Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden

SailGP unveils U.S. Team and details of two U.S. Races

by Laura Muma 10 Oct 14:17 BST 10 October 2018
U.S. SailGP team (l-r) Hans Henken, Riley Gibbs, Mac Agnese, Rome Kirby, Dan Morris © SailGP

One week after the league's historic global launch, SailGP today announced the members of the United States SailGP Team, and revealed details of its two premier U.S. events, set to take place in San Francisco (May) and New York (June) of next year.

The five members of the U.S. SailGP Team are: Rome Kirby, 29, of Newport, Rhode Island (helmsman); Riley Gibbs, 22, of Long Beach, California (wing trimmer); Hans Henken, 26, of Coronado, California (flight controller); Mac Agnese, 24, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida (grinder); and Dan Morris, 30, of Newport, Rhode Island (grinder).

The crew boasts an impressive track record in international racing, with a host of professional ocean racing and world championship honors between them. Kirby will be looking to add SailGP success to his 2013 America's Cup win, while Morris has a World Match Racing Tour title under his belt. Agnese, Gibbs and former youth world champion Henken are all bidding to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

"This is a turning point in American sailing," said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. "SailGP is setting out to redefine how top sailors compete and how fans worldwide watch them, with annual races in major cities and a nation-versus-nation format. Rome brings an incredible level of experience, and has built a strong team indicative of the burgeoning development pipeline in the U.S. This is a young, eager and talented group with a bright future."

Spearheaded by Larry Ellison and Coutts, SailGP will kick off its inaugural season in February 2019. It will feature five grand prix events and six national teams competing on identical wingsailed F50s – the world's fastest, most technologically advanced catamarans. In addition to the United States, the six teams will represent Australia, China, France, Great Britain and Japan. Each team will have a five-person crew aboard 50-foot foiling catamarans, which are expected to break the 50-knot (or 60 mph) speed barrier.

The intensely competitive, inshore racing events will be held in Sydney (February 15-16); San Francisco (May 4-5); New York (June 21-22); Cowes, UK (August 10-11); and Marseille, France (September 20-22).

The SailGP event in New York will take place on the lower Hudson River, with the onshore Race Village located at Brookfield Place. It will feature Friday and Saturday afternoon racing just off the Battery and running north toward Rockefeller Park. In San Francisco, racing will take place in the San Francisco Bay, with the Race Village located on the Marina Yacht Club Peninsula. It will feature Saturday and Sunday mid-day racing on the city front racecourse.

"It's an incredible honor to represent the United States and compete for our country," said Kirby. "We're all lifelong sailors – it's our profession and our passion. But until now we've never had the chance to go toe-to-toe against the world's best international sailors over a full season of competition. SailGP brings something totally new to the sport. The race venues are spectacular but challenging, and there's that extra edge you get representing the USA against other national teams. SailGP will bring the sport we love closer to fans and spectators than ever before."

Sanctioned by World Sailing, each grand prix event will consist of two competition days with five fleet races, culminating in a final match race between the two leaders. The final race in Marseille will feature a winner-takes-all, $1 million championship match race between the season's top two teams to conclude three days of racing.

sailgp.com

Related Articles

Phil Robertson to skipper China SailGP
SailGP today unveiled the fifth team in its new global racing league – the China SailGP Team SailGP today unveiled the fifth team in its new global racing league – the China SailGP Team – with a bold ambition to drive the growth of high-performance sailing in China. The China SailGP Team takes to the water in February 2019 Posted on 13 Nov
Billy Besson & Marie Riou lead France SailGP Team
Marseille event will serve as the league championship Four-time world champion and 2016 Olympian Billy Besson was today announced as the helmsman for the France SailGP Team. Posted on 23 Oct
Tom Slingsby to lead Australia SailGP Team
Eight-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Tom Slingsby – Olympic gold medallist, America's Cup winner, eight-time world champion and member of the Order of Australia – was today tabbed to lead the Australia SailGP Team in the global racing league's inaugural season. Posted on 15 Oct
SailGP has received Special Event status
New wingsailed foiling OD catamaran event signs up long-term with world body SailGP, a new racing circuit using six one design 50ft wingsailed foiling catamarans, has received Special Event status from World Sailing. Over the course of the 11-year partnership, SailGP sanction fees will be invested back into the sport Posted on 4 Oct
Great Britain SailGP Team first to be announced
New global racing league to include event during Lendy Cowes Week SailGP today set out to redefine sailing with the launch of its new global racing league. Great Britain SailGP Team is first of six teams to be announced. Posted on 3 Oct
SailGP global racing league unveiled
At spectacular London launch SailGP today set out to redefine sailing with the launch of its new global racing league: five grand prix events featuring six national teams on identical wingsailed F50s – the world's fastest, most technologically advanced catamarans. Posted on 3 Oct