Team Australia SailGP has won the SailGP Championships, beating the United States and Japan in the Grand Final of San Francisco.
"We can call ourselves the best sailors in the world. That is more important than money. Glory lasts forever, and it really feels like that." -Tom Slingsby, driver of Australia Team SailGP.
The final crazy weekend of Season 2 of SailGP came to a conclusion with Australia’s victory on their second successive Championship title. They fought in the winner-takes-all Grand Final against the United States and Japan.
After winning the Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix as well, Tom Slingsby’s team overcame tough conditions to win the final race and ensure being the only team yet to have lifted the Championship trophy. This is the second consecutive year that Australia wins the SailGP Championship on the incident-filled day in San Francisco.
The day was filled with action as the Bay saw collisions between France and New Zealand as well as between Spain and the USA. Also, two races were abandoned and restarted, including the Grand Final itself as a whale entered the racecourse. However once the race began, the Aussies proved their talent once more, overcoming Jimmy Spithill and Nathan Outteridge’s teams.
“We’ve never really seen this calibre of fleet anywhere in the world. You always talk about, ‘Who is the best sailor around the world?’, but to be here with all even boats makes it huge for me that Australia came out on top.” -Tom Slingsby
The New Zealand SailGP Team has taken the podium for the planet with its Race for the Future partner, Live Ocean. Great Britain takes second place with STEM Crew, and Australia third with Parley.
New Zealand has been awarded the most points in the Impact League of Season 2. They have collected $100,000 for Live Ocean’s marine conservation work after achieving a final score of 1246.
This is a first in sport, as athletes and teams have been rewarded for their positive environmental and sustainable actions at the same time as the main sailing championship. The Impact League launched in July and it measures the team’s efforts in travel, tech and innovation, single-use plastic and using their voice for change.
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Although they lost in the Final race, it is incredible that the United States SailGP Team had the endurance to even race at all after suffering serious hull damage when the Spanish team crashed into their boat during the opening race of the day.
However, although there was fast repair work, ensuring they could race, fans cheered on from the shore and Spithill’s team managed a third place in the final.
Now all teams will be taking a break, and the Australian team can celebrate their success shortly before getting ready to defend their title again. Season 3 starts in the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix on 14-15 May.