Why is it that the SailGP circus is so unconvincing? The spectacle of some of the world’s best sailors fleet racing each other in wing-sail foiling cats should be a slam dunk. Yet the 2021 series about to begin in Bermuda this weekend has caused hardly a ripple. If we take out SailGP’s own hyperventilating PR releases, the media – and therefore the sailing public – have so far treated the event as a giant yawn. This indifference must be concerning for The Man from O.R.A.C.L.E and his loyal sidekick Sir Rumpled Coutts. Many millions have been spent trying to generate real international interest for SailGP, but for minimal return.

Admittedly, the timing of COVID could not have been worse: any momentum the series had hoped to build from the first race last year was halted by a 14-month break. Anticipated revenue from spectators (always a dicey proposition for yachting regattas) has similarly disappeared down the gurgler because of virus restrictions. Sponsors are hard to find for a sporting event that struggles for continuity and genuine media attention.  But there are, to my mind, other significant factors that make SailGP seem so lackluster…

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