High octane catamaran race tournament ditches 2020 season due to the pandemic.
SailGP, the race series featuring supercharged F50 catamarans, has suspended this year’s season, rescheduling all races to 2021.
The results from the 2020 Sydney race – the first and only completed SailGP event of the year – will be null and void.
The SailGP stages previously planned for the UK and Denmark this year will be rescheduled with dates to be confirmed, while the other two events already have re-scheduled dates for 2021 – San Francisco on April 17-18 and New York on June 4-5.
The season will also be expanded from five to at least seven events next year. It will start in April 2021.
The rescheduled Season 2 events will be broadcast in more than 100 territories, including on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland; CBS Sports in the US; Fox Sports in Australia; Canal+ Sport in France; TVE and TV3 in Spain; TV 2 Sport in Denmark; and DAZN in Japan.
During the league’s inaugural season in 2019, SailGP’s five events were watched by a television audience of 256 million.
Content is also distributed across SailGP’s Facebook and YouTube channels, and on the SailGP app.
SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said: “Two months ago in Sydney, teams representing Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, Spain and the United States took to the water in the world’s fastest sail race boats for what was anticipated to be the first of five events in 2020. There, four-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Ben Ainslie led the British entry to victory in his SailGP debut, overcoming the local favourite and defending season champion Tom Slingsby and his Aussie crew.
“We’ll use the coming months to focus on important initiatives to make both our racing and broadcast even more attractive – including through further development of our F50 catamarans, simulator and gaming platform, as well as enhanced data integration via artificial intelligence. I’m confident that our rescheduled second season will go beyond what we would have been able to deliver this year.”