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SailGP: Impact League launched to put sustainability action at heart of sailing | Sailing News

The Impact League will run throughout Season 2 and teams will be rewarded for the actions they make to reduce their carbon footprint and accelerate inclusivity in sailing; Season 2 continues on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, with the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth

Last Updated: 15/07/21 12:08pm

New Zealand's SailGP team currently lead the way in the Impact League (Image credit: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP)

New Zealand’s SailGP team currently lead the way in the Impact League (Image credit: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP)

SailGP have announced the launch of an Impact League; an initiative designed to put sustainability action at the heart of the sailing.

Throughout Season 2, alongside the overall race standings, a second leaderboard will run and the eight international teams will be rewarded for the actions they make to reduce their overall carbon footprint and for how they help to accelerate inclusivity in sailing.

Each team will be accountable across 10 sustainability criteria, which range from pioneering new technologies focusing on clean energy solutions and removing single-use plastics, to diversity, inclusion and using their voice for good.

The teams will be externally audited and at the end of Season 2 there will be two podiums; one will have the winning team from the action on the water and the other, will house the Impact League champions.

The winner of the Impact League will earn funding for its purpose partner, who will have supported and advised them throughout the season.

“The introduction of the Impact League is a significant moment, not just for sailing, but for every sport,” Sir Ben Ainslie, the Great Britain SailGP team CEO, said.

“If we don’t act now, all the amazing sport that gives us such joy, from the grassroots all the way to the top of the professional game, is under threat from the impact of climate change.

“I would like to see many more sports follow SailGP’s example and make sustainability not just a commitment, but a fundamental part of the fabric of sport.”

The Impact League has been running already during the first two events of the year, with the New Zealand SailGP team currently leading the way.

“The Impact League shows our commitment to racing for the future,” Russell Coutts, SailGP’s CEO, said.

“It will ignite the competitive nature of our world-class athletes and reward success off the water – for impactful actions – in the same way we do on it.

Great Britain's SailGP team will be looking to build upon their work at the last Sail Grand Prix in Italy (Image Credit - Ricardo Pinto for SailGP)

Great Britain’s SailGP team will be looking to build upon their work at the last Sail Grand Prix in Italy (Image Credit – Ricardo Pinto for SailGP)

“We believe in the power of sport for good and that sport has a responsibility to lead by example to inspire others to make simple changes for a better planet.

“Our commitment to sustainability is much deeper than words or promises, it’s based on long-term, measurable action.”

SailGP Championship – Season Points

Country Points
Spain 16
Great Britain 15
Japan 14
New Zealand 13
France 12
Australia 12
United States 11
Denmark 11

Season 2 of SailGP continues this weekend with the third event of the season, which takes place in Plymouth.

Every race of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix will be live on Sky Sports and the home team will again be skipped by interim helmsman Paul Goodison.

Goodison has taken over from Ainslie for a short period of time; Ainslie and his wife Georgie have just welcomed their second child into the world.

After the events in Bermuda and Italy. Great Britain sit second in the season rankings, one point behind Spain, and the defending champions Australia are down in sixth.

SailGP Season 2 – Live on Sky Sports

Great Britain Grand Prix – Plymouth July 17 and 18
Denmark Grand Prix – Aarhus August 20 and 21
France Grand Prix – Saint-Tropez September 11 and 12
Spain Grand Prix – Cadiz October 9 and 10
Australia Grand Prix – Sydney December 17 and 18
New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch January 29 and 30, 2022
United States Grand Prix – San Francisco March 26 and 27, 2022

In Season 2 of SailGP the world’s best sailors are all competing on equally-matched, cutting-edge F50 catamarans. Points are being accumulated throughout and at the last event in San Francisco, a $1m winner-takes-all final, will determine Season 2’s champion.

“I’m really looking forward to competing on home waters,” Goodison said ahead of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix.

“I’ve sailed a little bit in Plymouth in the past, in my Laser days doing Laser qualifiers, and it always seems to deliver some good breeze. I’ve got some good memories of racing around in strong breeze, so I’m really looking forward to flying a Union Jack on home waters again.”

“Racing in front of your home crowd, hearing the chants and people screaming, shouting and clapping, as you race around, adds to our experience and definitely pushes us on,” Matt Gotrel, added.

“Also, [it’s brilliant] for them to be able to see us and see how fast these boats can go. It’s going to be a great weekend.”

Watch every race day of SailGP Season 2, on Sky Sports. The third Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth takes place on Saturday and Sunday, with coverage of day one on Sky Sports Mix from 2pm on Saturday.