Slingsby’s Australians and the Japanese team, skippered by Nathan Outteridge, are expected to clash in a winner-takes-all match race that will be one of the most lucrative races ever seen.
“It really can be life-changing,” Australian flight controller and tactician Jason Waterhouse said. “It’s probably one of those moments that can make or break your career.
“At the end of the day, I love the sport, I love these boats and I love this circuit. I try to look at it as the cherry on top. It’s not so much about winning the $1 million as it is trying to be the champions and having the respect of sailors all around the world and your competitors.
“I think you have to try to train yourself and have that repetition in general. No race is any different from the other. Whether you’re day training like we are in Sydney or racing for $1 million, you really shouldn’t change. You just try to eliminate as much emotion as you can and also eliminate the consequences.”
Slingsby’s boat crashed through the magical 50-knot barrier during the last competition in Cowes, just off the coast of the Isle of Wight in Britain.
With that mark out of the way, they’re expected to finish their series dominance of the six-nation competition in France.
On reaching the 50-knot speed, Olympic silver medallist and Tokyo hopeful Waterhouse said: “You just have to try to keep your composure. One mistake and you can really hurt yourself, your mates or your boat. It’s pretty crazy, to be honest.
“I’m glad we’ve hit it now because it’s been there as part of the build-up. Now we can just forget about it and move on.”
More than 22,000 people from 25 nations crammed Sydney harbour and the foreshore for this year’s Sydney event, a number organisers are hoping to exceed during the 2020 version.
“Sydney was a spectacular venue to launch SailGP earlier this year on every level – the iconic harbour backdrop, the competition, the fans – and we can’t wait to return,” said SailGP chief executive officer Sir Russell Coutts.