SYDNEY, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Sydney Harbor will host the opening stage of extreme sailing series SailGP for a second straight year when the competition kicks off again in February 2020.
Officials confirmed on Thursday that six teams from Australia, China, France, Japan, Britain and the United States will once again contest the first leg of the series.
The high-performance F50 catamarans, which are capable of speeds over 90 km/h, will hit the water for the final stage of the 2019 season in Marseille, France next week.
Australia are currently primed to claim the winner's trophy, sitting four points ahead of Japan, while China sit in fifth place in front of France, and just behind Britain and the United States.
Australian skipper Tom Slingsby said that to return to Sydney Harbor, where his team won this year, would be a great start to the event's second season.
"There is nothing more special and motivating for an athlete to have the support of the home crowd, and I am extremely excited that we are returning to Sydney," Slingsby said.
"It's one of my favorite places to sail and to win this year was the perfect start to our season. We'll be aiming to make it a repeat victory next year."
Although the rest of the 2020 calendar is yet to be confirmed, this year's stops included San Francisco, New York and the Isle of Wight.
"The boats are getting faster and the teams more competitive, and we expect Sydney will once again be a great natural amphitheatre to showcase these incredible athletes and boats," said SailGP chief executive Sir Russell Coutts.