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SailGP: New South American team announced for Season 5 - Brazil Sail GP

by SailGP / 21 Jun 14:42 BST 22 June 2024
USA SailGP Team helmed by Taylor Canfield sail past the Statue of Liberty during a practice session ahead of the Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix in New York © Bob Martin/SailGP

Mubadala Capital, the wholly owned asset management subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, and SailGP, the global racing championship, have announced a strategic investment to acquire a newly-formed SailGP Team to represent Brazil.

Brazil will be the first South American team to join the SailGP league and the first of new teams and new ownerships confirmed ahead of Season 5.

Celebrating the announcement, SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said, “Brazil has achieved an incredible history of success in Olympic sailing and it’s fitting they are now entering the professional ranks of SailGP – competing against the best in the world. This opens up a new and very significant market for SailGP and we’re incredibly excited to further develop Brazil’s passionate fan base and strengthen our connection to the region.”

"We are thrilled to partner with SailGP to form the first-ever South American SailGP Team," said Oscar Fahlgren, Chief Investment Officer of Mubadala Capital. "This acquisition not only adds to our investment portfolio but also aligns with our long-term commitment to investing in Brazil, while enhancing our ability to create lasting positive social and environmental impact."

The Mubadala Brazil SailGP Team will partner with Brazilian sports and entertainment firm IMM to operate the team. Owned by ex-Brazilian Olympic sailor, Alan Adler (CEO), IMM’s portfolio includes some of Brazil’s most iconic events, including the Rio Open, Cirque Du Soleil and São Paulo Fashion Week. Adler is also CEO of Brazil Motor Sports, the promoter of the São Paulo Grand Prix Formula 1 race.

With the full team line-up set to be revealed in the coming months, Adler expressed his excitement: “We are eager to engage the passionate Brazilian fans and bring this dynamic team to life. The Mubadala Brazil SailGP Team will inspire and connect with our community, promoting the sport and its values across South America.”

Brazil will join the start line of the global racing championship from the beginning of Season 5, which commences in November 2024. The most exciting racing on water, SailGP is a global championship with national teams battling it out in identical high-tech, high-speed 50-foot foiling catamarans at iconic venues around the world. Now in its fourth Season, SailGP provides 13 events in a year-round calendar, with further expansion slated for Season 5.

The formation of the Brazilian team marks an exciting chapter in SailGP’s expanding relationship with Mubadala. Last year, Mubadala announced its Global Partnership with SailGP, solidifying a commitment that extends through the 2026 season. Mubadala will serve as Title Partner for SailGP's New York event this weekend, having previously sponsored events in San Francisco and Abu Dhabi.

Mubadala’s Chief Communications Officer, Brian Lott said, “Together with SailGP, we are building a community dedicated to creating a better sport and a better planet. There is strong alignment between our responsible investing approach and SailGP’s ambition to be the world’s most sustainable, purpose-driven global sports and entertainment platform. This partnership reflects our commitment to supporting the communities and regions where we invest, aligning our capital deployment with local community engagement.”

SailGP and Mubadala’s partnership also extends off the water. Last month, both organizations announced a new production partnership with Strata Manufacturing, a Mubadala-owned aerospace facility, to develop and manufacture new SailGP hydrofoils and rudders to be introduced in Season 5, as well as other key elements of SailGP’s F50 catamarans. The partnership also emphasizes building a sustainable future - integrating responsible investment practices with cutting-edge technology and promoting environmental stewardship within sport. Mubadala will continue to support SailGP Inspire - the league’s youth community outreach and education program - which has reached a significant milestone, engaging 21,256 participants to date.

Beginning tomorrow (Saturday, June 22), the Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix marks the penultimate stop on the Season 4 calendar before the winner-takes-all Grand Final in San Francisco (July 13-14).

There was no confirmation of any new events on the now 13 regatta circuit for Season 5. However the smart money must be on an event in Brazil - with Rio de Janeiro, the venue for the 2016 Olympic regatta the likely location.

USA SailGP team's Taylor Canfield refused to respond to a laboured question as to why the team was in 10th place, instead using the time to announce they had signed leading leisure brand Tommy Hilfiger as a sponsor for Season 5.

In another pointed question from the front, four teams - Canada, France, Spain and New Zealand were called out as being the teams that had to secure more investment and become independent of the SailGP purse strings. Interestingly Australia was not on that list - indicating that they may have secured full sponsorship - albeit unannounced.

Racing gets underway in New York on Saturday, with the Final on Sunday, local time.

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