The second and final day of the Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas is here. Will Great Britain seal its first event win of Season 3 and can Switzerland build on its first ever podium finish? We round up five things to watch out for when racing resumes at 15:00 on November 13.
Will the wind show up?
Fickle winds played havoc on the first day of racing and forced crews to drop down to a four-person crew configuration ahead of the third fleet race of the day. United States driver Jimmy Spithill said this call ‘should have been made earlier’ for ‘guaranteed foiling’. However, stronger winds of up to 33 km/h are forecast for Sunday, resulting in the tech team fitting the F50s with the middle 24m wing. Will the wind show up for picture-perfect, shoreside racing on Port Rashid? Fingers crossed.
Will the Swiss build on their first ever podium finish?
It was a decent day for Sébastien Schneiter’s Swiss team, which picked up fifth and seventh place finishes before finishing third in the final fleet race of the day. The team is currently trialling a new line-up in Dubai, with co-driver Nathan Outteridge taking on the strategist position and Laurane Mettraux moving into second grinder. Speaking after racing, Schneiter said the configuration was paying off with ‘good positions on the start line in every race’. “It’s positive and the first time after day one where we can hope to be in the final," he said.
What will separate the congested leaderboard?
Heading into day two, there’s just seven points separating Great Britain in first and Denmark in seventh. Three pairs of teams are tied on points, showing the increased quality of racing across the fleet and leaving the field wide open when racing resumes on Sunday.
Will Great Britain pick up its first event win since May 2021?
It’s been a tricky season so far for Great Britain. Despite securing a place in the Finals of Bermuda, Chicago and Saint-Tropez, the last time the team won an event was the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix at the beginning of Season 2. With a five point lead heading into the second day of racing, could Ben Ainslie’s team finally seal their first event win in Season 3?
Can two-time champion Australia perform a characteristic comeback?
The first day of racing proved challenging for two-time defending champion Australia. Going into day two, Tom Slingsby’s crew sits in eighth with 13 points, just ahead of Spain in last place with 10. However, the team has a track record of rising to the pressure of a difficult first day to scrape into the Final and even lift the trophy. Could they do it again?