The Great Britain SailGP Team return to top three of the Season 3 Leaderboard.
Ben Ainslie took the British team back into the leading group at the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix at Saint-Tropez, following a difficult weekend for the event and for Ainslie’s team.
Overall on the Season 3 Championship Leaderboard, Australia lead with 42 points, second are New Zealand with 41 points and third Great Britian on 34 points.
Day 1 was sailed in full-on wind and difficult sea conditions, with the speed record for the F50 multihulls being broken, firstly by the British team and then a new record of 99.94 Km/hr (53.96 kts) set by Quentin Delapierre and the France SailGP team.
A second place for Ainslie in the first race was tempered by gear failure in the second.
After some quick repair work by the shore team they were able to take part in the third race, finishing fourth and holding fifth overall for the day.
Ainslie said of the day . . . “You could say we were unlucky today but in high-performance sport you have to make your own luck and that is what we have to do tomorrow. We are sailing well, and we need to do that again to secure our place into that final three sail off.”
Day 2 was a complete change of conditions and the F50 fleet raced with the big, 29 metre tall wing for what was scheduled to be three fleet races before the Final winner-takes-all race decider.
The first race R4, was mostly a non-foiling race, shortened at gate 4 with the Brits claiming third behind the USA.
Race 5 was started in similar low wind conditions but abandoned at gate 4 after the leading team, Canada, just failed to finish within the 14 minute race time. The British team were second at that point.
The newly introduced race 6 was then cancelled and the course for the Final Race for the three leading teams was moved to a better (ish) area of breeze.
But despite the move it was still a foiling/non-foiling lottery with victory going to the Jimmy Spithill and the United States SailGP Team, their first ever SailGP event victory.
New Zealand were second and Great Britain third in the three-team winner-takes-all Final.
SailGP Season 3 resumes in Cadiz, Spain for the final event of the European leg on 24-25 September 2022.