Aussie setback at SailGP San Francisco

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San Francisco, CA (May 4, 2019) – After the Australia SailGP Team won five of the six races at the opening event of the inaugural SailGP circuit, their hopes to continue that streak were thwarted today as system failure handcuffed them for stage two on San Francisco Bay.

After a windy week of training, the new F50s are getting their first test of high loads, and these one design boats designed by the circuit organizers are finding issues within their systems. For the Aussies, they suffered some internal damage to their 24m carbon fiber wing while out training, and the problem returned for the start of racing.

“Unfortunately we broke our wing in Race 1,” explained helm Tom Slingsby. “We broke the twist, which means we weren’t able to put the boat in the right mode moving forward. It didn’t slow us down too much, but it just meant we couldn’t mode the boat upwind and downwind.”

Because of the catamaran’s broken wing the team couldn’t shift modes—like changing gears in a racing car—and were forced to push through in fast mode. This made completing maneuvers on the course, like tight roundings, extremely difficult.

However, Slingsby remains upbeat despite their setback, but recognizes the dominance of Team Japan, which won all three races, needs to be addressed.

“At the end of the day, Team Japan beat us because they are having better starts… their slingshot method apparently seems to work,” laughs Slingsby. “We sailed well, but they’re getting ahead of us on the start and they’re maintaining that lead. So, we’ve got to do a better job of leading at mark one, and if they’re behind us, I think they’ll struggle to beat us.”

Tomorrow’s racing will consist of two fleet races before a final showdown, when the top two teams will go head to head in a match race to crown the winner of San Francisco SailGP.

Leaderboard San Francisco – Day 1
1st – Japan – 30pts
2nd – Australia – 26pts
3rd – Great Britain – 24pts
4th – United States – 22pts
5th – China – 17pts
6th – France – 16pts

Race 1
1st – Japan – 10pts
2nd – Australia – 9pts
3rd – Great Britain – 8pts
4th – United States – 7pts
5th – France – 6pts
6th – China – 5pts

Race 2
1st – Japan – 10pts
2nd – Australia – 9pts
3rd – United States – 8pts
4th – Great Britain – 7pts
5th – China – 6pts
6th – France – 5pts

Race 3
1st – Japan – 10pts
2nd – Great Britain – 9pts
3rd – Australia – 8pts
4th – United States – 7pts
5th – China – 6pts
6th – France – 5pts

ABOUT SAILGP:
Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and San Francisco, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric, inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe and culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race. Rival national teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan, and the United States battle it out in identical wing-powered, foiling F50 catamarans, engineered to exceed 50 knots.

2019 Schedule
Sydney, Australia (February 15-16)
San Francisco, USA (May 4-5)
New York, USA (June 21-22)
Cowes, UK (August 10-11)
Marseille, France (September 20-22)

Source: SailGP /sailingscuttlebutt

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