Jimmy Spithill’s United States upset the odds with a storming Final race to take the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cadiz
After a dramatic first day of action there were two more races, and a Final race to decide the Spain Sail Grand Prix
The final day saw two very short low-rider races, dominated by Nicolai Sehested and the Rockwool Denmark team, who had perfected their single hull set-up, looking like the team to beat in the three-boat final between the Danes, Australia and the USA.
And from the start it looked like Nicolai Sehested was going to walk away with event . . . crossing the start line with a 50 metre lead over Tom Slingsby’s Australia and Jimmy Spithill’s USA who had a penalty.
But after the first mark the Danes lost the wind and it was Spithill, who had tacked away early to stay on the foils, who sailed away building a 200 metre lead.
Then stretching it to over 900 metres, while Denmark and Australia match-raced – on and off the foils – for second place.
Spithill crossed the line first, with a 2min 28sec lead ahead of Sehested, with Slingsby in third.
A remarkable comeback for the USA, who jump into third place behind Australia on the Season 4 Championship, and ROCKWOOL Denmark now in second.
Ben Ainslie and Emirates GBR finished the event in eighth place and are fifth on the championship leaderboard.
The two final fleet races:
Race 4 – It was all about low-riding with just the occasional bit of foiling. Nicolai Sehested and Denmark perfected their single hull set-up, and led from start to finish of a very shortened course. Peter Burling brought the kiwi team home in second and Jimmy Spithill and the USA took third.
Race 5 and the battle for the final places was on – Denmark showed their single hull technique again to take another win. Second were USA to grab the third final spot, and Slingsby confirmed the Aussie place in the final with a third.
This qualified Denmark, Australia and the USA for the Final Race.
Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cadiz
1st United States 10 points
2nd ROCKWOOL Denmark 9 points
3rd Australia 8 points
4th New Zealand // 7 points
5th Canada // 6 points
6th Spain // 5 points
7th France // 4 points
8th Emirates GBR // 3 points
9th/ Germany // 2 points
10th Switzerland // 1 point
SailGP Season 4 Championship Leaderboard after Cadiz
1st Australia Tom Slingsby 43 pts
2nd ROCKWOOL DEN Nicolai Sehested 36 pts
3rd United States Jimmy Spithill 32 pts
4th Spain Diego Botin 32 pts
5th Emirates GBR Ben Ainslie 32 pts
6th New Zealand Peter Burling 30 pts
7th Canada Phil Robertson 24 pts
8th France Quentin Delapierre 24 pts
9th Switzerland Sébastien Schneiter 11 pts
10th Germany Erik Heil 8 pts
Rounds 6 and 7 scheduled for Dubai and Abu Dahbi in the United Arab Emirates.