Sail GP Comes to Canada

International sailing competitions are among the longest-running of all sporting events, but they usually take place far from Canada’s shores. This spring, however, Halifax, Nova Scotia will host one of the most exciting events in the international sailing calendar when Sail GP makes its Canadian debut. 

Launched in 2019, and supported by Rolex since its inception, Sail GP is a top-tier sailing event with a calendar of high-profile races in cities around the world. The competition features 10 international teams — including one representing Canada — piloting high-performance F50 catamarans, which glide above the surface of the water on hydrofoils as they maneuver around a nautical race course at speeds of over 100 km/h.

Rockwell Canada Sail Grand Prix in Halifax

“The SailGP circuit is a major milestone in the evolution of yachting,” explains Sir Ben Ainslie, the most decorated Olympic Games sailor of all time, the chief executive of Emirates Great Britain SailGP team, and a Rolex testimonee. “Combining boats that use state-of-the-art technology with top-class athletes is widening the appeal of the sport as a whole.”

The Rockwool Canada Sail Grand Prix will be the 11th stop on Sail GP’s 13-event calendar for the 2024 season and will be crucial in establishing the season’s frontrunners ahead of the Grand Final in San Francisco in July. Canada entered Sail GP for the first time last season and finished in third place behind Great Britain and Australia. The Canadian team, led by Aussie skipper Phil Robertson, is making a strong showing so far in 2024 and currently sits in sixth place with 53 points, just a few points behind the French and Danish teams.  

In addition to introducing audiences around the world to the excitement of sailboat racing — which, thanks to its combination of breathtaking speeds and cutting-edge technology, is often likened to Formula 1 — Sail GP is also dedicated to establishing itself as the world’s most sustainable and purpose-driven global sports and entertainment platform. This includes the Impact League, a leaderboard in which the teams compete on various sustainability and inclusion initiatives, as well as a roadmap to becoming powered entirely by clean energy in 2025. 

“SailGP is revolutionizing the way we think about sport,” adds Hannah Mills, the strategist for the Great Britain team and also a Rolex testimonee. “The league’s commitment to sustainability and the environment is remarkable. When I was first invited to join, I was immediately impressed by the vision of a global, sustainable racing circuit that could elevate the profile of sailing while benefitting the planet.”

Rockwell Canada Sail Grand Prix in Halifax

Rolex has been the global presenting partner and Official Timepiece of the series since the first season, making Sail GP the latest among many top-tier sailing events to partner with the Swiss luxury watchmaker. Last year, Rolex doubled down on its commitment to Sail GP, announcing a 10-season agreement that will extend the partnership through the end of Season 13.