Well, that didn’t take long. Even before the second year of his four-event series gets underway in Sydney late next month, the financial cracks have begun to appear in Larry Ellison’s much-hyped SailGP extravaganza.
It was Tom Slingsby, Australia’s winning skipper from 2019, who let the cat out of the sail bag. Speaking to a local website he revealed his team is already working against a dollar deadline.
“We have been told that unless we get some partners on board and some sponsorship dollars in, that we are going to be vulnerable,” Slingsby said. “By the end of this season we need to have made some inroads into this crucial area in order to secure our future.”
So here’s the bottom line: what was originally thought to be a five-year window for each entrant to become self-funding now appears to have been reduced to just two years. No cash by 2021, no splash. That’s a tough call, especially for the Aussies who hail from a nation never known for its strong corporate support for sailing despite producing many of the world’s best sailors.
What emerges from [...]