Tom Slingsby’s Australian crew will need to balance their competitive drive with protecting the flying roo from collisions, with more teams and more drama expected at the opener of SailGP Season 3 in Bermuda this weekend.
World-class athletes from nine national teams will go head-to-head on the start line at the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess, with newcomers Canada and Switzerland racing for the very first time. With more boats and more events for Season 3, SailGP has brought in tougher penalties to encourage teams to avoid contact during racing, with the safety of athletes on board and limiting damage to the F50s a top priority. Based on the nature of the contact and the severity of damage caused, teams can lose both race points and overall season points.
Tom Slingsby said: “With more boats on the race course It’s going to be about staying out of trouble. Teams can ruin their entire season from the collision penalty points. If we can get through the first half of the season without too many scratches on the boat and penalty points we will be looking pretty good.”
After their success in San Francisco, which saw the team crowned Champions of SailGP Season 2, the Australians are the top contenders to beat in Bermuda.
Commenting on the secret to the team's continued success, Slingsby said: “For me it’s keeping a solid team together for so long. You see with these teams that they have been changing their crew line up alot to try to get the right fit. We found the right fit straight away.”
Even with two SailGP Championships under his belt, Slingsby still continues to analyse the other team’s performance.
Tom Slingsby said: “I was really surprised with Canada and Switzerland and how good their boat handling and speed was. I’d say Jimmy’s USA Team and Ben’s British Team are going to be the top ones we will be watching during racing”
The Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess will air live on Fox Sports and on Kayo. Kayo are offering fans free access to both the live and replay racing, via its Kayo Freebies offer.