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BC-SAI--SailGP

May 3, 2019
AP Sports Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The fledgling SailGP global league makes its U.S. debut this weekend on San Francisco Bay, where the young American team, which includes two aspiring Olympians from Southern California, hopes to move up in the standings while the veteran Australian crew looks to stay atop the leaderboard.

Racing in fast, foiling 50-foot catamarans known as F50s will be Saturday and Sunday on a course between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. If racing is anything like practice sessions, it could be a wild weekend.

A few days after the Aussies almost became the first of the six SailGP crews to hit 50 knots (57.5 mph), they almost capsized. The Chinese boat nose-dived into the waves and its wingsail buckled.

Aussie skipper and helmsman Tom Slingsby said the team was fortunate it didn’t capsize and damage the boat.