The drivers of SailGP’s nine-strong F50 fleet are looking ahead to the league’s first ever event in the Middle East after a six week break between races.
Speaking after competing in his home event in Cádiz, Spanish driver Jordi Xammar, said the team would be ‘coming back stronger’ in Dubai.
Despite a promising start with fourth and third place finishes on the first day of racing, Spain finished fleet racing with two seventh and one eighth place finish, leaving the team seventh overall on the event leaderboard.
Xammar said the team will ‘continue working’ together between Cádiz and Dubai, with a specific focus on performance data. “We’re in a good place moving forward and these six weeks will be useful to analyse, train and work with the data team to come back stronger in Dubai.”
Like Spain, the United States and Denmark said they too would be studying the data from the event, with U.S. driver Jimmy Spithill promising to ‘keep the momentum going’. After a second consecutive podium finish in Cádiz, the team is seventh on the overall Championship leaderboard with 34 points - just two behind Denmark.
“It’s great that we’re now much closer to the overall pack but we’ll keep doing what we’re doing - really studying the data and taking another step forward when we get to Dubai,” he said.
Elsewhere, Canada driver Phil Robertson said the gap between Cádiz and Dubai would provide a necessary ‘break’ for the team.
“We’re all pretty flogged - it’s been a lot of forward and back to Canada for the majority of our team throughout the European leg so a little rest won’t do us any harm.” He promised the team will ‘come back in Dubai fired up’.
Driver of two-time defending champions Australia Tom Slingsby meanwhile said he was pleased with the results of the European season. The team currently sits top of the Championship leaderboard with 50 points.
“We got through the European leg in front on overall points and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season,” he said, adding that the Dubai Sail Grand Prix is shaping up to be ‘an amazing event’.
Great Britain driver Ben Ainslie meanwhile said the team’s plan for Dubai is just to ‘keep going’. The team finished fifth overall in Cádiz and third in Saint-Tropez, but was unable to compete in Copenhagen at all after hitting an uncharted rock in practice.
“There’s so many ups and downs and we’ve certainly gone through our challenges this season but we’re still in the hunt,” he said. “We can certainly perform as one of the top teams and we can certainly win events and win the league - it’s just a matter of piecing it all together.”
The Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas takes place on November 12-13.