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SailGP: flying catamarans back on Sydney Harbour in December

SailGP’s 50-foot high-speed flying catamarans will return to Sydney Harbor in December, nearly two years after their first Down Under.

Organizers said Thursday that the Australian Sails Grand Prix will be the ninth event in the second season of the World Cup. The competition will take place at the port of Sydney on December 17-18, after the European stage of season 2 took place in Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, France and Spain.

The 2020 race in Australia was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The entry of the British, missed by four-time Olympic medalist Ben Ainsley, won what it was at the time of the regatta to open season 2 in February 2020. But the result was annulled when the season was delayed.

Tom Slingsby, Olympic gold medalist and former America’s Cup winner, and his crew from Australia won the $ 1 million title, winner of all in 2019.

Sydney was not originally scheduled for 2021 due to strict quarantine rules in Australia and a general ban on international visitors during the pandemic, but local organizers have worked with governments to ensure the event can continue under tight control.

After Sydney, SailGP will head to New Zealand in January 2022, followed by San Francisco, which will host the Grand Final on March 26-27, where the season 2 champion will be determined in another final for all winners. $ 1 million.

As international visitors are still banned from entering Australia, organizers in Sydney said the Sydney event would “adhere to SailGP’s government guidelines and COVID’s own security plan”.

There will be regular testing of COVID-19 and a reduced number of people at the event.

“All SailGP athletes who have so far competed for season 2 who have returned to Australia have been quarantined in accordance with and adhere to government rules,” organizers said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Seven more teams from Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States join Australia and Slingsby in the series.

“Providing eight F50s and racing at Sydney Harbor will be a pretty spectacular sight for fans, and with the caliber of sailors we have on these boats this year, we can expect action-packed racing,” Slingsby said in a statement.

“We lost to Ben Ainsley’s British team at last year’s Sydney event, so we’re focused on getting revenge and winning the Australian event in front of a home crowd.”

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AP Sports writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed to this story.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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