The Runner-up in both Season 1 and 2 is sidelined for the first three events of the season due to the lack of a boat for the start of the season with only nine boats available.
SailGP’s claim to be back bigger and bolder, with an expanded season and new national teams, hit a setback when they revealed that the tenth boat – for Outteridge’s Japan team – cannot be completed in time due to a series of external factors.
The difficult decision – after much deliberation – was made based on logistical and commercial considerations.
The rapid growth of the grand prix sailing circuit, with five new destinations including Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, Singapore and New Zealand, and the addition of two new teams, Canada and Switzerland, has stretched the ability of the logistics team to prepare and provide boats on time.
SailGP expects the Japan team F50 to be ready to race from the fourth event in Copenhagen allowing for shipping, structural testing and sea trials.
In addition to the new team boats required, all the F50s have been upgraded for Season 3 – designed to increase speed and stability around the race course, which will likely see the F50 beat its current top racing speed of 98.3 kph.
Upgraded control systems with new steering wheels, foils and rudders will be tested and installed on all boats during the season.
Built by SailGP Technologies in New Zealand, the new hydrofoil has been designed as a T foil with the horizontal wing machined in titanium, allowing the foil to be thinner than the ones currently used in SailGP’s F50s.
This delays the onset of cavitation – where at high speeds, very low pressure is created on the suction side of the foil, where the water literally vaporizes or boils around the foil, causing a big loss in performance with more drag and instability.