Sydney Harbour is preparing for some of the hottest events of the summer – and this weekend proved what a wonderful venue the waters are for a city like Sydney.
We took a cruise, saw one of the most exciting races outside of Royal Randwick and enjoyed great food and wine.
The SailGP is the most spectacular sailing contest outside of the America’s Cup. Eight identical catamarans fly across the water at 96 kph in an adrenaline fuelled racing spectacular – in this case the precursor to the finals inSan Francisco in March, which carry a million dollar prize purse.
Two days of sailing were hosted aboard the Captain Cook Sydney 2000 with a sell-out crowd enjoying the best views of the action that that ended in an Aussie victory and a spectacular crash.
On day one the British team smashed into the Japanese boat, and had to hand over their hull so the Japanese teak could use it to race the next day. They rebuilt the boat overnight using Britain’s hull and the Japanese rigging.
The F50s are seriously fast, and rise up on hydrofoils and dagger boars to create unheard of speed while their crew use grinder-winches to move the sails in line with the wind. Because they are identical, it’s all about strategy, as the teams battle to steal each other’s wind and position.
Our views were so good we could cheer on Aussie Skipper and America’s Cup tactician Tom Slingsby and his four-person crew as they sailed to victory.
How does SailGP work?
Events take place across two days, with six races scheduled for each Sail Grand Prix; five fleet races and The Final.
The five fleet races involve all eight teams, with points awarded to each team relating to their finishing position. SailGP fleet races last approximately 15 minutes each – so no boring bits.
The last race is The Final – in which the three highest ranked teams in the event leaderboard face off to be crowned event champions.
In this case, Australia, Spain and the United States with Australia the clear winner and in best place for the prize in March in America.
“Right now, the championship is Tommy’s to lose,” says Jimmy Spithill, driver of the American entry who will race on home waters in San Francisco in March.
“It’s great for us to be an underdog coming into San Francisco…trust me. That’s the great thing about sport; the favourites don’t always win.”
SailGP’s purpose is to demonstrate that clean energy – in this case wind – doesn’t have to be boring and be every bit as exciting a sports from powered vehicles.
The race will be back and Captain Cook will be supporting it – but no-one knows quite when.
Meanwhile Captain Cook has a great program of summer events, including:
New Year’s Eve
January 2: Elevate – An Australian first, ELEVATE SkyShow will feature 500 choreographed drones over the natural ampitheatre of Sydney Cove, and combine with Sydney’s most iconic landmarks to create a dazzling light display.
Australia Day on January 26 – all the amazing spectacles of this special day, from ferrython to fly past.
Vivid Sydney on May 27 – June 18 – a kaleidoscope of light reflecting off the water in every direction.
Explore more: captaincook.com.au