United States driver Jimmy Spithill has said that Season 3 is ‘far from over’ for the team with four events left to go.

Writing for Red Bull, Spithill reflected on the team’s disappointing sixth place finish in Dubai after finishing with an inconsistent 7-4-2-9-2-7 fleet racing record. The team had a promising start, finishing the first day of racing in second place, but ‘struggled’ on the second day.

On the tight racecourse of Dubai’s Port Rashid, the team failed to anticipate the strategies of competing teams and ‘got too caught up in the boats around us’, Spithill said.

“The best teams are thinking two or three moves ahead and that’s even more important on a tighter course,” he said.

Heading into the sixth fleet race, the team was ‘in position’ to secure a place in the Final after the first leg, but ultimately ‘didn’t sail well enough and allowed key teams to pass’, Spithill said.

Season 3 // Dubai Sail Grand Prix // United States with Dubai shoreline

“You only have a split second to make these decisions and if you’re slow or indecisive, there are eight other teams who will punish you.”

Despite a shaky start to Season 3, with new flight controller Hans Henken joining the roster, the U.S. fought back against critics with several comeback performances, including its first event win in Saint-Tropez and a second place finish in Cádiz.

Reflecting on the season so far, Spithill said his ‘take-away for this year’ is that ‘there really is no shortcut’.

Season 3 // Dubai Sail Grand Prix // Jimmy Spithill at press conference

“Any good investment takes time, and I think we’ve made some big steps already,” he said. “We’re certainly in much better shape than at the end of Season 2 and I’m excited about the future.”

The team now sits seventh on the overall leaderboard with 39 points, just behind Canada with 40. But heading into Singapore on January 14-15, Spithill said the team’s Season 3 chances are ‘far from over’.

“Anything can happen, so we just have to keep our heads down and put the work in and stay clear of the carnage, keep fighting, and climbing up the board.”

The ‘pitch perfect’ venue of Dubai

Despite not securing the result he wanted, Spithill said SailGP’s first visit to the Middle East ‘made history’ by racing ‘on such a compact and tight course, so close to shore’.

“What an awesome fan experience to have the bottom mark right in front of the shore, 20 meters from land,” he added. “You couldn’t be much closer to the boats without driving them yourself!”

Season 3 // Dubai Sail Grand Prix // Close up of USA F50

As well as providing the ultimate viewing experience for spectators, racing on such a tight racecourse will have ‘opened a few eyes across the sporting world’, he said.

“Plenty of people were questioning whether nine F50s could actually fit,” he said, adding that the success of the event ‘no doubt opens up venues that may have previously been put off the table’.

The nine strong flying F50 fleet will meet again at the Singapore Sail Grand Prix on January 14 & 15.