SINGAPORE – January 14, 2022 – Against the spectacular backdrop of the Singapore skyline SailGP made its regional debut in front of packed shorelines at East Coast Park. Season 3 championship leaders Australia ended the first day of action in first place, after finishing second in both races. Peter Burling’s New Zealand won the day’s first race while the United States led by Jimmy Spithill prevailed in the second.
In light wind conditions the nine F50s raced with the 29-meter wing and four athletes instead of the usual six onboard, and only competed in two fleet races. After a challenging day of racing Sir Ben Ainslie and the Great Britain SailGP Team and Phil Robertson’s Canada team sit in joint second place four points behind the Australians.
Burling was left rueing a four-point penalty his team picked up in practice for making contact with the United States, which dropped him from outright second to sixth in the rankings. Spithill also would have been higher in the overall standings had his team not started prematurely and picked up a penalty which saw it drop from first place to eighth in race one.
Consistency paid off for the Australia team – overall season leaders – who appeared to have mastered the conditions that traditionally had been a weakness for the team earlier in the season.
Slingsby said: “I definitely don’t think I’m a light wind specialist, but we did do really well today, we had two good starts. There’s room to improve tomorrow – we still made plenty of mistakes out there and coughed up a couple of positions – at times but we’re really happy that the day was a good one.”
It was a return to form for Canada after some indifferent recent results and driver Robertson said the team was pleased to be well in the running for tomorrow.
Robertson said: “It’s not easy out there but everyone is sailing in the same conditions so you’ve just got to beat them in what you get. The sailors we’ve got are quite adaptable and you’ve got to learn how to adapt, so it was a good day for us.”
Still chasing his first event win of the season in SailGP, Ainslie said his Great Britain team was feeling good about sitting so close to the top of the standings after the first day.
Ainslie said: “It was a really tough day, hot and not much wind but it is just as challenging as when we go fast if not more challenging. It’s just as intense in many ways but the team did a good job. It is great to have Hannah Mills back on board the boat. She certainly contributed a lot in this light stuff, trying to find the best wind and work our way around the course.”
Elsewhere in the field Denmark finds itself just one point out of the top three after a consistent day of racing, while Switzerland and Spain have work to do after not managing to finish above sixth in either race. Quentin Delapierre’s France looked a far cry from its recent good form to finish the day in joint last place.
Day Two of racing starts at 2.00 p.m. local time and is live on beIN Sports and SPOTV across the region. Fans around the globe can watch from wherever they are at SailGP.com/watch. Very limited tickets are still available for Sunday in the SailGP Beach Club – a new SailGP ticketing offer in Singapore – and the Event Village, head to SailGP.com for more information.
SINGAPORE SAIL GRAND PRIX DAY TWO //
Day Two Racing (incl. Event Final): Sunday January 15, 2.00 p.m. – 3.30 p.m. Singapore
SINGAPORE SAIL GRAND PRIX // DAY ONE STANDINGS (after 2 races)
1 // Australia / 18 points
2 // Great Britain // 14 points
3 // Canada // 14 points
4 // United States // 13 points
5 // Denmark // 13 points
6 // New Zealand // 12 points*
7 // Switzerland // 8 points
8 // Spain // 6 points
9 // France // 6 points
*New Zealand picked up 4 event penalty points for contact with the United States in practice
SAILGP SEASON 3 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after seven events) //
1 // Australia // 60 points
2 // New Zealand // 51 points
3 // France // 50 points
4 // Great Britain // 48 points
5 // Denmark // 42 points
6 // Canada // 40 points
7 // United States // 39 points
8 // Spain // 22 points
9 // Switzerland // 16 points
*United States penalized 4 season points
*Switzerland penalized 2 season points
*New Zealand penalized 2 season points