Sailing League Backed By Billionaire Larry Ellison And World Champion Russell Coutts Charts New Course Into Web3

SailGP – called the The sailing world’s equivalent of Formula 1 – navigates in Web3 space.

SailGP aims to have a professional sailing team owned and operated by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that complies with US securities laws, Russell Coutts said in an interview in Singapore on the sidelines of the Forbes Global CEO Conference. Coutts, a five-time America’s Cup winner, co-founded SailGP in 2018 with Oracle’s billionaire Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison.

Their plan for a DAO, run by its members and built on the blockchain platform NEAR, is to issue both security tokens and fan tokens. The security tokens represent ownership of the sailing team and are made available to 2,000 accredited investors, while people who purchase the fan tokens are entitled to vote on team decisions.

The DAO, which meets SailGP’s eligibility requirements, is expected to be formed later this month, Coutts said. The community-led organization must decide whether to create a new team or buy an existing one from the current nine national teams.

“We believe this will be the first fully DAO-powered team under the US securities framework,” said Coutts, CEO of SailGP. The team could enter the championship as early as June 2023 when Season 4 begins.

SailGP races use identical foiled 50ft catamarans capable of flying across the water at a top speed of 60mph and culminate in a $1 million prize purse, with the winner taking everything.

Ellison and Coutts have steered SailGP to be commercially sustainable and have a zero carbon footprint. Their goal is to run the entire fleet on renewable energy by 2025.

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Coutts believes the DAO operated sailing team is the “ultimate implementation of a fan loyalty program”. He said there are many ways for members of the DAO to get involved in the sport, including attending a team briefing and meeting star players.

“Fans will no longer just sit on the sidelines,” Coutts said. “Web3 has the potential to allow fans to be fully immersed in the sport they love, including a say in team decisions and access to experiences previously only available to owners.”

SailGP first jumped on the crypto bandwagon in March, announcing its multi-year partnership with NEAR Blockchain to explore selling a new team to a DAO. The announcement comes at a time when sports teams around the world are increasingly adopting crypto and blockchain technologies to take fan engagement to a higher level. Earlier this year, Kiat Lim, son of Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, said he had teamed up with former Manchester United players to set up a DAO to give fans ownership of professional football.

SailGP has also partnered with Oracle to launch an online fan engagement platform leveraging blockchain assets, aimed at those who are ignorant of crypto and blockchain technologies. “The initial experience will be a mix of Web2 and Web3 because we want to make it as easy as possible for people to access and experience this fan engagement experience,” Coutts said.

SailGP also recently announced that it will host its inaugural Asian Grand Prix in Singapore in January 2023. The move is set to expand its circuit, which already includes Australia, France, Spain, the UK and the US, among others.


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