CHICAGO – Some call it Formula 1 racing on the water, and now the countdown is on for it to make waves on Lake Michigan next month!

SailGP, the global professional sailing league, will hold its first freshwater championship, the United States Sail Grand Prix at Navy Pier June 18-19.

“We get to show the world what Chicago looks like from a different vantage point. And when you see the boats across our skyline, it’s almost like they fit in, and they’re meant to be there.” said Kara Bachman, Executive Director for Chicago Sports Commission. “It’s really incredible and I think it draws people to our city even more because they don’t always understand how expansive our lakefront is.”

Ten national teams from around the world will race identical F50 catamaran race boats through a water course on the lake.

The teams will represent the United States, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Spain, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Switzerland.

The 50-foot hydrofoiling boats can hit speeds over 60 miles per hour. SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts , said speed is one of the big differences fans will notice between Sail GP and the America’s Cup Chicago hosted in 2016. “The boats are much faster… 3-4 times faster when they’re traveling into the wind and are approximately twice as fast going with the wind. So, the racing …moves a lot faster. More action.”  

SailGP opens Season 3 this weekend in Bermuda, with the U.S. Sail Grand Prix Chicago at Navy Pier being the second of ten events on the calendar for the season.  

Chicago has a two-year hosting agreement but hopes to continue being a race venue beyond 2023.

Fans can watch the races from the shoreline, on spectator boats, or from the race village that will be set up at Navy Pier.

Tickets are available now and can be purchased at sailgp.com.