Conditions boardered on extreme at the European debut of SailGP at Cowes Week, where Australia’s Tom Slingsby proved once again that he is the one to beat in the league’s first season.
The Australia SailGP Team dominated the field with a sweep of the three races while becoming the first crew to break the 50-knot speed barrier in sail racing.
The first race showed what was in store for the teams, with Rome Kirby’s U.S SailGP Team capsizing in the first bear-away and Dylan Fletcher and the British team taking a violent nose dive, resulting in boat damage that prevented them from any further racing.
Due to the extreme weather conditions on Saturday, racing was reduced to three fleet races on Sunday, with the conditions still on the edge of the class limits.
After the USA capsize they did well to recover and were able to complete the other two races. In fact Kirby’s American team was able to climb the leaderboard for third place overall after fourth and fifth finishes.
The Japanese team of Nathan Outteridge started the day as overall leaders, but Australia’s Tom Slingsby was not to be denied in these conditions.
Japan suffered a crash down from the foils in race one breaking one of its grinding pedestals, drastically hampering their trimming ability and Outteridge was fortunate to limit their loss to five points.
Teaming up with Aussie Slingsby for a training session paid off for Billy Besson and the French squad, which had its highest score yet, finishing second in the last race of the day, ahead of Japan and the United States.
Phil Robertson of the China SailGP Team also had his best finish yet on the Cowes racecourse, with a 3, 2, 4, scoreline and taking third overall placing at Cowes.
In the Series overall Australia take a 4 point lead ahead of Japan. In third are the United States, 3 points ahead of Great Britain, with China in fifth and France sixth.
SailGP’s final stop for Season 1 is in Marseille (20 – 23 September) with three full days of competition planned and an ultimate winner-takes-all match race for the SailGP championship trophy and $1 million purse.
Cowes Race Day highlights – Moments You Missed . . . These Cats Bite
Cowes SailGP Results
1 // Australia // 30pts
2 // Japan // 25pts
3 // China // 24pts
4 // France // 22pts
5 // United States // 18pts
6 // Great Britain // 14pts
Season 1 Leaderboard (after four events)
1 // Australia // 169 pts
2 // Japan // 165 pts
3 // United States // 123 pts
4 // Great Britain // 120 pts
5 // China // 117 pts
6 // France // 115 pts