Latest News

Boatload of fun for veterans with SailGP’s Spithill

On Friday, 15 current and former serving veterans gathered on Sydney harbour for a behind-the-scenes tour of the USA SailGP F50 race boat, hosted by Invictus Australia Ambassador and United States SailGP Team CEO and Driver James ‘Jimmy’ Spithill.

Spithill’s connection with Invictus Australia and the military runs as far back as the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 when he was an Ambassador for Sailing for the Games. Spithill’s brother, Tom, also helped coach the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 sailing competitors at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney and continues to support veteran sailing programs.

Following Spithill and the American team’s final practice ahead of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney last weekend, the group of veterans were able to watch as the F50 race boat was craned from the harbour, before being washed down and stored away at the SailGP technical base.

SailGP Invictus Australia Tour

In its third season, SailGP is a global racing league with nine national teams racing at iconic locations around the world. The teams from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. race on identical 50-foot catamarans that fly over the water, at times hitting speeds of almost 100 km/hr.

Current and former veterans flocked from Newcastle, Canberra and Nowra to take part in this opportunity.

Spithill said, “It was fantastic to show them around the Tech Site during the Sydney event, seeing so many old friends and meeting new friends.”

Spithill gave members an in-depth look at the F50, which has a crew of six athletes on board, as well as showcasing the physical demands and technical requirements to compete at the highest level.

According to one participant, “The meet and greet with Jimmy Spithill was excellent, as was the tour of the facilities, well worth the 6+ hours drive up and back from Canberra, I’d do it again tomorrow. Thank you so much for considering me for the opportunity.”

Invictus Australia Regional Veteran Engagement Manager, Jye Martyn was amazed by the tour and boats.

“For Jimmy to invite us along last-minute, to share so many details and show us the inner workings of the F50 was just above and beyond,” Martyn commented.

“The whole experience was super engaging and to have a group of local sailors who were so heavily invested and interested in the boat, how it sails and Jimmy’s story, was a great outcome,” he continued.

“Being able to offer opportunities like this and to engage and connect with our network in unique ways through sport, and with through the generosity of our stakeholders, is vital in delivering recovery services in the region.”

“We can’t thank Jimmy and the team enough for the incredible experience,” he concluded.

Spithill said the honor was all his to host the group. He recalled the impact the veterans had on him back in 2018.

“I became an Invictus Games ambassador when the event was held in Sydney 2018, and when my brother and sister were also involved in running the event and training with the teams.

“It had a huge impact on us getting to meet and work with these amazing servicemen and women and their families. It still is one of the highlights of my career, and led to being involved in other Veteran Sailing programs-along with Invictus.

“We remain hugely in debt to what they and their families sacrifice for us all, and we will never forget this.”

To find out more about SailGP or Spithill’s team, head to United States USA SailGP

If you’d like to enquire about sailing in your region, contact us through or connect with your local Facebook group for event details: