THE SAILING year of 2019 kicked off with the loudly trumpeted SailGP grand prix in Sydney. This new ‘made for media’ grand prix circuit uses turbo’d up F50 foiling catamarans which were originally the AC50s used in Bermuda and is the brainchild of Russell Coutts.

It seems certain of a bright future, too big to fail even, because it is funded by Larry Ellison for an initial five years and Coutts and his team have drawn from their America’s Cup successes, and failures, to put together an ambitious, clever and exciting season which will make fascinating watching, writes Yachting Life racing editor Andi Robertson.

It has its roots in the World Sailing League idea which Coutts and Paul Cayard tried to fly in 2007, the shared ambition being to have a de facto, globally recognised pinnacle series which adheres to strict nationality rules. It did not fly then, partly because they could not raise the funding.