The SailGP season is comprised of around a dozen “grand prix” events, each taking place at a different venue around the world. These events involve seven races over the course of two days: six involving the whole fleet and a final in which the three fastest boats of the weekend compete to become event champion.
The last SailGP race of the season, the Season Grand Final, sees the three highest-scoring teams on the Championship Leaderboard compete for the title of Sail GP Champion for the season.
Scoring at events
Points are awarded to each team based on their finishing position in each of the six fleet races, with the team in first place winning 10 points, the team in second place winning nine points and so on. Once the fleet races are complete, the teams with the three highest total scores from across the weekend race against each other in a winner-takes-all final, to determine the event champion.
Scoring in the championship
The Championship Leaderboard is updated throughout the season based on finishing positions at each of the individual grand prix. A team that wins an event is awarded 10 points for the leaderboard, while a team that places second wins nine points and so on. Teams that do not qualify for an event final will receive points based on their position in the final event leaderboard, down to a minimum of one point for tenth place.
Scoring in the Grand Final
At the end of the season, the top three teams on the Championship Leaderboard race each other in the Season Grand Final. The winner is crowned champion of the SailGP championship for the season.
Event ties: A tie in an event leaderboard is decided by finishing places in the most recent race.
Season ties: A tie in the Championship Leaderboard is decided by the finishing places in the most recent event.
DNS: A boat that gets disqualified or does not start a race (“DNS”) receives no points.
DNF: A boat that starts but does not finish (“DNF”) a race will receive one point.
Race terminations: If a race needs to be terminated with all teams still racing, no scores are awarded and the race is abandoned. If one team has finished already, all other teams not having crossed the finish line are ranked by the position at the previous race mark.
Each grand prix takes place at a different location around the world and therefore involves unique weather conditions, which may change significantly during the course of the event. Nevertheless, the basic set-up of the racecourse is always the same: aligned with the direction of the wind so that the skill of the sailors is tested in both downwind (leeward) and upwind (windward) conditions.
One of the most intense parts of a SailGP race is right at the start, since the race begins with the boats in motion, each trying the begin the race as close to the official start line as possible. From there, they head to a point knows as the “speed mark”, before racing between the leeward and windward gates and back again in order to complete a lap.
After a designated number of laps, the boats head to the finish line.