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Under the microscope: Inside the crucial moment New Zealand overtook Denmark to claim victory in Plymouth Final

3 AUGUST 2022Feature
by Miranda Blazeby, Digital Editor

The performances of New Zealand, Denmark and Australia in the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix Final have been put under the microscope, revealing the pivotal moment the Kiwis took the lead.

Changeable conditions of strong gusts and sudden lulls plagued the second day of racing and challenged crews.

New Zealand driver Peter Burling opted for a late and a fast start to the Final, positioning the Kiwi F50 8.9m from the line and travelling at 37 km/h, according to SailGP Insights.

Season 3 // Great Britain Sail Grand Prix // Australia, New Zealand and Denmark final three

Australia was closer to the line - just 6.6m away - but was travelling slightly slower at 34.7 km/h while Denmark was 13.5m from the line and moving at 37.9 km/h. However, the Danes accelerated to a speed of 51.6 km/h in the sprint to mark one and took a neck and neck lead with New Zealand over the Aussies. This was the first time Australia hasn’t lead into the first mark in a Final.

Season 3 // Great Britain Sail Grand Prix // New Zealand and Australia in final

All three boats fell off the foils at the bottom of the course and Nicolai Sehested was able to recover the quickest, urging the Danish F50 into the lead.

But the crucial moment of the race was the third leg when New Zealand managed to overtake the Danes by adapting well to a sudden wind shift. The Kiwis performed just one tack in the upwind leg and sailed a distance of 1,505 metres averaging 30.9 km/h

Season 3 // Great Britain Sail Grand Prix // New Zealand celebrate at prize giving

Comparatively, Denmark tacked three times and sailed a distance of 2,080 metres - 600m more than New Zealand - with an average speed of 36.1 km/h.

At this point in the race, Denmark was still in second place but light winds caused the team to fall off the foils and sail slower and further than the Aussies. For a whole minute of the fourth leg, the Australians were sailing at twice the speed of Denmark, which ultimately opened the door to Australia moving into second place.

NZL 2

Taking the whole Final into account, Australia sailed the furthest distance and performed seven manoeuvres - two more than both Denmark and New Zealand.

New Zealand averaged 40.8 km/h throughout the Final and sailed a distance of 6,613m in comparison to Australia’s 7,336m and Denmark’s 6,709m. Denmark averaged a speed of 36.8 km/h, significantly slower than Australia’s 43.3 km/h but it was the Danes who picked up the highest top speed of the race at 58.3 km/h.


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