Famed for its rich maritime history and planned home of the UK’s first national marine park, Plymouth is located in the historic county of Devon, on the southwest coast of England. The adrenaline-filled racing between competing nations will take place on Plymouth Sound in partnership with Plymouth City Council, with support from Associated British Ports, English Cities Fund and Sutton Harbour Group. Plymouth SailGP will also form part of the city’s Mayflower 400 commemorations, marking the anniversary of the signature voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to America. Plymouth was selected following a competitive six-month-long bid process involving five other UK cities.
The UK event in SailGP Season 1 – which was witnessed by 24,000 spectators and delivered US$24 million in economic impact to the community while reaching a total global audience of 231 million – saw some of the most dramatic scenes of the year. In front of packed crowds, the U.S. SailGP Team capsized in spectacular fashion and both Great Britain and Australia made history by eclipsing speeds never before seen in sail racing. A renowned sailing venue, Plymouth is expected to bring similar excitement for fans, who will be able to view the thrilling action from the water or shore.
New for British fans in Season 2 will be the addition of the New Zealand SailGP Team to the impressive line-up of world-class sailors and top sailing nations. Among the league stars is the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie, who will give the home crowd something to cheer about at the British event.
Ainslie said: “For us as a British team there is nothing better than racing in front of a home crowd and we are incredibly excited about the prospect. There is an element of nostalgia for me personally, having grown up and learned to sail in the West Country and now all these years later coming back to race on the international stage. Plymouth is a fantastic sailing venue with a natural amphitheatre for the fans to watch these amazing F50s.”