SYDNEY – February 6, 2019 – Sydney Harbour was awash with colour today as the revolutionary SailGP F50s of Australia, China, Great Britain, France, Japan and the United States lined up on the water together for the first time just one week out from the inaugural Sydney race.
The teams hit the water in their identical, 2,400kg supercharged catamarans as part of the first official Sydney SailGP rehearsal. The spectacle included a practice start, before the teams completed laps of the race track.
The F50s are the fastest and most technologically advanced class of race boat in the world, anticipated to reach speeds of up to 100kph (50+ knots). They have taken more than 135,000 man hours – equal to 67 years – to produce and were transported from Whangarei, New Zealand, to Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour in January.
Australia’s boat is emblazoned with a giant kangaroo, Australia flag, and green and gold paint, while other livery highlights included the fire-breathing dragon of China’s F50 and patriotic stars and stripes of the the U.S. boat.
With today’s race rehearsal, the stage is nearly set for Sydney SailGP, which will see Australia compete against the five nations on Sydney Harbour before the league heads to San Francisco, New York City, Cowes (UK) and Marseille (France), where the champion will be crowned.
“It’s hard to believe we’re only a week out from the race now – we’ve been working on bringing SailGP to life for a long time, so to see it all coming together like this, on one of the most iconic harbours in the world, is pretty special,” said Australian skipper and Olympic gold medallist Tom Slingsby.
“The F50s all lined up next to each other is certainly a sight – Sydney Harbour feels tiny when you’re sailing just one of these boats, so with six all lined up and racing together, it’s going to be a spectacle, that’s for sure. There’ll be thrills, spills and intense, exciting racing, and we’ll be fighting hard to give our home crowd the result we know this Australian team is capable of.”
Sydney SailGP will take place 15-16 February in Sydney Harbour. Tickets for a variety of exclusive spectator experiences are still available for the world-premiere SailGP event at SailGP.com/Sydney.