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Coming This Weekend: SailGP, Italian Style

The Venue

The Southern Italy city of Taranto will host the first-ever Italy Sail Grand Prix (aka SailGP) on June 5-6. The Spartans founded Taranto more than 3,000 years ago. The City of Two Seas stands between two bodies of water, the Mar Grande and the Mar Piccolo.

How to Watch

For in-person spectators, waterfront access will be free. The viewing area will be open both days from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Premium tickets for the grandstand are selling for 20 euros each. Tickets are also on sale for on-the-water viewing. None of this will matter to what we estimate will be 99.9999% of our readers!

Map graphic of Taranto racing area
A map graphic of the race course in Taranto.
© 2021 SailGP

Armchair sailors can watch the action on social media and the SailGP app. For links, see https://sailgp.com/watch. But set your alarms — coverage will begin at 4:30 a.m. PDT each day!

Whom to Watch (Californians)

On the US team, Aussie-San Diegan Jimmy Spithill serves as CEO and helms the boat. Andrew Campbell is from San Diego and Cooper Dressler is from Coronado; both are grinders. Dressler was on the Bay Area Youth America’s Cup team (American Youth Sailing Force). The Bay Area’s Daniela Moroz is a member of the sailing team. Read all about Moroz in the June issue of Latitude 38.

US SailGP crew
The US SailGP crew: (left to right standing) Cooper Dressler, grinder; Jimmy Spithill, CEO/helmsman; Rome Kirby, flight controller; Alex Sinclair, grinder; (left to right squatting) Daniela Moroz, “athlete”; Paul Campbell-James, wing trimmer; and Andrew Campbell, grinder.
© 2021 Simon Bruty / SailGP

Some Crew Changes from the April Event in Bermuda

The British team, led by Sir Ben Ainslie, won in Bermuda, but Ainslie will be missing for the next two events. Paul Goodison will take his place, debuting at the helm of the Brits’ 50-ft foiling catamaran.

New Zealand has three new team members: Swiss-born helmsman Arnaud Psarofaghis, James Wierzbowski as flight controller, and Jason Saunders as wing trimmer. Because of the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will step aside during the SailGP events in Plymouth and Aarhus. Gold medalists Burling and Tuke will sail the 49er in the Olympics.

The Crashed Boats Have Been Repaired

On June 2, the US and Japan boats splashed back into the water for training after extensive repairs. The two had collided in Bermuda. The boats arrived in Italy on May 20, and multiple shifts have been working on the carbon fiber hulls, steering systems, hydraulics, and electronics.

Crash in Bermuda
This collision, seen from a camera on board the Japan boat, put an end to the US and Japan teams’ regatta in Bermuda.
© 2021 Matt Knighton
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