SailGP: British penalised after huge blow with Japan

SailGP: British penalised after huge blow with Japan

Dec 17, 2021

The collision between Great Britain and Japan before the start of the racing in the Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney Presented by KPMG, caused them six points of penalty. 

Both teams were out of the race and it is probable they will be out for the remainder of the event as well. Further investigation will be held in order to determine whether it is possible to deal with the damage in time for Race Day 2. Great Britain, driven by Sir Ben Ainslie, is now seventh in the ranking. 

Heading into the third and final fleet race of the day the British team did not see Japan on their inside during the pre-start, and crashed heavily ripping the bow off the starboard side of the Japanese boat. All the crew onboard were reported safe, but the damage sustained was very serious. 


Spain SailGP sits atop

The Spain SailGP Team has enjoyed a great opening day and sits on the top of the leaderboard following great racing on the Sydney Harbour. Phil Robertson’s team has been consistent throughout the day, finishing racing five points clear to Australia SailGP Team who is in second and United States that is in third place. 

The Aussie team driven by Tom Slingsby expected to lead the event in home waters, but they still delivered a strong performance during the last race of the day, rising to the second spot of the rankings and allowing them a possibility to win the winner-takes-all Final on Saturday. 

Spain won one of the tightest races this season, displaying a dominating performance until the very end. The British team had caught up with Spain and thought they had won the race, but photos prove Phil Robertson’s team did enough to win it. 

Spain’s form continued for the second race of the day, finishing second behind Japan. Nathan Outteridge’s team hoped for another victory in race 3, but this hope crashed together with their catamaran before race three, as Great Britain collided with Japan’s F50 and caused serious damage. 


Some disappointments

The New Zealand SailGP Team will have to do everything possible on day two of the Australia Sail Grand Prix after their disappointing performance on Sydney Harbour today. Overall, the kiwis finished fifth, eighth and fifth in today’s three fleet races, ending in sixth position. 

“Today’s results were certainly disappointing. We found ourselves right in the mix in all three races but we didn’t quite manage to execute at critical times and ended up going back in the fleet.” -Blair Tuke, wing trimmer

France was also penalised two points and sits last in the leaderboard while Japan and New Zealand have moved upwards and surpassed Britain after their infraction. Britain who started the season in first place and as one of the favourite teams sits in seventh position while Denmark is in fourth, only two points away from the top three. 

“We’ve shown that we have a pretty high bottom level, which is important. We didn’t actually sail that well today, but we are still pushing hard and in with a chance.” -Nicolai Sehested, Denmark SailGP Team driver. 


Stronger winds for Race Day 2

Race Day 2 is predicted to have a bigger breeze set to fill in across the race course. This will prove to be tricky as there are not many chances for teams to train in heavy wind conditions. 

Denmark has a chance to earn a podium point and will be trying their best on Saturday, but with victory in mind, all teams will be delivering their top performances in the winner-takes-all Final in Sydney Harbour. 


Images from SailGP.

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