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Great Britain SailGP show their team colours on Sydney Harbour

by Leslie Ryan 30 Jan 2019 09:19 GMT

The wait is finally over for the Great Britain SailGP Team, as their supercharged F50 catamaran took to the water for the first time on Tuesday in Australia. The British team will join five other national teams this season as part of the revolutionary new SailGP championship, debuting in just over two weeks on Sydney Harbour.

The British team, led by Olympian Chris Draper, will compete in the fastest and most technological race boat in the world, capable of electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 100 kph). They will take on rival teams from Australia, China, France, Japan and the United States for a true nation-versus-nation battle culminating with a $1 million winner takes-all match race.

"It's quite a moment," said Chris Draper, Great Britain SailGP Team CEO and wing trimmer. "After many months of planning and putting a team together, we finally get to put on our British kit; sail our red, white and blue flying boat; and represent our nation. There is no surprise which team we represent with our country colours emblazoned across the 24-meter-high wing sail."

The 15m, foiling catamaran was sailed for the first time today. The boat features an artistic representation of the Union Jack across the hull and wing sail, showing the team's colours off loud and proud.

Joining Draper on SailGP's British entry is helmsman Dylan Fletcher and flight controller Stuart Bithell, who will head to Sydney fresh from competing in the 49er class at the World Cup Series in Miami. Completing the team is powerhouse and Olympic rowing gold medallist Matt Gotrel, and Richard Mason.

"We can't wait to get racing in this iconic harbour and start delivering performances our British fans can get behind and be proud of. I'm certain SailGP is going to be a sailing event like nothing we have ever seen. And the fact that we can bring an event of this scale to our home shores in Cowes this August is really exciting for the fans," concluded Draper.

Sydney SailGP will take place 15-16 February. Broadcast and streaming details will be announced in early February, along with the launch of a second-screen mobile app, allowing British fans to follow and support their home team. Tickets for a variety of exclusive spectator experiences are available at sailgp.com/races/sydney.

About SailGP

SailGP is sailing redefined. Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and San Francisco, SailGP is an annual, global sports championship 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 from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States battle it out in identical supercharged F50 catamarans, engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 60 mph/100 kph). Visit sailgp.com for more information.

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