The countdown is well and truly on to the Season 2 Grand Final, so what better way to build the hype than by looking back at our Season 1 title-decider in the week of the Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix in San Francisco.

A bumper three-day event, taking in a huge seven Fleet Races and the Match Race final, took place in Marseille, France in September 2019 to round out our debut campaign.

Australia, who have already qualified for this season’s Grand Final, were crowned champions in 2019 by winning in the south of France. Tom Slingsby’s team defeated Nathan Outteridge’s Japan in the Match Race final to clinch the $1million prize money, after picking up two Fleet Race wins across the weekend.

Incredibly, the Aussies received a penalty in the pre-start which meant they were always facing an uphill task to overcome Japan, but Slingsby skippered superbly to prove his team’s superior tactical prowess and brute strength on the Rade Nord racecourse to claim the historic victory.

Speaking after the Aussies’ win, Driver Slingsby - who is hoping to claim back-to-back SailGP Championships this term - said: “We deserved it and I’m so happy for our whole team as the amount of work they put in was huge. We said going into today we were going to win as a team or lose as a team.”

He also commended rival Outteridge and the Japan team for being ‘unbelievable competition’ and for making the Final ‘a close battle’.

We could see a repeat of this showdown in this season’s Grand Final, as Japan appear likely to claim the final qualification spot and join the Aussies and the United States in the three-team winner-takes-all clash.

Despite their defeat in the Final, Japan performed excellently in Marseille to win three Fleet Races - more than any other team. There was also a first ever race win for China - at that time skippered by current Spain Driver Phil Robertson - which secured them enough points to finish just above Great Britain in third place in the Season Championship.

Following the completion of an expanded six Fleet Races, a seventh Fleet Race took place featuring the four teams that had not qualified for the Match Race Final. This was won by France - like China, winning their first race of the season - to delight the home support in Marseille. Such a result could not raise the French higher than fifth in the overall rankings, though they did end the campaign one point clear of the bottom-ranked United States.

The Season 1 Grand Final remains one of the most exciting and dramatic SailGP events we’ve ever seen, and if the upcoming showpiece finale in San Francisco is even half as good, you are most certainly in for a treat!

Limited tickets for the Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix | San Francisco are still available. Click HERE to book your tickets now, or discover how to watch the event live in your country HERE