Weather dilemma

KPMG Sail Grand Prix Australia | Sydney got off to a flying start on Saturday 18 February, until a major weather incident wreaked havoc with a yacht and onshore infrastructure.

20 February 2023


Blustery conditions on Sydney Harbour created incredibly close sailing, with France SailGP Team winning the day, but at the end of racing on Saturday, 100km/h gusts resulted in significant damage to the wing sails and at least one boat at the SailGP technical site.

This forced SailGP to cancel the second day of racing on Sydney Harbour to allow a full assessment of damage to take place.

Further information will be released as it becomes available, but in the meantime, here are some answers to fans’ and followers’ questions.


What happened?

Following the conclusion of racing on Saturday, a major weather incident cause significant damage to the wing sails and at least one boat at SailGP’s tech site.

Was anyone injured?

Thankfully no-one was seriously injured during the incident. SailGP is currently investigating the situation and cooperating with all relevant agencies. The technical site has now been safely secured and a full assessment is underway.

How severe is the damage?

Now the site is secured, SailGP is carrying out a full assessment of the damage to the boats and equipment. After an initial review, it’s clear that there was significant damage to the wing sails across the fleet and at least one boat. Six boats remained moored on the water and are relatively unscathed.

Should craning have taken place during the forecast?

SailGP works closely with local experts and has extensive in-house knowledge of the forecast. We had a window to crane the boats and, with the advice received, proceeded to do so.

Do the points still count from the first day of racing?

Yes, only one fleet race is needed to produce an event winner. Therefore the France SailGP Team is the official winner of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney.

Will the broadcast take place today (Sunday)?

SailGP’s global broadcast will still go ahead in the scheduled broadcast window today. This will cover the first day of racing action – which resulted in France winning the event – and the major weather event that happened yesterday.

How likely is it that the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix and the Season 3 Grand Final in San Francisco will go ahead?

A full assessment will now be carried out to determine a full inventory and what this means for future events. However, all efforts will be made to continue the season as scheduled.

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