Photography by SailGP
18 July 2022
After much deliberation and taking into account logistical and commercial considerations, SailGP has made the difficult decision to pause the participation of Japan SailGP Team indefinitely.
The league would like to thank Nathan Outteridge and all of the athletes and staff involved in the Team for their outstanding performance in the first two seasons of SailGP and wish them all the very best for the future.
Japan was Season 2 runner-up.
Season 3 will continue with nine teams racing for the remainder of the season.
The Japanese team made the following statement online and its social media:
“As announced today by SailGP’s league headquarters (London), the yacht national competition professional league SailGP has decided to ‘suspend the participation of the Japanese team indefinitely’ in the third season.
“We, the Japanese team, have no choice but to accept this decision, and although we are very reluctant, the Japanese team will be dissolved at once. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you from whom we have received various support so far.
“SailGP, which started in five tournaments in six countries participating in 2019, was suspended due to the pandemic in 2020.
“It continued to expand. As the league adds new venues and teams and the number of fans and viewers grows worldwide, teams from each country have been required by the league to become financially independent.
“At the discretion of the league, the Japanese team missed Season 3 from the opening round of the Bermuda Tournament. (1) In addition to the reason that the 10th boat (F50) used in the race was not completed, (2) there was no financial support for the team (no sponsor), which weighed heavily on the Japanese team.
“Since then, the players have continued training at home and abroad with the aim of returning from the middle of the season, and the team has been enthusiastic about acquiring sponsors and management efforts. However, due to our lack of power, we have not been able to reverse this difficult situation so far.
“SailGP said, ‘After much deliberation and consultation, we have made a difficult decision to suspend the Japanese team’s participation (in Season 3) indefinitely because the Japanese team does not have its own commercial support. In Season 3, nine teams will continue to race for the rest of the season.’
“In the future, if Japan acquires a sponsor or team franchise company and the conditions for returning are met, the possibility of re-entry will remain compared to the countries that are currently waiting to participate in the league.”
“Under the leadership of Australian driver and CEO Nathan Outteridge, the Japanese team has achieved the last two consecutive runners-up in the seeds.
“Young Japanese have learned world-class techniques from top sailors who have a track record of 49er-class gold medals at the London Olympics, and have achieved dramatic growth. The aspiration of the Japanese team aiming at the development and popularisation of Japanese sailing culture will be a curtain once in the middle of the road, but the young sailor who carried the “Hinomaru” [Japanese Flag] at SailGP will make use of this international experience in the future.
“Last but not least, we would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported the SailGP Japan team from various angles. Thank you very much.”