Great Britain’s dominance in Dubai’s fleet racing can be traced back to the team’s impressive starting positions, which were consistently converted into the best rankings at mark one.
On the tight racecourse of Dubai, which provided few overtaking opportunities, securing a good start and a commanding position at mark one was even more important than usual.
Data provided from SailGP Insights shows Great Britain was consistently the team closest to the start line at the gun - an average of 5.8 meters - and therefore took the least amount of time to cross the line when the race began - just 0.7 seconds. The team was able to hold onto this early lead - securing the highest average rank of 2.9 at the first mark.
However, Ben Ainslie’s team did not have the fastest starts - those were secured by Jimmy Spithill’s United States, which crossed the line at an average speed of 37.34 km/h compared to Great Britain’s 33.5 km/h.
Switzerland had a weekend of improved starts, particularly on the first day of racing, but still had the slowest average starting speed - 22.74 km/h, behind Denmark’s 25.78km/h. But the team was positioned an average of 12.44m from the line, resulting in the team taking an average of 2 seconds to cross the line. However, the Swiss could not retain this promising starting position, resulting in a 4.7 average mark one ranking.
Despite Switzerland having the slowest boat speed at the gun, Spain had the most difficulty securing a good start. The Spanish F50 was consistently positioned the furthest away from the starting line - an average of 42.44m - more than double the distance of Canada, which was positioned the second furthest from the line at 20.55m.
This meant that Spain took the longest to cross the start line after the gun - an average of 6.9 seconds, resulting in the lowest mark one rating of 5.6.
New Zealand meanwhile, which has become known for its commanding slingshot starting strategy, had the second lowest mark one position across the fleet - 5.2. This was despite being positioned an average of 11.4m away from the line at the start and taking just 1.2 seconds to cross the line after the gun. However, the team’s starting boat speed was lower than the United States, Great Britain, France, Canada and Australia, leaving them with a low to mid-fleet speed once across the line.
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