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Grand Final will be a ‘Driver’s nightmare’ as tough San Francisco conditions raise tactical challenges

27 MARCH 2022News
by Billy Hawkins-Yale, Senior Digital Editor
  • Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix

The tough conditions in San Francisco today will make the SailGP Grand Final a ‘Driver’s nightmare’ with serious tactical questions to be asked of our skippers.

With forecasted wind speeds of up to 31 km/h - and possible gusts hitting 48 km/h - there is a real chance a collision, crash or capsize could play a vital role in determining the Season 2 Champion.

But what will really be shown today is the skill of our Drivers, who will have to overcome these rough conditions to claim victory. After today’s two Fleet Races, Tom Slingsby and Jimmy Spithill will go head-to-head in the winner-takes-all Grand Final race, with Japan - driven by Nathan Outteridge - expected to claim the final qualification spot.

Slingsby, Spithill and Outteridge are three of the best athletes in the world, but these tough Bay conditions will prove tricky even to them.

“The race course today is going to be a Driver’s nightmare, with tactics going to be harder to pick than a broken nose,” said Tech Team Director Brad Marsh ahead of racing.

“There is lots of excitement and anticipation on the Tech Base this morning as we head into the most important race day of the year. Everyone is check check checking and checking again to ensure we do our best in assisting the sailing teams as they prepare for a no-excuses winner-takes-all race.”

Marsh and his Tech Team have been working tirelessly this past week to get our F50s prepared for racing, including working to the bone to fix serious wing damaged suffered by Australia’s boat in Thursday’s training session.

“I’m proud of the business card we left on the table yesterday,” he added. “Eight boats completed three races in picture-perfect San Francisco conditions without fault or incident.

“Good luck to all the teams participating in the Grand Final; we are proud to have been part of your extended team for this wild adventure!”

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