The Australia SailGP Team has already booked their place in the Season 2 Grand Final with an event to spare after winning the Sail Grand Prix in Sydney.
Tom Slingsby’s team has delivered under the pressure and surpassed Spain and the United States in the three-team Final on Sydney Harbour. They have claimed their fourth event victory this season and with 55 points they’ve guaranteed their spot on the Championship decider in San Francisco.
The USA, Driven by Jimmy Spithill, has also qualified for the Grand Final as they finished second in Australia and will be competing in the final race of the championship.
Despite their collision with Great Britain, Japan still holds a strong position to qualify as third team in the season finale. The team could compete in Day 2 and they claimed the opening win on Sydney Harbour.
During the fleet race, Nathan Outteridge’s team catched up with the kiwi team, who were dominating the race, and pushed them close until the finish line. Even though Peter Burling’s team crossed the finish line first, they received a penalty, meaning Japan was crowned in the official rankings.
In the following fleet race Japan was once again at the top, finishing first. However, despite their efforts, the USA and Spain sneaked into the Final by just a single point.
The Final was one-sided in the waters of Sydney Harbour as the Aussie team dominated the competition, gaining an early lead and sticking to it until the very end. In second place, the United States earned 9 points followed by Spain with 8.
Last and out of competition in Sydney was Great Britain. After their collision with Team Japan on Day 1, the Japan SailGP Team was unable to compete in their F50, meaning the Great Britain SailGP Team was withdrawn from racing under the contact and damage policy rule. The British team offered Japan their F50 and any support to enable the Japanese team to sail.
“Everyone was ok which is the most important thing, but sadly it probably means the end of our season as we receive hefty penalty points for the damage caused. It will also impact Japan, which is not what we want, and as is only correct we are giving them our F50 and any support they need to hopefully get them back out racing tomorrow.” -Sir Ben Ainslie
The standings of SailGP Season 2 are:
Competition will now take a small Christmas break before resuming the action for the United States Sail Grand Prix that will be contested from the 26th to the 27th of March. There, we will find out who will become the third and final contender for the Grand Final of SailGP Season 2.