Coutts looking forward to an exciting race at Dubai Sail Grand Prix

Coutts says SailGP is also committed to the sustainability agenda of the UAE, which is hosting COP 28

By Team KT

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Member of the Great Britain Team at the Spain Sail Grand Prix last month. — Supplied photo
Member of the Great Britain Team at the Spain Sail Grand Prix last month. — Supplied photo

Published: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 4:56 PM

SailGP, one of the world’s fastest growing sport leagues, returns to the UAE with the Dubai Sail Grand Prix at Mina Rashid (December 9-10).

The Dubai Sail GP is set to bring back the cutting-edge racing that thrilled fans in 2022 at a sold-out event, as world-class teams representing Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland and the United States compete for the title.

The Dubai event looks set to become a regular fixture on Sail GP's successful global championship, which features close to shore stadium racing at iconic venues around the world – including Abu Dhabi, Auckland, Bermuda, Cadiz, Chicago, Halifax, Los Angeles, New York, Saint-Tropez, Sydney, San Francisco and Taranto.

Russell Coutts, SailGP CEO
Russell Coutts, SailGP CEO

Russell Coutts, SailGP CEO, is looking forward to the new edition of the Dubai event, which made a great impact last season.

"The Dubai Sail Grand Prix held at Mina Rashid in November 2022 was a great success – and the athletes said at the time that they couldn’t wait to come back," Coutts said.

Coutts, a former world champion yachtsman and co-founder of SailGP, envisioned a league that transcended the barriers of accessibility, captivating not only ardent sailing aficionados but also a broader global audience.

"The inspiration for SailGP came from a lot of places. The sport as a product before SailGP was hard to watch, hard to understand and hard to follow. There was nothing like SailGP that actually existed, which is exciting racing, with a year-round calendar, that could engage and entertain fans," said the New Zealander.

What helped SailGP warm up to new audiences is the introduction of the F50, ahigh-speed flying catamaran designed for exhilarating races.

Unlike traditional sailing events, all ten national teams in SailGP use identical F50s, ensuring fiercely competitive racing purely driven by team strategy and skill.

Describing the race structure, Coutts explained: "Each grand prix is a two-day event made up of six, sometimes seven depending on conditions, total races that are 10-15 minutes in length."

Coutts says SailGP is also committed to the sustainability agenda of the UAE, which is hosting COP 28.

"We know that SailGP events deliver direct economic benefits to their host cities. Each city on the SailGP calender shares our commitment to cleaner future. They all sign the league’s Climate Action Charter – working alongside CDP – committing to local impact projects focusing on clean energy impact and wider ocean conversation,” he said.

"We’ve set an ambitious target of a 55 percent reduction of our carbon footprint by 2025, aiming to be fully powered by nature both onshore and on the water by the same year."

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