New Zealand driver Peter Burling has spoken about the ‘frustrating’ pre-race contact incident, which saw the team docked four event points and two season points ahead of racing.
New Zealand was found at fault for an avoidable collision with the United States during practice starts on Thursday and was docked points in line with SailGP’s Contact and Damage policy.
It means the Kiwis will start racing with -4 points, and will be docked two season points from their overall Championship leaderboard score, which will be applied post-event.
Speaking at a pre-event press conference, Burling described the incident as a ‘tiny tap’.
“The rules here are that if you have contact, you get points,” he said, “it’s a frustrating one but it’s going to be a long weekend, so we’re just looking at putting our best foot forward and making the most of it.”
Burling did not disagree with the decision, emphasizing that ‘the rules are the rules’. He remained optimistic and looked ahead to the weekend of racing.
“There’s going to be plenty of opportunities throughout this weekend - it’s going to be about not making anymore mistakes.”
United States driver Jimmy Spithill also reflected on the incident during the press conference, stating that the damage rule is ‘really aggressive’ and ‘can be quite harsh’.
But for this reason, Singapore is unlikely to be ‘make or break’ for the American team.
“We’ve already seen a team lose points and we haven’t even started racing yet,” he said. “There’s a lot of racing to go and a lot of points up for grabs.”
It comes after the Kiwis were docked two season points and four event points at the Dubai Sail Grand Prix for contact with the Swiss at the start of the fifth fleet race.
New Zealand was again found at fault and the penalty proved fatal - ruling the team out of a place in the event Final and handing it to ultimate event winner Australia instead.
Racing takes place in Singapore between 14:00-15:30 SGT on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets to the Singapore Sail Grand Prix are available HERE. Full broadcast information and How To Watch details are HERE.