This weekend the SailGP League will visit Sydney for the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix.
The KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney kicks off on Saturday, with six fleet races and the winner-takes-all Final scheduled across two days of racing.
Australia has a comfortable nine-point lead at the top of the leaderboard while the Kiwis have a five-point cushion ahead of Emirates Team GBR.
Ben Ainslie will be driving the newly branded Emirates Team GBR F50 and hoping to put on a winning show for sponsors Emirates Airline , who recently announced a three-year sponsorship deal.
Currently in third, the British team has 54 points – just one point ahead France in fourth and a three points ahead of Denmark in fifth. With such a congested mid-fleet scoreboard, the race for third is one to watch in Sydney.
Tom Slingsby’s Aussie team have a great track record on home waters, but Ainslie has previously won in Sydney and now would be good time to add to his scoreline.
A shake-up for the Spanish team with their former flight controller Diego Botin taking over the driver role for the first time in Sydney.
Botin is set to work closely with wing trimmer Florian Trittel, while Joel Rodriguez – previously a grinder – will take over the flight control position.
Botin took to the water as driver for the first time on Thursday for crucial training time on Sydney Harbour – an experience he described as ‘challenging’.
The Kiwis’ F50 is out of action for this event following a lightning strike in Singapore and is currently being repaired in New Zealand.
In the meantime, the Canadian team has received a brand new F50 while their previous boat will be used by the Kiwis.
Despite the F50s being one-design, athletes have previously spoken about how each boat feels slightly different. We shall see if this will benefit or hamper the performance of Canada and New Zealand.
Racing will take place in Sydney on Saturday 18 February and Sunday 19 February from 05:00 GMT.
Sydney’s forecast is for pretty spicy wind conditions on Saturday – between 30-40 km/h so the nine F50s will really be flying around the racecourse.