Big Changes at SailGP Team USA
In a wild round of musical chairs this week, lots of breaking news coming out of Dubai as the nine-boat SailGP fleet prepares for the sixth event of the season.
First it was the news that SailGP’s United States team has been purchased by technology investor and founding Uber engineer Ryan McKillen, Margaret McKillen, and two-time world champion sailor Mike Buckley. They are joined by a diverse group of investors representing the sport, technology, entertainment, and media industries.
Then came the news that two-time America’s Cup champ and Team USA CEO and boat driver for the past three years, Jimmy Spithill, would be stepping down to pursue his dream of ownership of a newly created Italian SailGP entry. Veteran SailGP sailor Taylor Canfield, who joined the team in Cadiz, Spain, replacing the injured Hans Henken, will be at the helm in the upcoming Dubai contest.
And if that wasn’t enough SailGP news, the Aussies announced that Tom Slingsby, skipper of the Flying Roo boat since the series’ inception, would be taking paternity leave with long-time mate and fellow Australian Spithill agreeing to helm the green and yellow boat the for the foreseeable future.
“I told Slingo I’d only do it if he named the baby Jimmy!” Spithill joked.
SailGP standings show the Aussies in first place followed closely by Denmark and Team USA. There are seven more events on the racing calendar with the Grand Finale to be contested with that $1 million winner-take-all payout scheduled for San Francisco on July 13-14..
You can follow all the action and intrigue at sailgp.com.
About the Author: SpinSheet’s roving journo Craig Ligibel is reporting the news from Sydney, Australia, where fans are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Baby Slingsby due in early December. “Boy or girl, we don’t care,” one grizzled Aussie wag said. “No matter what, the little nipper is certain to come home from hospital in a green and yellow Flying Roo nappie.”