SailGP breaks into mainstream as Saint-Tropez race attracts biggest US sailing viewership in 30 years
SailGP is proving that high-octane, hydrofoiling sailboat racing is ready-made for the mainstream. A CBS broadcast on 23 October showcasing the league’s race weekend in Saint-Tropez was the most watched sailing event on US broadcast in over 30 years, averaging 1.609 million viewers.
The CBS broadcast showcased racing from SailGP’s fastest race day yet at the France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez, where the French SailGP Team recorded a top speed of 62mph (99.94km/h) and where the US SailGP Team had its first-ever SailGP event victory, led by SailGP driver and sailing legend Jimmy Spithill.
In just its third season, SailGP has grown from six teams to nine, and five events to 11 – all set at iconic locations around the world (including San Francisco and Chicago); with more expansion on both fronts already announced for Season 4.
“This new action-packed, high adrenaline style of sailing is definitely attracting a broader audience; it’s fast-paced, exciting and brilliant to watch,” said Russell Coutts, SailGP CEO and co-founder. “We’ve focused on creating a racing property not just for sailing fans, but for anyone who appreciates top quality racing and incredible competition.”
The league’s broadcast success underscores a banner year for the global racing property that – now just over halfway through its third season – includes already increasing its global dedicated TV audience by 56% from last season to over 64.5 million, and growing its total live digital viewership by 240% in the same time period (26.6 million).
Viewers can catch the next broadcast of SailGP racing on CBS this Sunday, 13 November at 17:00 ET, which includes USA highlights from the Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucia-Cádiz.