Sunday finale. The Marseille SailGP Season 1 Grand Final continues with two fleet races and the final match race. The first two fleet races will only feature the boats that have not qualified for the match racing final, ahead of the historic showdown between Slingsby and Outteridge.

Tom Slingsby: “We have never raced for this kind of money before and we are going to do everything we can to prepare for this race to ensure that when we fly off the starting line at the first race we have the best shot possible at winning.”

Another solid result at Day 2 of the SailGP Grand Final but none of it matters unless we win tomorrow's $1,000,000 match race against Japan SailGP Team.

Racing will be shown live in France on Canal+ Multisport. For fans around the world, global broadcast details can be found here. The complementary SailGP APP is available in the Apple and Google Play stores.

Race Day 3 will be broadcast on Sunday 22nd September, 22:30 AEST on Fox Sports 505

Full results here.

Australia SailGP Team on Race Day 2. The final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France, 21, September, 2019. Photo: Sam Greenfield for SailGP.

Sam Newtown, grinder, runs across the boat as Australia SailGP Team compete in the second race on Race Day 2.  Photo: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP.

Australia SailGP Team on Race Day 2. The final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseilles, France, 21, September, 2019. Photo: Sam Greenfield for SailGP.

About SailGP

SailGP is sailing redefined. Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and San Francisco, SailGP is an annual, global sports league featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring athleticism.

The fan-centric, inshore racing takes place in some of the most iconic harbors around the globe and culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race. Rival national teams battle it out in identical supercharged F50 catamarans, engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 60 mph/100 kph).


SailGP will utilise short-format, inshore stadium racing to maximise impact and excitement. Each grand prix will include two competition days featuring a total of five fleet races leading to a final match race between the two leaders. Points will be accumulated in each race throughout the season, culminating with a final match race between the top two teams for the SailGP Championship, with a USD $1 million purse and trophy presented to the winning team.


SailGP racing is sanctioned by World Sailing, and boasts an internationally acclaimed race management team headed by Regatta Director Iain Murray, Olympian and former America’s Cup helmsman. Richard Slater, one of the world's top international judges and vice chairman of the World Sailing Racing Rules Committee, is serving as chief umpire and chairman of racing rules. In addition to relying on its sailing experts, SailGP will utilise modern electronic race management and remote umpiring to ensure consistency, fairness and safety.


SailGP’s nationality rules are currently being finalised by World Sailing. While the majority of SailGP teams will be fully comprised of athletes native to the country they are representing, select countries without the experience necessary to safely and competitively power the F50 boats will be provided a pathway to build to 100 percent nationality. In season one, China and Japan will be designated as developing teams, and will start with a 40 percent nationality requirement, which will increase by 20 percent annually. On the individual side, the nationality rules will be narrow, and sailors will not be eligible to compete for more than one country, with a variety of criteria required to satisfy nationality requirements.


SailGP is built on the talent and athleticism of its world-class crews, and their safety is the league’s top priority. The boats are engineered, and the competition is formatted for fast-paced, intense racing. But SailGP is also setting new safety standards, with the latest technology and clothing, equipment and training all geared toward keeping its stars safe.


SailGP is being fully underwritten by Larry Ellison, a passionate sailor who has been personally and financially committed to the growth and advancement of sailing for multiple decades. The framework for the league will mature over time as it becomes commercially viable and with the adoption of a franchise model. In an effort to reduce operational costs for all teams and avoid duplication of personnel and facilities, shared services will be utilised in a number of critical areas. On the sailing side, design, shore logistics, boats and equipment transportation will be handled by SailGP. A number of business and commercial services will also be provided centrally.


SailGP has appointed Whisper Films as its global production partner to deliver exciting and impactful programming to broadcast rights holders throughout the world. With a goal of widening appeal and growing viewership, SailGP broadcasts will highlight personality-driven content, and enhanced pre- and post-race analysis. Programming will be available in a variety of formats with a focus on free-to-air television and OTT platforms, and will feature an augmented version of the LiveLine™ technology that to greatly enrich the viewer experience.


Starting by season two, SailGP will launch global youth sailing programs to leave a sporting legacy in each market. The youth programs will provide opportunities for young sailors to develop via school programs and yacht clubs, creating a pathway to professional racing.


SailGP strongly believes in respecting and protecting the ocean and surrounding environment, and is committed to responsible intentions and practices. Sustainability efforts are and will continue to be a priority for SailGP, and an initial goal is working toward the elimination of plastic waste during all races.


The fleet at the start of fleet race 2. Race Day 1 in in Marseille, France. Photo: Jon Buckle for SailGP.

Australia SailGP Team skippered by Tom Slingsby sail toward the Palais du Pharo during a practice race ahead of the final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France. Photo: Sam Greenfield for SailGP.

Australia SailGP Team skippered by Tom Slingsby sail toward Fort Saint-Jean during a practice race ahead of the final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France. Photo: Sam Greenfield for SailGP.

Spectators areas on the quay at the Rade de Marseille. Race Day 1.The final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France. September 20, 2019. Photo: Jon Buckle for Sail GP.