SailGP’s United States team has been purchased by technology investor and founding Uber engineer Ryan McKillen, Margaret McKillen, and two-time world champion sailor Mike Buckley.
The acquisition has been called the biggest deal in the sport of sailing by SailGP boss Russell Coutts.
They are joined by a group of investors representing the sport, technology, entertainment and media industries.
The Avenue Sports Fund, led by Avenue Capital Group CEO Marc Lasry, is the lead investor in what will be the largest team acquisition in SailGP history.
Other members of the investment group include actress and producer Issa Rae; world champion heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder; global DJ and producer Gryffin; and NFL stars DeAndre Hopkins, Malik Jackson, Roquan Smith and Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Additional members include University of Alabama football star Dallas Turner; former US soccer player Jozy Altidore; University of Michigan basketball legend Katelynn Flaherty Yates; Muse Capital’s Assia Grazioli-Venier; and serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk.
SailGP is a global sailing competition with racing taking place in high-tech, high-speed 50ft foiling catamarans crewed by world’s top sailors in ten national teams and broadcast in more than 200 markets.
In SailGP’s fourth season, the sailing league provides 13 live events year-round – six of which take place in North America including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Under the new US SailGP Team structure, Ryan McKillen will serve as chairman, and Mike Buckley as CEO.
The team has appointed seven-time world champion sailor Taylor Canfield as team driver.
“By bringing together this remarkable group to acquire the United States SailGP Team, we have reached an important milestone in the growth of our sport,” said Ryan. “As sailors, we love this sport and want to introduce it to millions; as entrepreneurs, we recognise the potential and growth trajectory of SailGP and how our US SailGP Team can introduce the future of on-water racing at the highest level.
“Our incredible ownership group is a testament to the growth and expansion of SailGP into the mainstream.”
The next race in the championship will the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas from December 9-10.