The sail boats are getting ready for a exciting clashes in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As the season approaches the halfway point, SailGP is preparing for a show-stopping weekend when the league returns to the UAE after just over a year for the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas, taking place at Mina Rashid, today and tomorrow.

The build up to the sixth event of Season 4 reads like a script from Hollywood as one of the stars involved in the purchase of the USA SailGP Team. Jimmy Spithill is out as driver — less than two months after delivering the USA’s first win of the season in Cadiz-Andalucía — and in his place sits Taylor Canfield.

Winds of change

However Spithill has since announced his intention to set up an Italian team in Season 5 and is remarkably still driving in Dubai — representing his home country Australia for the first time since 2001 as replacement for Tom Slingsby, who is on paternity leave. Slingsby’s Australian team increased their championship lead to seven points after third in Cadiz-Andalucía but have now gone five straight finals without a win.

While Australia has benefited from Spithill’s temporary free agency for Dubai, Canada has also swooped amid the changes to the USA team. After Chris Draper stepped down as wing trimmer for Canada, they pounced to get Paul Campbell-James.

Campbell-James has been involved in SailGP since its inception and, not just that, Phil Robertson’s Canada will show off another USA recruit. Philippe Presti is Canada’s new coach, another USA departure, replacing Joe Glanfield who is focusing on his role with the British Olympic team.

The Dubai event marks SailGP’s first of many Race For The Future takeovers, highlighting the league’s ongoing commitment and passion to climate action with COP28 currently ongoing in the iconic city. The takeover will showcase how the league is racing for Impact, Innovation, Inclusivity and Clean Energy solutions.

Officials and sailors ahead of the Dubai SailGP. Image Credit: Supplied

The event has made history already in racing for Inclusivity with a first-ever all female F50 training session taking place in the build up to racing after the Switzerland team provided their boat. On the ground there will be a host of innovative, ground-breaking activations delivered for the first time showing how events can be run more sustainably.

Emirates GBR driver Ben Ainslie, meanwhile, has been among a number of athletes to speak at the global climate conference.

Ainslie, Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team said: “It’s great to be here in Dubai. To have this opportunity to race as the home team with our Emirates partnerships and to get to the grassroots and get more youngsters out on the water is a proud moment. You couldn’t ask for a more prestigious brand than Emirates and they have invested a lot into our team and in this event. If you look at their involvement with so many other sports, you have to say that they invest in sports and teams for the long run, and this is just the start for a long run in Dubai — and hopefully having more youngsters out on the water here in Dubai and who knows, maybe a local team in the future.”


Day One Racing: Saturday 2-3.30pm

Day Two Racing: Sunday 2-3.30pm


1. Australia 43 points

2. ROCKWOOL Denmark 36 points

3. United States 32 points

4. Spain 32 points

5. Emirates GBR 32 points

6. New Zealand 30 points

7. Canada 24 points

8. France 24 points

9. Switzerland 11 points

10. Germany 8 points


1. Australia 203 points

2. Switzerland 188 points

3. Emirates GBR 177 points

4. France 175 points

5. New Zealand 172 points

6. United States 162 points

7. Canada 160 points

8. Germany 159 points

9. ROCKWOOL Denmark 158 points

10. Spain 147 points