Home team struggles and Australia soars in Chicago

CHICAGO – June 16, 2023 – There was no Season 3 Championship party hangover for Tom Slingsby and the Australia SailGP Team as they claimed opening day honors in Chicago. At the Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix at Navy Pier it was a familiar sight as the Aussies were joined at the top of the standings by last season’s runners-up New Zealand.

The Canada SailGP Team shrugged off recent uncertainty over its future to finish the day in third place after a win in race two for Phil Robertson.

Australia prevailed in the day’s other two races with only an uncharacteristic fifth place in race two – due to a pre-start error by Slingsby – keeping it within reach of the fleet. The Australians will be tough to remove from the event final placings tomorrow.

Slingsby said: “We had a great day. We sailed really well, it was beautiful today. The wind was blowing perfectly in line with the shore. It is an exciting start line where you have to decide if you start from inside or outside. I loved the race track.”

Burling was similarly pleased with how his team had opened its season. Burling said: “It was an awesome day out there – really pleasing for us as a team. We sailed the boat really consistently on a challenging course, tried out a few different things and I think we saw that pay off in the results.”

It was a day to forget for Jimmy Spithill and the United States SailGP Team, as it finished ninth and tenth in the day’s first two races to sit in ninth at the end of day one.

Spithill was disappointed to have not given home fans more of a show from his team. Spithill said: “The conditions were great, it was a fun racetrack and good to see the crowds out. It was a really difficult day for us, for sure it was frustrating. But that’s sport. You’ve just got to keep going back, we’ve got to take the lessons from it, come out and try and get a few good ones. I think this wind direction is awesome for this racecourse.”

In its first ever race day Germany led by Erik Heil put in a solid performance to sit in eighth place. Heil said he was proud of the team’s efforts: “It was cool, it was busy out there, there was a lot going on but we feel good we have a chance of a top five finish at this event which is excellent, we were competitive today.”

Impact League champions ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team led by Nicolai Sehested finished no lower than fifth place to end the day in fourth, while it was a difficult day for last season’s top contenders with Emirates Great Britain and France ending up in fifth and sixth.

Spain enjoyed a solid fourth placing in the final race of the day to sit seventh overall, while Switzerland ended the day in last place.

Day two of racing starts at 4.00 p.m. local time and is available to watch on YouTube and CBS Sports in the United States. Fans around the globe can watch from wherever they are at SailGP.com/watch.

ROLEX UNITED STATES SAIL GRAND PRIX | CHICAGO, NAVY PIER //
Day Two Racing: Saturday, June 17, 4-5.30 p.m. Central Daylight Time

ROLEX UNITED STATES SAIL GRAND PRIX | CHICAGO AT NAVY PIER // DAY ONE STANDINGS (after 3 races)
1 // Australia // 26 points
2 // New Zealand // 25 points
3 // Canada // 24 points
4 // ROCKWOOL Denmark // 21 points
5 // Emirates GBR // 16 points
6 // France // 14 points
7 // Spain // 14 points
8 // Germany // 10 points
9 // United States // 8 points
10 // Switzerland // 7 points

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