Crown Princess Mary of Denmark joins Australian SailGP team

Copenhagen: Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark joined Tom Slingsby’s Australian SailGP Team in a thrilling ‘royal race’ against His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who raced on board Nicolai Sehested’s Denmark SailGP Team.

The friendly race between the two teams took place prior to the final day of racing at the Denmark event.

Crown Princess Mary stepped on board Slingsby’s Australia F50 emblazoned with a yellow kangaroo for the royal race, experiencing the power and speed of the Australia F50, known as the ‘Flying Roo’, first hand after taking the wheel during the race.

And the presence of Her Royal Highness on board paid off for the Australia team, who beat Denmark on the famed waters of Oresund in Copenhagen.

Slingsby said: “Crown Prince Frederik and I have sailed together and he is a good mate of mine. I knew he really wanted the win, but with Princess Mary on board, who was born in Australia, we just knew we had to perform and show that the Aussies can’t be beaten in a race. And we did just that.

“I started the race and then as soon as we were off, I handed the wheel over to Crown Princess Mary. She was steering the F50 at over 80kms an hour and did an amazing job, getting us to the finish 0.5 of a second ahead of the Danish team,” Slingsby added.

Unfortunately, the Australian’s performance did not follow through to the final day of racing at the Denmark event, with the Australian’s just being pipped from making the final race by the French Team.

The French secured their spot in the final race against New Zealand and Denmark, despite coming in equal points to the Australians, due to their 2nd place standing in the third fleet race to the Australian’s 4th place standing.

Slingsby commented on the events of the day saying: “We definitely feel like the target on our back is getting bigger, and it was clear during that third fleet race. We started that race in flying form and I thought we’ve got this, we can make it to the final, but we got dragged back into the pack and into a dog fight.”

“Credit to the French. they pushed us out of that final race, which I’m sure was their goal,” he added.

The New Zealand team won the final race, being crowned champions of the Denmark Sail Grand Prix, who are shaping up to be the top rivals of the Australia Team.

“The kiwis set a new level out there today and they seem to find space in their starts that others can’t. We are on a downward trend from the past two events and we do need to right the ship and stop the bleeding so to speak and get back to what we know we do well, which is sailing fast and staying out of trouble,” Slingsby said

The teams will now prepare for the next event in the SailGP global championship, taking place in St Tropez on the 10-11 September.

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