Spain has made history in Los Angeles, beating Season 3 champions Australia and ROCKWOOL Denmark to claim its first ever event win.
Diego Botin’s young crew overcame light wind conditions by minimizing maneuvers and sailing the shortest distance to trounce ROCKWOOL Denmark and Australia in front of sell-out shoreside crowds.
In the Final ROCKWOOL Denmark made the best start off the line, but it was Spain which popped up on the foils first to secure the all-important inside angle to Mark 1. “We managed to position our boat the best in the start and, after that, we managed to stay there,” Botin explained.
“We got in a big lull at the end of the last downwind, and the Danish and Aussies were coming foiling from behind with the gust,” Botin recalled. “There was some tension there because if they’d managed to foil all the way through then they would have passed us.”
However, Botin said his team ‘just focus on staying in the pressure’ and managed ‘to stay ahead.’
Elsewhere, it was a devastating day for Ben Ainslie’s Emirates GBR.
After finishing the first day tied in second place with ROCKWOOL Denmark, they could only manage 9th and 8th place finishes to crash out of the event in 6th place.
The Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix win came after Spain scraped into the Final with a one-point margin over Canada – that means the team managed to convert its first Final into a first event win in four seasons.
Spain came into Race Day 2 in fourth overall and kicked the day off with a bang – winning the fourth fleet race by shutting out Season 3 champions Australia.
Despite picking up two penalties for infringing France while Canada threatened their spot in the Final, Spain managed to recover two positions in the nick of time – scraping into the three-boat, shootout Final by just one-point.
Home favorites the United States had an improved showing, picking up a second place finish in the final fleet race to finish fifth overall.
The Championship standings see Australia move into the top spot with 17 points – but with only a one point margin ahead of Spain and ROCKWOOL Denmark.
Emirates GBR are now in sixth place after two events, five points off the leading group.
Season 4 SailGP Positions After Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix