Australia SailGP Team has had “kick up the ass” they need for first-ever Canada event

HALIFAX, CANADA – 1 June 2024 – Tom Slingsby says he and his Australian crew are ‘in the hunter position’, with the pressure on for them to deliver a winning performance and close the gap between them and their New Zealand rivals at this weekend’s first-ever ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix in Halifax.

Fans can expect electrifying racing as the 10-strong F50 fleet battles it out metres away from the Halifax and Dartmouth shorelines for the 11th event of SailGP Season 4.

Australia SailGP Team Driver and CEO Tom Slingsby and his crew are more hungry than ever to regain their number one position on top of the leaderboard, where the New Zealand ‘Black Foils’ are currently in the lead by 12 points.

Speaking at the Driver Press Conference, Slingsby said: “We understand that New Zealand are the top team at the moment, they have won the most events this season and are the most consistent. We need to improve and it’s given us a kick up the ass to pull our finger out and close that gap in the results to get in the final.”

We have had the on-top feeling going into events and winning and we know what we can do. The Kiwis are the top team at the moment and for the first time it makes it feel like we are the hunters in SailGP, and we are loving being in this position,” Slingsby added.

Slingsby was asked for his view on the USA Team’s dramatic capsize at the recent Apex Bermuda Sail Grand Prix, which saw the team sustain major damage to the F50, but with no penalty points incurred. 

The issue is a contentious one with Slingsby, given the Australians suffered a huge eight-point season penalty after its own on-water incident in Christchurch, where the Flying Roo crew crashed into a course marker.

“I was surprised. We were deemed to be doing reckless sailing and through a mistake of our own, had serious damage to our boat. The USA pressed a wrong button – that’s a mistake of their own – and incurred serious damage but zero penalty points. I don’t care what the rule is as long as it’s consistent, but it hasn’t been consistent,” Slingsby said. 

Slingsby also confirmed that the Australia Team has secured a seat in SailGP Season 5, amid pressure on the remaining 5 SailGP owned teams to secure ownership or investment, or risk being dropped from the league.

While Slingsby remained tight lipped on the subject, he hinted: “It’s true, but we can’t tell you any more than that right now. There will be an announcement soon and I can say that it’s exciting for SailGP and sailing, and I think everyone will be pretty shocked and really impressed with what we managed to do.”

Official racing will commence on Sunday 2 June at 5:00 am in Australia live on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports. 

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