With the Dubai Sail Grand Prix marking the final SailGP event of 2022, we round up the most dramatic penalties from the season so far.
France’s Black Flag
France kicked off its Season 3 campaign in dramatic style, earning its first ever Black Flag as the fourth fleet race got underway. The French approached the line at speed in an attempt to find a gap through the line, resulting in Great Britain swerving to avoid a collision.
The United States veers off course in Chicago
Chicago was a tough event for home favorites the United States, which earned a penalty on the second leg of the second fleet race. Plagued by flight control issues all weekend, the American F50 bucked into the air and turned unexpectedly into the path of France, resulting in the French having to take avoiding action. The mistake earned the U.S. swift punishment from SailGP’s umpiring team.
New Zealand almost hits France in Plymouth
A nail-biting racing moment occurred on the fourth gate of the first fleet race when New Zealand turned up into the path of France in an attempt to move from third place to first. However, the Kiwis were swiftly brought down to earth after the risky move earned them an immediate penalty.
Great Britain’s close cross with Australia in Plymouth
In perhaps the most contentious penalty this season, home favorites Great Britain opted for an all-or-nothing move in the final moments of the fifth and final fleet race to cross closely in front of Australia. The team was handed a boat-on-boat penalty, meaning they had to cross the finish line behind the Aussies. This handed the last place in the three-boat Final to Denmark instead, ruling the Brits out of a chance to win their home event.
France pushes Australia too close to the boundary
The French were heading for a fourth place finish in the first fleet race of the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Copenhagen when aggressive tactics saw driver Quentin Delapierre push Australia close to the boundary. The move earned the team a penalty, which meant the French had to finish behind the Aussies. In the meantime Phil Robertson’s Canada swept across the finish line, pushing France from fourth down to sixth.
Australia’s close call with New Zealand
Aggressive racing tactics from Australia on the fourth leg of the third fleet race saw the Aussies come perilously close to the New Zealand F50. Driver Tom Slingsby steered away at the last moment, just avoiding a collision, but the move earned the Aussies a penalty as they rounded the gate.
Early starts for New Zealand, the United States and Spain in Cadiz
Three OCS penalties were handed out in the fifth fleet race of the weekend after New Zealand, the United States and Spain all seriously mistimed their starts and all crossed the line early. New Zealand crossed the line just under five seconds early, followed by the United States and Spain with around one second to go. All three boats were forced to drop 20 meters behind the back of the pack.
New Zealand barges inside Switzerland
The most memorable penalty of the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cadiz occurred in the fifth fleet race. Under pressure to secure a place in the Final, New Zealand barged inside Switzerland at the second gate. The team was handed a double penalty, forcing it to drop behind the fouled boat by 40m, as opposed to the usual 20m.
Great Britain fails to give Switzerland enough room in Dubai
A crucial penalty for Great Britain occurred at the last gate before the sprint to the finish line of the first fleet race. Great Britain was preparing to finish in fifth place but failed to give Switzerland enough room at the mark. After picking up a penalty, the Brits had to finish in sixth overall instead.
Switzerland fails to keep clear of Denmark
Switzerland picked up a painful penalty on the fourth leg of the fourth fleet race when a miscalculation saw the Swiss F50 come dangerously close to Denmark. The Swiss swerved away at the last moment but it wasn’t enough to avoid a penalty.