The Spain Sail Grand Prix Andalucía - Cádiz presented by NEAR did not disappoint, with tight fleet racing throughout and a neck-and-neck race to the Final finish line.
Bustling crowds packed the iconic city-side venue of Cádiz to watch all the racing action, which included dramatic nosedives, boat-on-boat showdowns and race-changing penalties. We round up five of the most memorable racing moments from across the weekend.
Great Britain flies too high at the mark in Fleet Race 1
A mistake by Great Britain on the third leg of the first Fleet race saw the British F50 buck out of the water while rounding the bottom gate and fall off the foils.
The team, which had been climbing back up through the fleet, lost complete control and all speed, stopping dead in the water to be immediately overtaken by Tom Slingsby’s Australia. Great Britain struggled to regain its position following the mistake and finished the race in eighth place ahead of Denmark.
Spain, the U.S. and New Zealand cross the start line early in Fleet Race 5
Tight-pack racing throughout the event saw a congested leaderboard heading into the second day of racing, with just five points separating the top six boats. Securing a good result in the fifth Fleet race was the last chance for many teams to book a place in the Final, which resulted in the U.S., New Zealand and home favorites Spain crossing the line early. The three teams swiftly picked up OCS penalties, sending them to the back of the pack.
New Zealand incurs painful penalty for cutting inside Switzerland
A key moment in the fifth Fleet race saw the Kiwi F50, then sitting in sixth place, cut inside the Swiss boat, which had fallen off the foils at the bottom mark on leg three.
The close cross caught the attention of chief umpire Craig Mitchell, who immediately administered a painful penalty to the Kiwi team, forcing them to drop back behind the Swiss to finish the race in seventh overall.
Neck-and-neck racing between France and the U.S. in the winner-takes-all Final
In perhaps the most exciting final in SailGP history, France and the U.S. went head to head in neck-and-neck racing. Both teams overtook each other to lead at various points in the race as they grappled with the additional challenge of cutting down to a four crew configuration ahead of the Final.
With the finish line in sight, there was just meters separating the two teams, but it was France that was able to pull away and cross the line with just three seconds to spare.
Spithill struggles with flight control in the Final
Ahead of the winner-takes-all Final, the three finalists were instructed to cut down to a four-crew configuration, with all three boats electing to jettison their flight controllers. This left the drivers to juggle steering, tactics and flight control. A flight control error by U.S. driver Jimmy Spithill at the second gate saw the American F50 fly too high and dramatically nosedive into the water, allowing the French to overtake.