Germany is the latest nation to join SailGP. Team owner Thomas Riedel with two-time Olympic bronze medalist and Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) member Erik Heil will lead the new squad into the fourth season of the global racing league. Overall, 10 teams will complete during Season 4, kicking off in Chicago June 16-17, 2023.
Entrepreneur and investor Thomas Riedel, who is president of the leading communications company that bears his name, has teamed up with co-investor and retired four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel. Both will take an active role in the management and performance of the team, working jointly with Erik Heil, who will be at the helm of the F50 during the upcoming SailGP season, which started in Chicago, June.
A passion for high-performance sports, an interest in the latest technologies, and a shared belief in SailGP’s approach towards sustainability is what has brought Riedel, Vettel, and Heil together for the joint campaign. Riedel is no stranger to SailGP, as his communications company supplies the on-site wireless communications and TV production infrastructure for the league. This includes the wireless network connecting the F50 catamarans, support boats, referee, and camera boats, as well as drones and helicopters for aerial filming.
“As a company, we have always been able to not only understand formats but evolve them through technology and innovation,” said Riedel. “I see great potential in all directions with the Germany SailGP Team: sports, business, and media. We believe that a great movement can emerge from this.”
“In addition, we can credibly implement our concerns in terms of sustainability and diversity. That’s one of the reasons why I approached Sebastian as a trusted partner and knowledgeable technology and sustainability expert,” Riedel continued. “Sebastian also knows how to win. So, he’s not just a co-owner of the Germany SailGP Team, but an equal partner who can help us succeed in everything we do. However, we are aware that success is not something you can achieve in a few races, and it may take some time, but I believe we have the team to make sure it happens.”
The German team had a drama-free racing debut in Chicago, finishing a solid 7th in the fourth fleet race—its best result. The 10-strong F50 fleet will next meet at the Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix, which gets underway on July 22-23, 2023.