Sailing-Brazil to join SailGP with backing from Abu Dhabi fund

sailing-brazil to join sailgp with backing from abu dhabi fund

FILE PHOTO: Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team, helmed by Ben Ainslie, Australia SailGP Team, helmed by Tom Slingsby, and Spain SailGP Team, helmed by Diego Botin, sail past a bell tower and the old town of Saint-Tropez on Race Day 2 of the France Sail Grand Prix in Saint-Tropez, France, September 10, 2023. Ian Walton for SailGP/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

By Alexander Smith

LONDON (Reuters) - Brazil will join SailGP with backing from an Abu Dhabi sovereign fund, the first South American team to line up in the high-octane league of foiling 50-foot catamarans started by Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and veteran sailor Russell Coutts.

The organisers said on Friday that the Mubadala-owned Brazil SailGP team will partner with Brazilian sports and entertainment firm IMM to operate the new outfit, whose full line up will be confirmed in the coming months.

IMM is owned by ex-Brazilian Olympic sailor Alan Adler, who is also chief executive of Brazil Motor Sports, promoter of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix Formula One race. Mubadala Capital is the asset management arm of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company.

"This opens up a new and very significant market for SailGP and we're incredibly excited to further develop Brazil's passionate fan base and strengthen our connection to the region," SailGP's CEO Coutts said in a statement.

Brazil will start racing from the beginning of SailGP's fifth season, which is due to begin in November.

"This acquisition not only adds to our investment portfolio but also aligns with our long-term commitment to investing in Brazil," Mubadala Capital Chief Investment Officer Oscar Fahlgren said in the same statement.

SailGP made the Brazilian announcement on the eve of its New York Grand Prix, the penultimate Season 4 event before the winner-takes-all Grand Final in San Francisco in mid-July.

(Reporting by Alexander Smith; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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