SailGP – Australia sustains major damage in dramatic collision on Lyttelton Harbour

It was a devastating day for the Aussies today in Christchurch, as Driver Tom Slingsby and the team collided with a course marker during the first fleet race, forcing them to retire from the New Zealand Sail Grand Prix altogether.

The incident occurred as Australia and Canada were approaching the boundary on Leg 2 of the race at speed. Slingsby made a split second decision to manoeuvre away to avoid a potentially catastrophic collision with the Canada Team’s F50 and crew, instead hitting the course mark, causing extensive damage to the Flying Roo.

Slingsby was visibly shaken by the incident, saying to the media: “It all happened so quickly but at that moment I knew that we were going to hit Canada, so I had a choice to make and I wanted to keep people safe so I turned the boat as hard as I could into the course mark. It was either that or go straight through Canada.”

New Zealand won the 3 boat final, ahead of France and Canada. Their win and Australia not being able to race, has allowed the Kiwis to take a 1 point lead in the overall season standings. There is now a question mark over whether the Flying Roo will be ready for the next event in 6 weeks time in Bermuda, given the main beam looks like a write off.

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