F50 Foiling Catamarans Come to New York City

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SailGP, a new global sports league created to increase worldwide interest in sailing, will bring its 50-foot foiling catamarans, called F50s, to New York City on June 21 and 22 for two days of racing.

The wing-sailed F50s used for the competition are updated versions of the 2017 America’s Cup AC50 foiling cats and are advertised as being capable of speeds of over 50 knots, in the right conditions.

SailGP features six national teams from Australia, China, France, Japan, Great Britain and the United States and teams are comprised of world champions, Olympic gold medalists, America’s Cup winners, Volvo Ocean Race stars and the first female member of SailGP—Marie Riou of France.

This will be the league’s second U.S. appearance. The first U.S. appearance was held on California’s San Francisco Bay on May 4 and 5 when the Australians edged out the Japanese team. Previously, in February, the boats opened the inaugural season in Sydney, Australia, where the Aussies dominated on their home turf. After New York, the competition will move to Cowes, England, for two days of races on August 10 and 11 and then to Marseille, France, where in September three days of racing will determine the season one overall winner.

The New York races can be viewed from shore or you can sign up with local boat operators to get close to the action.

Given the right conditions (ie. reasonable winds), the two days of sailing could see plenty of drama as the boats race up and down a restricted course between Lower Manhattan, New York, and Jersey City, New Jersey. The San Francisco, California, competition saw some spectacular action as boats buried hulls, went airborne and reached speeds not commonly seen in sailing.