The New Zealand SailGP Team is back in action in Copenhagen and the team has a new target on its back after a dominant performance in Plymouth on and off the water.
The Kiwis enter this weekend’s ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix as the first team to win the racing while also topping the Impact League leaderboard at a single event, and driver Peter Buring says the crew is stoked.
“We’re super excited to be the first team to win the double,” he says. “Taking both the Impact League and the grand prix in Plymouth is a huge milestone and something we’ve aspired to since joining SailGP.”
After winning three of six races in Plymouth, this morning’s pre-event press conference saw a new interest in New Zealand’s performance, with rival teams digging deeper into the data to see how they could copy the Kiwis this weekend.
Maintaining there was no silver bullet, Burling said, “We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. We just did everything well and that’s what we’re going to try to do again this weekend.”
But reigning SailGP champions Australia weren’t convinced. Knocked from a five-event winning streak by their trans-Tasman rivals, Australian Driver Tom Slignsby says his crew “knew New Zealand was lurking,” making strides forward at every event.
“Contrary to what Pete says, it looks like they did change their set-up a little [in Plymouth]. They were definitely sailing quite high and the look of the boat was different. We look at that and try to figure out if that’s better than the way we’re sailing and how we can make improvements,” Slingsby said.
This weekend’s action unfolds over two days on the Øresund Srait between Denmark and Sweden, with live racing on Friday and Saturday 19-20 August CEST / Saturday - Sunday 20-21 August NZT. The event marks the second in the European leg of the championship, with three back-to-back grand prix taking place in Copenhagen (19-20 Aug), St Tropez (10-11 Sep) and Cadiz (24-25 Sep) over the next two months.
Burling says it’s great to see momentum is building behind the team heading into such a busy leg of the season.
“We’ve got amazing support back at home and we love seeing fans get behind the team, particularly as we head into our home event in Christchurch next year. Tickets go on sale in a little over six weeks time and it’s going to be amazing to bring SailGP to New Zealand.”
The ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix will be live on Sky Sport NZ at 1.30AM on Saturday and Sunday, 20-21 August, with full replays the next day. Racing will also be available live and on-demand on YouTube.