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Sail Nova Scotia Prepping for SailGP

Feb 14, 2024

The countdown to the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix slated for Halifax on the weekend of 1-2 June is on, with four months until ten international teams descend on Halifax for the 11th event of Season 4.  The season then finishes in San Francisco in July 2024.

Sail Nova Scotia had the vision to bid for Canada’s first ever Sail Grand Prix; Halifax beat out three other cities to host the event in spring 2023. With the support of the Province of Nova Scotia and Halifax Regional Municipality, as well as the Port of Halifax, Build Nova Scotia and Discover Halifax, the organizers are confident that the event will be one of the highlights of SailGP Season 4.

For the first time in the history of SailGP, Canadian fans will get to witness adrenaline fueled racing on F50 foiling catamarans on the Halifax Harbour between Georges Island and the MacDonald Bridge. Fans will be able to cheer on the Canada SailGP Team driven by Phil Roberston with local athletes Billy Gooderham, Tim Hornsby and Jareese Finch onboard, as they go head-to-head with nine other national teams.

The economic impact of the event is primarily driven by direct spending from the event, as well the out-of-town visitors that SailGP attracts, and is expected to generate more than $16m.

Canada SailGP Team helmed by Phil Robertson leads from ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team helmed by interim driver Nathan Outteridge and Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team helmed by Giles Scott and the rest of the fleet on Race Day 1 of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 13th January 2024. Photo: Simon Bruty for SailGP. Handout image supplied by SailGP

“SailGP is grand prix racing like we’ve never seen before in Canada. It is the world’s most exciting race on water and broadcast in over 200 countries,” said event Co-chair Paula Minnikin. “F50 boats approaching speeds of 100km/h on the Halifax Harbour and coming out to support Team Canada will be a huge draw.”

“I’m confident that Halifax will host one of the best SailGP events of Season 4. The support from stakeholders and community has been incredible. The Canadian team can’t wait to race in home waters in the inaugural Canadian event,” said Jennifer Hall, Director of Marketing & Operations for the Canada SailGP Team.

“Our local organizing committee is hard at work to ensure that visitors and locals alike can take in this incredible event, we are well on the way to ensuring there will be multiple prime viewing areas around the city,” said Frank Denis, Executive Director of Sail Nova Scotia. “People are certainly excited to participate, we will be able to share our final event plans in the coming weeks with a number of open access areas around the Harbour and tickets available by the end of March.”

In addition to the highly visible action on the Harbour there will also be foiling demos led by the youth sailing program weCANfoil and the Bluenose II will make her first stop of the 2024 sailing season, docking in front of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic for the race weekend. The event has captured the imagination of the local hospitality industry with a Maritime kitchen party in the works as well as a bar and restaurant program that will be announced in the lead up to the event. 

The community has had a great deal of interest in this event, which is not surprising, people are excited to see our Harbour on the world stage” said Gordon Stevens who is spearheading community activation for the event. “This is the highest caliber sailing competition in the world and it will energize our Harbour like nothing before.  What happens off the racecourse is equally exciting and has the ability to put the city, province and region on the map for the rapidly growing international fan-base of SailGP.”

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