Team Japan SailGP under Aussie skipper Nathan Outteridge lead Tom Slingsby’s Australia SailGP team after three races on first day of the Sydney SailGP event.
In third place overall are the Great Britain SailGP Team with Dylan Fletcher on the helm.
Outteridge took the first race of this all new event, leading China SailGP Team of Phil Robertson through the finish in light ENE winds. In third place was Ftetcher’s Great Britain SailGP Team, recovering from a poor start.
Race 2 saw Slingsby, at the helm of Team Australia, to take his first SailGP win ahead of Outteridge’s Team Japan, with the United States SailGP Team of Rome Kirby in third.
Outteridge made a huge comeback from an OCS at the start of race 2, closing right up on the rival Australian skipper, but not able to get in front of Slingsby who was controlling the situation from the front.
The Great Britain Team took fourth place.
In the third and final race of the day, Slingsby’s Australia SailGP led the F50 fleet from the outset, with fellow Aussie skipper Nathan Outteridge at the helm of Japan SailGP in second.
France SailGP Team of Billy Besson took third in this final race, their best finish of the day.
Dylan Fletcher and the Great Britain Team were fourth and claimed third overall to round off a good opening day series, five points off the two leaders.
The rivalry between the six national teams was strong but at the top of the fleet the fight between the Australian and Japanese team was heating up.
“It’s out of Nathan’s hands; if we perform we’ll beat him,” said Slingsby, who finished the day on 27 points.
Outteridge shot back with, “The Australians are easily beatable – they beat us today because we made mistakes.”
Racing continues on Saturday February 16 before the championship moves to Event 2, in San Francisco.
Sydney SailGP: Overall standings after 3 races, Day 1
1st Japan SailGP Team – Nathan Outteridge (1,2,2) – – 28pts
2nd Australia SailGP Team – Tom Slingsby (4,1,1) – – 27pts
3rd Great Britain SailGP Team – Dylan Fletcher Scott (3,4,4) – – 22pts
4th United States SailGP Team – Rome Kirby (5,3,5) – – 20pts
5th France SailGP Team – Billy Besson (6,5,3) – – 19pts
6th China SailGP Team – Phil Robertson (2,6,6) – – 19pts