Sunday was a day of disappointment for Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL at the T-Mobile United States Sail Grand Prix in Chicago, as it scored a sixth and a seventh place to put paid to hopes of a first ever event podium.
The Danish boat started the weekend well, grabbing a third and a fourth spot in the opening two races, before a seventh-placed finish soured a super Saturday on Lake Michigan.
And the second day of action didn’t start much better – with Nicolai Sehested’s crew stumbling in sixth in Race 4, before grabbing a seventh to round off the action in the Windy City.
“It really wasn’t our day today,” explained Sehested, post-racing. “I could make excuses, but it just wasn’t good enough. We struggled in the starts and then the boat handling wasn’t right.
“The level is so high, that even if you’re one or two percent off peak performance, you will be punished. It’s quite a harsh feeling, but that’s the reality we have to face if we want to be up there with the top teams in SailGP.”
The first SailGP regatta in Chicago was won by Australia SailGP Team, who launched a last-minute comeback to sneak into the final three, and then took the plaudits in the final match-race with Canada and Great Britain.
It means that Tom Slingsby’s crew, who have won back to back SailGP championships, have now taken the win in the opening two events of Season 3.
“The race course here in Chicago was absolutely fantastic,” Sehested explains. “It was champagne sailing, with great crowds lined up on Navy Pier – we really can’t complain about this venue.”
Next up, a return to Europe for the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth on 30-31 July.
“We are looking forward to getting back to Europe,” continues Sehested. “We have a trip to the UK, and then our big home event in Copenhagen – the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix on 19-20 August.”
He adds: “Let’s hope that a return to home waters works in our favour. We’ll regroup and come back stronger.”