While the overall results didn’t reflect it, Jimmy Spithill and the United States SailGP Team are pleased with the progress made at the United States SailGP Team’s Season 3 opener at the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess.
“The weekend was really productive, and while our fifth place overall result isn’t ideal, we moved the needle in the right direction, which was absolutely our goal,” said Spithill, CEO and Driver.
Also pleased with the team’s progress, U.S. SailGP Team Tactician Andrew Campbell said, “We approached Bermuda as a longer term play. We know we left a lot on the table, but finishing race five with a second-place finish is a great indicator of this weekend’s success. We are already a lot better off than we were after San Francisco, and certainly better off than we were here in Bermuda after last season’s event-ending crash and capsize.”
Throughout last week’s training and racing on the Great Sound, the team focused on updating the Season 3 playbook. In addition to integrating new athletes into the mix with US Sailing team members Hans Henken as flight controller and Luke Muller as grinder, training as back ups for Rome Kirby and Andrew Campbell respectively, the team spent serious time adding responsibilities to the sixth sailor position.
“The ability to now have CJ Perez drive out of certain maneuvers, in addition to being more active on controls such as rudder rake and flight controller support, not to mention her insights on race course management, is a huge asset for the team,” Campbell said.
The global championship now looks towards its upcoming event in Chicago June 18-19, hosting the United States Sail Grand Prix for the first time in history, with Spithill looking forward to showcasing SailGP to local sports fans after competing there in 2016.
He expects the huge crowd turnout will surprise everyone. “Chicago is a huge sports crazy town and it has already shown back in 2016 just how much enthusiasm the city has for high-action sailing. It’s going to be incredible.”
Campbell agrees. “Chicago is an amazing place to race. And now, with all the work the team’s invested here in Bermuda, we are ready for it to pay off. We’ll be ready to put the hammer down.”
The United States Sail Grand Prix Chicago at Navy Pier will feature stadium racing directly off Navy Pier along the Lake Michigan shoreline and is part of a two-year hosting agreement between SailGP and the city to bring the world’s most exciting on-water racing to the Midwest.