France appoints new driver after SailGP St Tropez disaster

Nautical Channel
06 Oct 2021
NEWS | Sailing

Quentin Delapierre tested himself aboard SailGP's cutting-edge F50s for the first time this Monday. The athlete placed eighth in the Nacra 17 class at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics earlier this year. 

The French sailor was appointed last month to the France SailGP Team as their new Driver, replacing Billy Besson. Team manager Bruno Dubois decided to make this change following the disappointment at the home event in Saint Tropez that saw France drop to the bottom of the Season Championship leaderboard. 

A few weeks after his arrival in SailGP, Delapierre will debut in this weekend’s Spain Sail Grand Prix. The new driver has been afforded time in the SailGP Simulator to train with his new teammates, and this past monday the 29-year-old finally got his chance on the F50. 

Related article: Find out what happened in the SailGP of Saint Tropez

High expectations for France in the Spain SailGP

During a practice session in Cadiz, Delapierre and the rest of France’s crew gained some more F50 experience. In gusty conditions and an average wind speed of 20km/h, the French boat surpassed 60km/h in an impressive display with Delapierre driving for the first time. 

“It’s part of a dream which has now come true. Now I have to keep both feet on the ground, do my job correctly and be incisive.” -Quentin Delapierre, French driver.

With three events remaining this season, France is hoping this is the right decision to push themselves upwards in the leaderboard. 

From broken leg to SailGP competitor

On other notes, United States SailGP Team Wing Trimmer Paul Campbell-James is recovering his broken leg and will be racing in Spain. 

The sailor suffered the accident 24 hours before the Denmark Sail Grand Prix as the United States SailGP Team practiced under extreme weather conditions. When the boat’s 24-meter wing sail became unbalanced, Campbell-James saved the boat from capsizing but was ejected from his cockpit, breaking his leg. 

Campbell-James has recovered at a crucial moment as the team climbs towards the overall leaderboard after claiming second place finish in Saint Tropez. 

The Spain Sail Grand Prix in Andalucia, Cadiz, kicks-off on October 9th. On Nautical Channel we are broadcasting highlights of the SailGP, find out here when we will broadcast next. 

Images from SailGP

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