SailGP Bermuda Update 3 | Saturday May 14: Canadian consistency sees newcomers top leaderboard on first day
Brits win two races but newcomers Canada SailGP Team are the surprise leaders of the Bermuda SailGP event after three tricky races in shifting 10-12 knot breezes out on the island’s Great Sound
Racing at their first ever SailGP event as a crew, the newly launched Canadian team led by experienced New Zealand Phil Robertson backed by renowned wing trimmer Chris Draper (GBR) turned in a consistent 2,1,5 score line to top the standings in the nine boat fleet.
Ben Ainslie’s British team had clearly sorted their apparent starting issues from the two previous days of practice racing to win the first and last races, despite tumbling from first to sixth in the second race after a disastrous second leeward gate rounding.
Regatta and season favourites (based on back to back Season 1 and 2 wins as well as their strong performance in the practice racing) – Tom Slingsby’s Australia – were not able to live up their billing after struggling with their starting and missing a couple of wind shifts.
However, despite languishing near the back of the fleet at some point in all three races, Slingsby’s crew kept their nerve and managed to claw their way back to a 4,5,3 score line that sees them sit in third place overall tonight.
Outside the podium positions, Quentin Delapierre’s French all-French team sit in fourth tonight after recovering from a dreadful start in the first race which saw them struggle home in ninth, too clock up consecutive second places in race two and three.
Jimmy Spithill’s United States crew are in fifth, Nicolai Sehested’s Denmark in sixth, Peter Burling’s New Zealanders in seventh, Jordi Xammar’s Spanish in eighth, and Sebastien Schneiter’s newcomer Swiss team in ninth.
Ainslie ran away with race one after nailing the heavily favoured pin end of the line to lead around the turning mark and immediately carve into a gybe that saw them close to laying in to the leeward gate.
Second placed Canada also gybes early and were able to round the right mark (looking upwind) in second place after Ainslie. On the first upwind the Brits continued to lead while the Canadians lost out to Jordi Xammar’s hard charging all-Spanish crew.
At the windward gate the British on port narrowly crossed the Spanish flying in on starboard.
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