Some of the biggest names in professional sailing squared off in a battle of high-performance foiling catamarans on April 24-25 2021 in the first-ever Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. The event was the opening event of SailGP Season 2 and the largest regatta to visit the island since it hosted the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.
The event featured the world’s fastest catamarans and was a perfect fit in Bermuda, where mild weather, ideal sailing conditions and an enduring maritime legacy create a unique, welcoming sailing culture – all with a focus on sustainability and engaging island youth.
The races were broadcast live via facebook, youtube and through the SailGP App.
The highly anticipated Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess was full of high speed on-the-water thrills. The race weekend saw plenty of drama with a collision, a capsize and to all broadcast spectator’s delight, non-stop adrenaline-charged racing. Clear blue skies, steady winds and the turquoise waters of the Great Sound greeted the eight teams as the race got underway. Day One racing ended in spectacular fashion with the Australian SailGP Team at the top of the leaderboard with a clean sweep of three for three wins.
Day One Leaderboard
- United States
- Great Britain
- New Zealand
Day Two found the teams back on the water with Team Australia entering the final as a strong favourite after their Day One finish. As the race day progressed, broadcast viewers were witness to the race-ending collision between Japan and the United States which lead to the eventual capsize by the US team. With the six remaining teams battling it out to make the podium in this winner-takes-all race the excitement was high. At the end of the race day, it would be the Great Britain SailGP Team crowned as the SailGP Season 2 champions, followed by Australia and France.
Day Two Final
- Great Britain
- New Zealand
- United States
Bermuda Sail Grand Prix Presented by Hamilton Princess: Competition Basics
Hailing from Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States, the competing teams featured veteran sailors and Olympic athletes all sailing together in one giant fleet which lead to some serious action on the water.
The roster included former ORACLE TEAM USA helmsman Jimmy Spithill; Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor of all time; Nathan Outteridge, who was at the helm of Sweden’s Artemis Racing; and Olympic gold medalist and defending America’s Cup champion Peter Burling. Ahead of the two-day season opener, the athletes spent four weeks training in Bermuda’s Great Sound.
All eight teams raced aboard a one-design F50 wingsailed catamaran dubbed “the fastest sail race boat in the world.” The boats will be lightning-fast and carbon neutral and are the first boats ever to hit 50 knots (or 60 miles per hour) during a race. Making things even more interesting, the $1 million winner-take-all prize.
Reaching speeds up to 50 knots, the carbon neutral F50 wingsailed catamaran is dubbed the fastest sail race boat in the world.
As a premier sailing competition suited for the island’s pleasant climate and impressive courses, SailGP isn’t just a perfect fit for Bermuda’s storied sailing culture – it’s also likely to have a lasting legacy for the island’s community at large.
As part of the event, they invited the island’s youth to experience Bermuda’s sailing culture up close via Bermuda nonprofit Endeavor. The organization aims to encourage hands-on learning and career exploration within science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM), especially when it comes to sustainability.
In addition to the boats being carbon neutral, all facets of the event aimed to be as energy efficient as possible. In partnership with Endeavor, SailGP Inspire invited local youth to participate in hands-on experiences to demonstrate how sustainable energy works, including by getting kids out on a wind-powered vessel.
Beyond the Race: More Bermuda Sailing Events
After being a witness to the thrills of SailGP and Bermuda’s enchanting beauty and warm culture, you’ll certainly want to visit – and you’ll have plenty of reasons to start planning your trip. Every other June, the Newport Bermuda Race brings thrill seekers halfway across the Atlantic for what they call the “Thrash to the Onion Patch.” Annapolis Bermuda Ocean Race is also a big draw in June. Or, visit in May to spy luxury yachts making the trek to Bermuda’s waters from the south for the Antigua-Bermuda Race. See more Bermuda sailing events and races. (Check event websites for up-to-date info on event schedules and cancellations.)
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Plan Your Trip
Ready to start planning your amazing journey? Learn about getting to Bermuda, see travel tips, find things to do and top events, look for places to stay, explore restaurants and get the latest Covid-19 information for Bermuda-Bound travellers.