Tom Slingsby and the Australia Team couldn’t hide their disappointment after suffering a dismal first race day of the Dubai Sail Grand Prix on Port Rashid, Tom Slingsby confessing, “We had a shocker.”
The race course, described by SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts as “one of the tightest race courses we have ever had,” and extremely light air conditions wreaked havoc for Slingsby’s Australian side who finished the day with an 8-8-4 racing record.
“We managed to get an ok finish in the third race but we just didn’t get off the line well and had a few questionable calls from the ref,” Slingsby said.
“Yesterday in the practice racing we started like champions and today we started terribly. It was a really tough day and it’s one of those things where sometimes you are firing and sometimes you’re not. We will look back at the footage and look at the fundamental mistakes we made”, he added.
Slingsby also joked about his obvious frustration during racing saying, “Hopefully no one listens to my onboard comms as you’ll need some censorship there.”
Great Britain finished at the top of the leaderboard after the first day of racing in Dubai finishing with 25 points, with New Zealand and The United States in equal second place on 20 points. The Australians may be trailing behind in eighth place on 13 points, but as proven at previous events, like the Aussies comeback in Chicago, anything can happen on the final race day of SailGP.
More breeze is expected for tomorrow in Dubai with winds in the 12 to 20 knot range on the forecast – a prediction which comes as good news for the Aussies who excel in gusty conditions. Three more fleet races are on the slate followed by the all-important final three-way shoot-out between the podium teams.
Racing takes place between 22:00-23:30 AEDT tonight. Australian fans can tune in live on Fox Sports and on Kayo in Australia to watch the racing. Kayo is offering fans free access to both the live and replay racing, via its Kayo Freebies offer.