Sydney Harbour set to host SailGP racing

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Sydney Harbour is set to host SailGP racing for the next three years, including the ninth event of the international series' third season in February in 2023.

SailGP said on Friday the Australian Sail Grand Prix will be held from February 18-19.

An estimated 20,000 people turned out to watch Tom Slingsby's Australia SailGP team win their home event in December 2021.

Slingsby, the team's driver and chief executive, said it was good to get the race locked in for the next three years "on the most beautiful harbour in the world."

"We've been sort of living on a year-by-year, fingers-crossed basis," Slingsby said. "So to secure our future in Sydney is unbelievable for us.

"We should have great wind, great weather that time of year and it'd been great to win on home soil again."

There are 10 teams competing in Season 3, including new franchises Canada and Switzerland, and returning teams Australia, Denmark, France, Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States.

In the opening race of the season in Bermuda in May, Slingsby hit the starting line in the podium race in control and sailed ahead of Britain's Ben Ainslie and Canada's Phil Robertson for an easy win, reaching 42 mph (68 kph) in his 50-foot catamaran.

The victory came just six weeks after the Australians' dominating win in the $1 million ($A1.42 million), winner-take-all grand final of the pandemic-delayed Season 2 on San Francisco Bay.

Team Australia also won the $A1.42 million top prize in 2019, the inaugural season of tech tycoon Larry Ellison's global league.

Slingsby, an Olympic gold medallist and former America's Cup champion, has won four straight SailGP regattas and six of the last seven.

The next race in the SailGP series is this weekend in Chicago.

The 2022-23 schedule after Chicago:

July 30-31: Plymouth, England

August 19-20: Copenhagen, Denmark

September 10-11: Saint-Tropez, France

September 24-25: Cadiz, Spain

November 12-13: Dubai

2023

January 14-15: Singapore

February 18-19: Sydney

March 18-19: Christchurch, New Zealand

May 6-7: San Francisco (and season 3 grand final).

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