Australia tops leaderboard as Nina Curtis debuts on the flying ‘roo

Spain: Australia’s Tom Slingsby and crew have secured their spot on the top of the leaderboard, following the first day of racing at the Cadiz Sail Grand Prix, and with the largest crowds to attend a SailGP event to-date, the first ever Spain event got off to a flying start.

The Australians were able to navigate through shifty light wind conditions that many teams struggled to combat, topping the leaderboard. Jimmy Spithill’s USA team and dark horse Denmark round out the top three heading into Sunday’s two fleet races.

Slingsby commented on the results saying, “We’re stoked to come away with three consistent results, especially after coming last in St Tropez. If I were to put it down to one thing, I’d say we were starting really well, leading the pack at the start lines of two of our three races today.”

Today’s racing also marked a historic moment for SailGP as athletes from the Women’s Pathway Program raced onboard the F50s for the first time. Australian Olympic Silver Medallist, Nina Curtis demonstrated her elite ability as a sailor, seamlessly jumping into tactician and grinding roles on board the Australian’s flying F50 catamaran.

Nina Curtis in her debut SailGP event with the Aussie team – SailGP pic

Slingsby was impressed with Curtis’ debut performance, commenting, “Nina really helped us with tactics today and she helped me make better calls. We are a stronger team with her on board.”

Curtis said, “It’s pretty incredible and what a team to be able to debut with, I’m so honoured to be on board and racing with these guys. It was a big learning curve, and I managed to tick off a few weaknesses I had in the day before. Every minute I’m on these boats I’m learning something new, which is awesome.”

Slingsby and his crew will now turn their sights to race day two, which will see all eight teams compete in two fleet races, before the top three teams compete in a final podium race.

Commenting on the forecasted weather conditions Slingsby said, “we are expecting gusty winds, it’s going to be a tough day, probably plenty of carnage and we need to keep out of that trouble. Our focus is to lock in two good races so we can get to the final podium race.”

Meanwhile,

Tomorrow’s racing will air live on Fox Sports and on Kayo Sports at 1:30 am AEST. Kayo Sports are offering fans free access to both the live and replay racing, via it’s Kayo Freebies offer.

Race Day 1 Standings:

  1. Australia- 19 points
  2. United States- 18 points
  3. Denmark- 15 points
  4. Great Britain- 15 points
  5. Spain- 14 points
  6. Japan- 13 points
  7. New Zealand- 10 points
  8. France- 4 points
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