Utilising the tactical skills of Olympic gold medallist athlete Anne-Marie Rindom on board the Danish boat will be key to the team’s success in Season 3, SailGP’s new podcast has been told.
Speaking about the team on the first episode of the Deep Dive podcast, SailGP’s international broadcast commentators Stevie Morrison and David ‘Freddie’ Carr said exploiting the experience of Rindom, who has chalked up a gold Olympic medal and two World Championship wins in the Laser Radial class, would be crucial.
Speaking about her experience, Morrison said: “There just isn’t a more tactical boat than a laser - they are all one design, very basic, so it does come down to tactics and I think [Danish Driver] Nicolai [Sehested] needs to make sure he gets that right balance of getting her involved and getting her input”.
“We saw how well [Australian Driver Tom] Slingsby used Nina Curtis - Nina was a massive calming influence, a smooth tactical brain in that Australian team.”
Putting the spotlight on Sehested, Morrison and Carr questioned the suitability of the Danish Driver, describing him as ‘the most square peg in a round hole as a Driver’.
They pointed to Sehested’s predominant experience in offshore racing, specifically the Volvo Ocean Race.
Morrison questioned whether Sehested can successfully make the transition from the 'marathon racing' of offshore competitions to the 'sprint racing' of SailGP.
“He’s a superb sailor but he’s a marathon runner, not a sprinter and has he got the ability to put it all together? We wait and see,” said Morrison.
He pointed to the Danish team’s Season 2 strategy of ‘chipping away’ and ‘making small gains’ but argued ‘SailGP doesn’t quite lend itself to that’.
However Carr pointed to the Danish team picking up three fleet race wins in Season 2; one at home in Copenhagen, one in San Francisco and one in St Tropez.
“If you can win races, you can string that together and win events,” he said.
He emphasised the team’s noticeable improvement throughout the season and said Sehested is a ‘fantastic leader’. “Their starting wasn’t brilliant at the beginning of the year but that got better,” he said. “They have improved at every event.”
The Danish team have two female athletes on board in Season 3 thanks to SailGP’s Women’s Pathway Program - Rindom and Katja Salskov-Iversen.
The Deep Dive podcast is available on all major podcast platforms and will feature new episodes ahead of each event of SailGP Season 3. The second episode, which analyses the top half of the table; USA, Great Britain, Australia, Japan and newcomers Canada, is available now.