Despite the failure to secure the 3rd place podium at the final SailGP event in Marseille, Dylan Fletcher is confident that SailGP Great Britain can join the top table in season two.
“It has been such a challenging year for our team and I am super proud despite today’s result. We are naturally gutted not to have secured the 3rd place podium that was within our grasp but I have loved every minute of the SailGP championship and we have grown so much as a team.”
After starting the inaguaral SailGP season with a win and two second places in San Francisco the British team looked set for quick progress.
But, it was hero to zero in New York where they became the first SailGP team to capsize, finishing bottom of the leaderboard.
And then at their home event in Cowes a heavy landing in the first race caused sufficient damage to sideline them again.
At the final in Marsallis, with the million doller final out of reach, they had hoped to claim the third podium place as a consolation prize.
But Phil Robertson and the SailGP China team had other ideas, and taking a first race win they also took the final podium place.
All eyes now turn to 2020 and planning for the second SailGP season which will start in Sydney, Australia on 28/29 February 2020.
The team have an action packed calendar already set out for the winter months, focusing on training, fitness, team building and simulator sessions alongside the commercial objective of securing partners for season 2.
And the clock is ticking. If SailGP initially talked about a guarantee for five years, that no longer appears to be the case:
“The pressure is on for the teams to find commercial partners quickly. It’s more than a goal; it’s something that is going to be a requirement. Those who can’t find the finding will disappear.” confirmed Julien Di Biase, chief operating officer in the SailGP.
It will not be forgotten that Fletcher and Stu (Bithell) are waiting to hear if they have won selection for theTeam GB 49er spot at Tokyo 2020, when the first announcements are made on Tuesday 1 October.
Great Britain SailGP are:
Neil Hunter, Grinder; Matt Gotrel, Grinder; Dylan Fletcher, Skipper/Helmsman; Chris Draper CEO and Wing Trimmer; Stu Bithell, Flight Controller; Richard Mason, Grinder.