Sport: Sail of the century: Olympic star eyes $1m 'life-changing' race - PressFrom - Australia
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SportSail of the century: Olympic star eyes $1m 'life-changing' race

00:38  12 september  2019
00:38  12 september  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

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Sail of the century: Olympic star eyes $1m 'life-changing' race© Supplied Australia's SailGP Team, skippered by Tom Slingsby, charges around Sydney Harbour in February.

The revolutionary SailGP series will return to Australia for next year's opening leg as Tom Slingsby's crew members insist a win in next week's inaugural $US1 million ($1.5 million) match race will be "life changing".

The concept – dubbed the Formula One of sailing for the fastest race boats in the world – will begin its second season on Sydney Harbour in February next year.

SailGP is expected to confirm the schedule on Thursday, which will include Australia hosting the opening event on February 28-29.

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The Men's Star was a sailing event on the Sailing at the 2008 Summer Olympics program in Qingdao International Sailing Centre. Eleven races (last one a medal race ) were scheduled and completed. 32 sailors, on 16 boats, from 16 nations competed. Ten boats qualified for the medal race .

The men's Star was a sailing event on the Sailing at the 2012 Summer Olympics program in Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Eleven races (last one a medal race ) were scheduled and completed. 32 sailors, on 16 boats, from 16 nations competed.

Australia's "Flying Roo", the hi-tech 50-foot catamaran, could return home as the inaugural winner of the series, pending the result of next weekend's final regatta in Marseille.

Slingsby's Australians and the Japanese team, skippered by Nathan Outteridge, are expected to clash in a winner-takes-all match race that will be one of the most lucrative races ever seen.

"It really can be life-changing," Australian flight controller and tactician Jason Waterhouse said. "It's probably one of those moments that can make or break your career.

"At the end of the day, I love the sport, I love these boats and I love this circuit. I try to look at it as the cherry on top. It's not so much about winning the $1 million as it is trying to be the champions and having the respect of sailors all around the world and your competitors.

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The Star was a sailing event at the Sailing at the 1956 Summer Olympics program in Port Phillip. Seven races were scheduled. 24 sailors, on 12 boats, from 12 nations competed. DNF = Did Not Finish, DNS= Did Not Start, DSQ = Disqualified = Male, = Female.

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"I think you have to try to train yourself and have that repetition in general. No race is any different from the other. Whether you're day training like we are in Sydney or racing for $1 million, you really shouldn't change. You just try to eliminate as much emotion as you can and also eliminate the consequences."

Slingsby's boat crashed through the magical 50-knot barrier during the last competition in Cowes, just off the coast of the Isle of Wight in Britain.

With that mark out of the way, they're expected to finish their series dominance of the six-nation competition in France.

On reaching the 50-knot speed, Olympic silver medallist and Tokyo hopeful Waterhouse said: "You just have to try to keep your composure. One mistake and you can really hurt yourself, your mates or your boat. It's pretty crazy, to be honest.

"I'm glad we've hit it now because it's been there as part of the build-up. Now we can just forget about it and move on."

More than 22,000 people from 25 nations crammed Sydney harbour and the foreshore for this year's Sydney event, a number organisers are hoping to exceed during the 2020 version.

"Sydney was a spectacular venue to launch SailGP earlier this year on every level – the iconic harbour backdrop, the competition, the fans – and we can’t wait to return," said SailGP chief executive officer Sir Russell Coutts.

Tickets for the 2019 SailGP Sydney event will go on sale in November.

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