- Switzerland SailGP Team ready to return to Saint-Tropez for the France Sail Grand Prix (9-10 September). First of three European venues in Season 4
- Racing broadcast live on Blue Sport/Blue Zoom and SailGP You Tube (13:30 – 15:00)
- Driver Sébastien Schneiter recently crowned 49er Vice Champion at 2023 Sailing World Championships and selected to represent SUI at Paris 2024
Nathan Outteridge re-joins crew for Saint-Tropez, racing in the strategist role
Switzerland SailGP Team will return to Saint-Tropez next month, for the upcoming France Sail Grand Prix on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September. It’s the third event of Season 4, following the two USA events – in Chicago and Los Angeles – earlier this summer. 10 teams will race close to the iconic French shoreline from 13:30 – 15:00 CEST, on both race days.
Fans in Switzerland can watch all the action live on Blue Sport and SailGP’s YouTube channel. Tickets to attend the event are still available HERE.
Saint-Tropez marks the first of three European events; the Swiss team will then make its Italian racing debut in Taranto (23-24 September) and return to race in Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain, 14-15 October.
Following the league’s Los Angeles debut last month, driver Sébastien Schneiter was back on a racecourse, with crew Arno De Planta in the 49er class, racing at the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships. After a solid performance all week the duo were crowned Vice Champions, their second podium together this summer. After their recent successes the team has been selected to represent SUI at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games next summer, Schneiter’s third consecutive Games. SailGP team mate Maud Jayet also podiumed, winning a silver medal in the ILCA6 class, and was selected for her second Olympic Games.
Sébastien Schneiter said: “Winning the silver medal at the Sailing World Championships was a great result for us and for Switzerland and a big highlight of the summer. It was an amazing and intense week of racing in the The Hague and a huge amount of effort to achieve this result and to be selected for Paris 2024.
Now I’m looking forward to being back onboard Eiger and racing in Saint-Tropez again. It’s a brilliant venue for the F50s. We had some big conditions and fast racing last year, followed by no breeze, so we have to be prepared for every scenario. We have an additional practice day so will make the most of our time on the water.”
As the team hits a new continent for Season 4, this next phase brings a new crew structure. Outteridge who has been supporting remotely as sailing advisor returns to support the coaching onshore and race back onboard Eiger as Strategist.
Outteridge said: “For the first two events of the season, I have been working in the background helping the team from a distance. I’ve had some early mornings and late nights following the racing from home and digging through the data and passing what I can see to the sailing team to help with their learnings each day.
“This enabled Glenn Ashby to be onsite and help Will Ryan in his new role as wing trimmer. Will has been learning very quickly and is now getting his head around his position which has been great to see. It will be good to be back on site with the team in Saint-Tropez and I’m really looking forward to racing again. I’ve missed the racing and hope that I can slot back in with the team and give some support and guidance to Seba on the tactics and strategy side of things.”
Also making his return to racing is grinder Eliot Merceron. Merceron last raced with the team in Saint-Tropez 2022 where he suffered a knee injury. He will share the ‘G1’ grinding role with Julien Rolaz and Laurane Mettraux is back on the handles too, racing in ‘G2’. Will Ryan races as wing trimmer and Jeremy Bachelin and Maud Jayet support the team as reserve athlete.
As part of the changes, flight controller Jason Saunders leaves the team to pursue a new challenge with the French America’s Cup team and stepping into this role for Saint-Tropez is a familiar face in the SailGP league, François Morvan.
Morvan is a talented and experienced sailor who has been racing in the same position with the French SailGP Team since season 2. During Saint-Tropez last year, Morvan and the French crew set the league’s top speed ever, hitting speeds of 99.94km/h on the bay. He joins the team for the European leg whilst the team develops a Swiss athlete in the flight controller role.
Team CEO Tanguy Cariou said: “Switzerland SailGP Team is looking forward to racing in Saint-Tropez again. The venue is the closest we have to a home event and we already know that we will have a strong Swiss support there.
“Sébastien and Maud had outstanding performances at the recent Olympic Test Event and Sailing World Championships, in the 49er and ILCA 6 classes. That’s super positive for sailing in Switzerland and for our team going into our next event.
“Then having Nathan back, supporting Seba onboard as strategist and Jacopo with coaching onshore, is a configuration that we already know and had success with in Singapore. Last but not least, we welcome François. He’s a strong sailor and F50 flight controller with experience and achievements. Last year in Saint-Tropez he smashed the F50 speed record, so hopefully together we can hit these top speeds together when back there next month!”
Ahead of the France Sail Grand Prix, the Swiss team will launch its official Season 4 merchandise range, featuring t-shirts and caps. The items will be live on Sailracing.com and in store at SailGP events globally.
The France Sail Grand Prix takes place on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September from 13:30 – 15:00 CEST. Tune in to watch the action live on Blue Sport and SailGP’s YouTube.