big league

The latest SailGP team was announced today in Beijing. The venue should be a bit of a clue as to which one.
Of course it is the Chinese team with a healthy Chinese element I am glad to say with three, one could almost say Dongfeng ‘veterans’ in Liu Xue, Chen JinHao and Liu Ming better known in western sailing circles as Black, Horace and Leo.
Black and Horace are designated as grinders on the 50 footer with Leo as a reserve grinder.
The team will be skippered by Kiwi Phil Robertson while Ed Powys (GBR) is to be the wing trimmer with foils controlled by James Wierzbowski (AUS) (flight controller). THe final member of the team being Thomas Le Breton who will serve as the reserve wing trimmer.
The team joins teams from the USA, FRA, GBR, AUS & JPN in the inaugural SailGP event in Sydney Australia in 2019 with the first ‘home’ Act for the Chinese team in 2020 at a venue yet to be decided.
Modified from the catamarans used during a previous America’s Cup their steeds promise to provide close, exciting racing not so much on the water but, for most of the time above the water.
This of course means that 5 of the 6 teams are now known with Australia skippered by Tom Slingsby, France under the leadership of Marie Riou & Billy Beeson, Rome Kirby heads up the American team and Dylan Fletcher takes the helm of Great Britain with Japan the only team still to be announced.
Details of the event, the boat, the crews etc are available at www.sailGP.com.
This should be something to look forward to with the boats being modified from the AC50 class of 2017 with an estimated performance gain of around 15%. Basically like putting a turbo on your car. The boat designers reckon 50 knots should be possible – try and umpire that lot. – Shanghai Sailor.