The SailGP international high-performance race circuit rolled into New York City earlier this week where the six international teams competing on supercharged F50 catamarans have been practicing on the Hudson ahead of the start of racing later today.
With on the water training time strictly limited under the rules of the competition all the teams are reported to have engaged in some intensive sessions on the SailGP simulator based at Artemis Technologies in the UK.
For Tom Burnham, coach with the American team, the sailors’ hours on the virtual boat have helped them hone a specific set of skills they identified as needing work after the San Francisco event where they finished fourth.
“It’s a pretty intense day,” Burnham said in an interview on The Yacht Racing Podcast recently. “The amount of sailing you can do during that one day is equivalent to at least three or four days of real sailing.
“The great thing about the simulator is you can adjust it on the fly. You can change the conditions. You can change the wind speed. It’s all done there in the simulator in real time.”
“We are planning to come out swinging here in New York,” said Kirby. “In San Francisco, we made massive improvements and were nipping at the heels of the leaders, leading in many of the races. We can’t wait to race for real on the Hudson River and put on a great show for our fans. It’s anyone’s race out there and we plan to give it our all.”
The action begins at 1700 pm Eastern time (1100 PM CEST) on both Friday June 21 and Saturday June 22.
Find out how to watch here.
Currently, the Australian SailGP team skippered by America’s Cup winner and Olympic gold medallist Tom Slingsby leads the series, after winning in Sydney and in San Francisco. Second is the Japanese team skippered by Olympic 49er gold and silver medallist Nathan Outteridge from Australia.
In third overall is the British team led by Olympic 49er campaigner Dylan Fletcher, with Kirby’s United States SailGP Team next in fourth.
Main image © Mark Lloyd/SailGP