2019 BYA winner: SailGP
Stadium racing is far being from a new concept, but Larry Ellison’s financial firepower and Russell Coutts’ marketing guile has produced a show that even its critics would admit has changed sailing. The F50 boats are tweaked from the last America’s Cup to become a one-design fleet, capable of hitting 50 knots in the right conditions, something they managed in high winds at the spectacular Cowes event. The headline grabber was the $1 million jackpot for the overall winning team, while the thrills and spills, the on-board camera footage and the quality of the sailors involved made this a show for serious sail racers to enjoy as well as the armchair pundits. Season one has closed with the news that none other than Ben Ainslie is joining the fray to helm the British boat. Clearly he enjoyed SailGP as much as you did, voting it your Event of the Year.