SailGP’s nine-strong fleet has hit the racecourse for the first time ahead of the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix, which gets underway this weekend.

The nine high-speed, one design F50 catamarans took to the water for competitive practice racing in choppy conditions.

SailGP stalwarts Great Britain, the United States, New Zealand and Championship defenders Australia, saw newcomers Canada and Switzerland in action for the first time.

Meanwhile Spain, driven by Jordi Xammar, and Nicolai Sehested’s Denmark jostled for space on a busy racecourse.

Canada, helmed by former Spain driver Phil Robertson, Denmark and reigning champions Australia put in strong performances while Switzerland trailed at the back of the pack.

Key moments saw close sailing between Great Britain, driven by Ben Ainslie, and Jimmy Spithill’s US sail past a cruise liner while Spain and Australia, driven by Tom Slingsby, crossed paths.

Japan, the tenth team in the pack, was forced to watch from the sidelines as the all-important practice sessions got underway.

With nine boats available and the tenth under construction, the team is forced to sit out the first three events of the season to allow Canada to enter the league.

Japan is expected to join the season for the fourth event in Copenhagen where a bespoke scoring system will be in place.

Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess takes place on May 14-15. Click here for full broadcast information.