LONDON (AP) — Spain will replace China for the second season of the SailGP global league.
China was one of SailGP’s six league-funded teams for its inaugural season and finished third overall.
“Though the China SailGP Team had a successful first season, we were unfortunately not granted the permissions necessary to continue operating the team within our existing structure,” SailGP CEO and co-founder Russell Coutts said in a statement. “With numerous active discussions around future teams, we were fortunate to be in the position to make an immediate substitution, allowing us to deliver on our promise of seven teams for Season 2 as our global championship continues to grow.”
Coutts said SailGP remains interested in continuing to support both a Chinese team and the development of a sailing academy in China as planned if a future agreement can be reached.
Spain will join defending champion Australia, newcomer Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States for the 2020 season.
The F50 foiling catamaran used by China will transfer to Spain.
New Zealander Phil Robertson, who helmed the Chinese catamaran, will continue in some role with the Spanish team. The Chinese nationals on the team will not continue.
The lineup for the Spain SailGP Team will be announced in Madrid in late January following training in New Zealand.