The switch to light air boards in Bermuda impacted Australia’s F50 performance on Day 2

by Miranda Blazeby, Digital Editor @SailGP

The overnight configuration change from high speed to light air boards in Bermuda caused ‘issues’ for Australia’s F50 when racing resumed on day two, according to driver Tom Slingsby.

Speaking ahead of the Final in Bermuda, Slingsby said the configuration change had resulted in ‘issues’ to the boat’s ‘settings’, resulting in poor drop connections and a loss of boat speed.

“I’m not sure what happened overnight but we put the light air boards in and we struggled to get good connections on the drops,” he said. “Twice in a row, the Kiwis sailed right past us upwind like we were standing still.”

He added that he ‘wasn’t full of confidence’ heading into the Final against New Zealand and Spain. “It doesn’t feel like we’ve got the speed.”

Ultimately, it was the Spanish that clinched the event title on the waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound, beating Australia and New Zealand with flawless tactical decision-making.

Speaking after racing, Slingsby said the team’s third place finish – which sees them retain their second place position on the Season 4 leaderboard – was ‘frustrating’.

He added that the team would ‘get to the bottom’ of what caused issues with Australia’s F50.

“We just didn’t feel like we had boat speed and there were a lot of weird things happening, which we didn’t have on day one,” he said. However, Slingsby said he ‘didn’t want to take away from Spain’s win’, adding they were deserved winners in Bermuda.

“They nailed the last start and they were the best team – so congratulations to them.”

Spain’s win in Bermuda – their second ever event title – saw them solidify their third place position on the overall standings and move closer than ever to potential qualification in the three-boat, winner-takes-all, Championship deciding Grand Final.

Next up, the F50 fleet visits Canada for the first time and will go head to head in Halifax on June 1-2.

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