Quentin Delapierre’s France overcame volatile wind conditions to pick up three consecutive race wins on the first day of chaotic racing on Sydney Harbour.
The dramatic first day of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix was plagued by technical issues, near capsizes, messy maneuvers and even an Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team crew member falling overboard during the first fleet race.
Emirates Team GBR grinder Matt Gotrel fell through the fairing of the foiling F50 catamaran as the team approached the finish line in the lead, while traveling at speeds of 50 km/h.
Gotrel remained attached to the F50 via his safety line and was quickly pulled back on board by his teammates with no injuries reported.
The team went on to finish the race in sixth place and posted a 6-6-2 across the first day, to finish in fourth overall.
Top team of the day were the French who rose to the challenge of gusty 50 km/h wind conditions to dominate fleet racing.
Jimmy Spithill’s United States kept their San Francisco hopes alive by picking up three second place finishes to be second overall.
Home favorites Australia meanwhile was plagued by technical issues, but still managed a respectable racing record of 3-4-6 to finish third after three fleet races.
Day 2 Racing on Sunday, 19 February has been cancelled due to storm damage to the Technical site and several F50 hulls and wings