The United States SailGP Team currently sits mid-fleet after the first day of Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess, but Jimmy Spithill is optimistic that with just a few tweaks, the team will qualify as one of the top teams to race in Sunday’s final race.
Spithill, U.S. SailGP Team CEO and Driver, was pleased to begin the day with a third-place finish and was set to match it in Race Two until the British team fouled the U.S. at the final turning mark, and it sent them both to the back of the fleet. “Not much we could have done there unfortunately,” he said.
“Every race we had a chance to finish in the top group today. But the competition is really tough out there; you just get punished if you make mistakes.”
Case in point, the third race, in which he admitted those mistakes were costly. “However, the good thing for our team is that everyone had at least one tough race out there today.”
As part of the team’s Season 3 strategy to increase its bench strength, Hans Henken is racing this weekend as first-time flight controller. “For Hans’ first time racing today in the flight controller role, I’m really impressed with how quickly he’s picking it up,” Spithill said. “We were really fast today and he’s slotted in very well.”
After racing completed, the team extended their day to take advantage of additional on-water time. “We are looking for any hour we can get,” Spithill said. “We haven’t really had these [moderate] conditions for a long time and took advantage of the opportunity to get a bit more time on the water, especially as tomorrow’s weather looks very similar to today.
“It’s still pretty tight in the standings,” he said. “We definitely still have a shot to get into the finals tomorrow.”
Sunday’s racing begins at 1 p.m. EDT / 10 a.m. PDT, and will air live on the SailGP YouTube Channel, the SailGP APP; or tape delayed on CBS Sports at 4:30 p.m. EDT.