Switzerland joins SailGP
A young Swiss team, led by Olympic sailor Sébastien Schneiter from Geneva, will compete in the next SailGP.
Having just returned from the Tokyo Olympics, the Switzerland SailGP Team has joined the global sports league and will carry the colours of its partner Lundin Energy around the world during the next three years.
“This is a major new chapter for Swiss sailing,” says Schneiter. “Our goal is to create a competitive team with the best Swiss sailors. We have to learn at first but our aim is to sail at the front and compete with the best.”
The Swiss SailGP Team will compete in the next three seasons of the SailGP league starting with Season 3 in May 2022 and has already begun its introduction to the league, attending events in Season 2 as observers. The team’s aim is to get up to speed with the class in the first season and get used to the new boat, before competing against the best SailGP teams and clearly aiming for top performances.
Established in 2018 and now in its second season, SailGP is an annual, global sports championship with inshore races being held all over the world with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race at the end of the season.
In Season 3, the Switzerland SailGP Team will go head-to-head against rival national teams from Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, Spain, New Zealand and the United States comprising Olympic medallists, world champions and America’s Cup winners. Racing takes place in identical supercharged F50 catamarans, engineered for racing at speeds exceeding 60 mph.
The Switzerland SailGP Team has been born from Team Tilt, a structure founded in 2012 that provides support to young Swiss sailors. The Swiss team’s crew will mainly be made up of young Swiss sailing talent and be managed by experienced international sailor Tanguy Cariou. Swiss Finn champion Nils Theuninck and Arthur Cevey also join the team, which is set to grow rapidly over the coming weeks.
“We are very pleased to welcome Sébastien and the Swiss team to SailGP – a new expansion franchise for the league,” says SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. “This is a really exciting moment for SailGP as it takes us another step closer to grow the league to ten teams and twelve events, providing a consistent annual championship for the world’s top professional sailors. We look forward to watching Sébastien and his team progress in the league and I am confident they will quickly get up to speed and be competitive alongside the best in the world.”
“We chose SailGP because it is the world’s best organized and most efficient professional championship,” says Cariou. “The boats are high performance one-designs, where the sailors make the difference. The management of the league, its marketing and promotion are also excellent, and constitute an essential asset for the teams and their partners. Finally, SailGP’s sustainable approach, which aims to minimize its impact on the environment with concrete actions, also fits with our philosophy in this respect.”
Main image courtesy of Loris Von Siebenthal/SailGP.