Plymouth, UK (31st July 2022) – It was a day to remember at the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth for Peter Burling and Blair Tuke’s New Zealand SailGP team on the waters of Plymouth Sound as they claimed their first ever SailGP event victory.
In the three-team final race, in challenging conditions at Plymouth Sound, New Zealand triumphed over the event’s other debutants, Nicolai Sehested of Denmark, and the season’s leader, Tom Slingsby, of Australia.
“I think a lot of people would have expected that from us by now and it’s great to put together a good weekend and put in such a dominant performance,” Burling said. “We’ve been working really hard to improve and I think we really proved today that we’re so much more comfortable with the boat now than ever before.”
Presented by ROCKWOOL, the Danish SailGP team warmed up in the best possible way for their home event in just three weeks with an impressive performance on day two, securing a place in the three-boat podium final with two second places for first place ever.
“We’ve been a long time coming and it’s really gratifying to have reached the final, but to be honest it feels a bit sour,” said Sehested. “We felt like we didn’t have much luck with the wind shift in the final and ruined our chances of winning, but that’s racing.”
For the first time in a long while it wasn’t Tom Slingsby and his Australian team on the podium, with a broken rudder – repaired in record time by the SailGP Technical Team – almost ending their afternoon race five early.
“We’re not disappointed at all, we’re delighted to finish second in this event, it’s just been a really tough day for us,” said Slingsby. “It looked like we wouldn’t be in the final with a broken gearbox, but it was an incredible effort from our team to get us into this final. And to get away with second place, wow, that makes us very happy.”
Britain missed out on the final – and a chance to win their first event of the season – in contentious circumstances with a late penalty against Australia yards from the finish line in the final fleet race of the day.
“It’s really frustrating. I mean, it’s tight in SailGP, it’s those tight margins that matter,” explained Ainslie. “Chief Judge Craig Mitchell and I have had our disagreements in the past and I am sure we will do so again in the future. I think it’s a bad decision, it’s really frustrating and we’re really disappointed, but this is top-level sport, it happens, we have to turn it on its head and move on.
Plymouth final results
1. New Zealand, 2-2-1-5-1-(1), 44
2. Australia, 6-1-4-3-3-(2), 38
3. Denmark, 8-5-2-2-2-(3), 36
4. Great Britain, 4-4-6-1-4, 36
5th France, 3-3-5-4-9, 31st
6. Canada, 1-9-3-9-7, 26
7. United States, 9-6-7-6-5, 22
8. Switzerland, 5-7-8-8-8, 19
9 Spain, 7-8-9-7-6, 14
SailGP Info – Plymouth Details – Season 3 Scoreboard – Facebook – How to Watch
Season 3 Ranking (after three events)
1. Australia, Tom Slingsby – 29 points
2. Great Britain, Ben Ainslie – 24 points
3. New Zealand, Peter Burling – 22 points
4. Canada, Phil Robertson – 22 points
5. Denmark, Nicolai Sehested – 20 points
6. France, Quentin Delapierre – 15 points
7. USA, Jimmy Spithill – 13 points
8. Spain, Jordi Xammar – 8 points
9. Switzerland, Sebastien Schneiter – 7 points
2022-23 SailGP Season 3 Schedule
14-15 May 2022 – Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess
18-19 June 2022 – United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier
30-31 July 2022 – Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth
18-19 August 2022 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix | Copenhagen
9th to 10th September 2022 – France Sail Grand Prix | Saint Tropez
23-24 September 2022 – Spanish Sailing Grand Prix | Andalusia – Cadiz
11-12 November 2022 – Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas
14-15 January 2023 – Singapore Sail Grand Prix
18-19 February 2023 – Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney
17-18 March 2023 – New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch
6th-7th May 2023 – United States Sail Grand Prix | San Francisco (Season 3 Grand Finale)
Format for the 2022-23 SailGP events:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs over two days.
• There will be three races each day, for a total of six races at each event.
• All teams take part in the first five fleet races.
• The final Match Race pits the top three teams against each other to be crowned event champions and take home the bulk of the $300,000 prize pool, which will be split among the top three teams.
• The season concludes with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a match race with a $1 million prize at stake.
For the competition documents click here.
Founded in 2018, SailGP aims to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric shoreside races in some of the iconic ports around the world. Competing national teams compete for prize money in identical F50 catamarans as the season culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.