The New Zealand SailGP Team came out strong to start Day 2 of the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess, but it wasn’t enough to secure the Kiwis a spot in the first Final.
In slightly windier conditions than yesterday, a good start in Race 4 helped New Zealand be at the front of the fleet, head to head with Denmark, finally overtaking on the final leg of the race to clinch the win.
In Race 5, a late start from New Zealand proved difficult to recover from, with Australia leading the race from start to finish to cruise into the Final, where they continued their winning streak in a battle against Great Britain, who finished second, and Canada in third.
Driver Peter Burling said, “It was great to bounce back after a tough day yesterday. We had a really good battle with Denmark for most of the way around the course and finally got them down that last run. It was pretty exciting for the team and shows that if we can put a race together, we can be at the front of the pack.”
“In that last race, we knew we had to take some big risks to get ahead of Great Britain, Australia or Canada and unfortunately it just didn’t pay off.”
Heading into the weekend with high expectations, today’s results were disappointing to New Zealand who had performed well in practice racing and shown signs of promise on Day 1.
“It’s been a frustrating weekend for us and while it feels like we’re improving and heading in the right direction, we know we need to put it all together on the racecourse.”
Despite missing out on the final race, Burling believes his team can deliver in Chicago.
“There were some encouraging signs this weekend and it was great to earn our first win of the season.”
“On the whole, we’re sailing the boat better and pushing it a lot harder - this may mean a few more errors, but we know we need to get comfortable pushing the whole time if we want to be at the top of the leaderboard,” Burling said.
“We’re definitely on a learning curve and from here, we’re going to continue to build, looking closely at the data from this event to come up with some strategies to come out stronger in Chicago.”
SailGP Season 3 continues next month with the United States Sail Grand Prix taking place in Chicago at Navy Pier, June 18-19.