In one of the first major global sporting tournaments to return to Sydney since the outbreak of the pandemic, the world’s most exciting racing on-water, SailGP returns to Sydney Harbour this December. Tickets are on sale for the event of the summer, taking place on 17-18 of December.
Following action-packed events in Bermuda, Italy, Great Britain, Demark and Saint Tropez, and then the first-ever Spain Sail Grand Prix in October, SailGP will return to Australian shores for the seventh event in Season 2, promising high speed, high tech and high drama.
Tom Slingsby and his Australian team are determined to out-race and out-manoeuvre the seven rival competing nations – featuring the sport’s best athletes – to taste victory in their own (world famous) backyard. Last year, more than 25,000 people turned out to watch the action, with the Sydney Grand Prix being the only event to take place before the entire 2020 season was postponed due to the global pandemic. Australia SailGP Team driver Tom Slingsby said:
“It’s been great racing in Bermuda and Europe in recent months, but the Aussie team have had these dates circled in the calendar for a long time and we can’t wait to hear the home crowd support us on Shark Island and along the harbour. It’s a great way to celebrate elite live sport in Sydney right on the eve of Christmas, and whether you’re a Sydney local or travelling from elsewhere to take it in, you won’t be disappointed.”
Interview with Tom Slingsby with editor Rafael Ruiz.
RR: In Denmark, the Australian SailGP team backed up the victory they secured in Plymouth in July. Any comments/highlights of winning 2 in a row? Any close calls with the weather?
TS: For us, Plymouth was a bit of a shock. We were missing people due to travel restrictions, Covid restrictions and Olympic commitments. We literally scrambled the team together, pulling sailors from all corners of Europe. We had hardly any time sailing the F50 together, so to come away with a win in Plymouth was an awesome surprise.
In Denmark, the original team was back together. We built on the experience and learnings from Plymouth and came back stronger than ever. The conditions in Aarhus were very tough, we had everything from strong winds to hardly any wind, massive wind shifts and gusts coming from all directions. Nevertheless, we sailed a great event, luck was on our side as well, and we were stoked to take the win.
RR: With a tight season 2 on the leaderboard, any team the AUS team keeping a close eye on?
TS: As we have seen throughout season 2 so far, anything can happen. We had two back to back wins, in Plymouth and Aarhus, and then a shocker in Saint-Tropez where we finished at the bottom of the leaderboard. So anything can happen in Sydney, and any team has equal chances to win or to lose.
However, from the current standings on the leaderboard, I am keeping a close eye on Japan, USA and GBR. Nathan and Jimmy, as locals, know Sydney Harbour really well, and Ben… well we saw what he did to us last year! Kiwis are also getting stronger from one event to the next one, so I’ll be looking out for Pete as well.
RR: What could we expect this time round?
TS: As I said before, from the racing point of view, anything can happen. This event is going to be even bigger than the first two events. We have learnt a lot from Season 1 and the event last year, and have refined fan experiences, hospitality and viewing options. On the water, there’s eight boats now and as we are getting better and better at sailing them, we get more comfortable in them and are pushing harder. All the teams have stepped up considerably, so there will be some real racing happening on the harbour. Not to mention, it’s December and it’s nearly Christmas, if we will get some good conditions as well, this will be an unforgettable event.
RR: Any words of encouragement/advice to those wanting to take up sailing?
TS: Sailing can definitely be a bit daunting at first, being out in the ocean, relying on nothing but wind. But once you get it, it’s super fun, it’s beautiful and very rewarding. I highly recommend getting down to your local yacht club, they are set up to take you step-by-step and get you ready to feel comfortable on the ocean. It’s the best sport there is!
Fans can immerse themselves in the adrenaline-filled action as the foiling F50 catamarans, capable of speeds of nearly 60mph, race right in front of their eyes within the natural amphitheatre of Sydney Harbour.
There are a variety of multi-experience packages available; watch the action on Shark Island or cheer from the top deck of a spectator boat out on the harbour as Australia battles for victory against teams from Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the USA.
Exclusive tours will also be available to go behind the scenes at the SailGP’s team technical bases at White Bay.
WATERFRONT PREMIUM – SHARK ISLAND
Be front row on Shark Island, in the middle of the Sydney Harbour race course. The exclusive SailGP island arena, located in Sydney Harbour National Park, offers the best land-based view of the racing, together with big screens for action replays and live race commentary. Enjoy delicious gourmet food hampers, plus return ferries for the ultimate day out.
Tickets: $270 Adult / AUD $189 Child / $864 Family / $216 Concession.
OFFICIAL SPECTATOR BOATS
In partnership with Captain Cook Cruises, SailGP is offering an exclusive experience for fans seeking a day on the water and the ability to get up close and personal with Slingsby and his F50 catamaran. Open top boats offer an amazing view of the racing from inside the public exclusion zone, together with live race commentary to give the ultimate experience of the most competitive racing on-water.
Premium guests will enjoy an all-inclusive experience with gourmet food and beverages included, while other guests will be able to bring their own food and access a cash bar.
Access tickets: $130 Adult / AUD $117 Child / $416 Family / $117 Concession. Premium tickets: $280 Adult / AUD $196 Child / $896 Family / $224 Concession
TEAM BASE TOURS – WHITE BAY
Fans are also able to access the SailGP Team Bases at White Bay, with an exclusive tour of the ‘pit lane garages,’ where the world-class athletes and shore teams prepare one of the world’s fastest sail racing boats for competition. The tour offers fans a rare chance to see SailGP’s elite athletes – including Slingsby’s Australia team – and the supercharged F50 catamarans up close, as they prepare for battle on Sydney Harbour.
Tickets: $38 Adult / AUD $27 Child / $30 Concession.
SAILGP ADRENALINE YACHTS
Those seeking the ultimate luxury experience can purchase an Adrenaline Yachts package to watch the racing from the decks of a luxury yacht positioned within the public exclusion zone. Limited charter or own-boat options are available for corporate or private use.
BYOB (BRING YOUR OWN BOAT)
Boat owners can soak up the electric atmosphere and action of Sydney SailGP from the comfort of their own vessel. Boaters can register their vessel for free at SailGP.com/Sydney to receive live updates from race management, including racecourse position and timings to help get the best position on water.
Away from the racing, the sparkling waterfront precinct of Barangaroo will host the SailGP Village. Open to the public, it will offer exciting programming for fans in the heart of the city.
All tickets are available for purchase now at SailGP.com/Sydney.