SailGP's third season has now passed the halfway point and so far there's been plenty of drama. Ahead of the league's first ever event in the Middle East with the Dubai Sail Grand Prix, we round up the best racing moments so far this season - from crushing penalties and aggressive racing tactics, to growing rivalries and triumphant event wins.

Canada's stunning start to the season

In Bermuda, newcomer team Canada burst into the league and stunned spectators, competing teams and even commentators with calm and collected performances throughout fleet racing.

The team picked up a 2-1-5-7-5 fleet racing record and secured its first Final against Great Britain and two-time defending champion Australia. The team finished in third overall, picking up a place on the podium at its first ever event.

France's Black Flag

Things were going well for France in Bermuda, with the team picking up two second place finishes ahead of the fifth and final fleet race.

Under pressure to secure a place in the event Final, the team executed an aggressive start, barging inside Great Britain on the start line and immediately earning themselves a Black Flag. The penalty disqualified the team from the race and ended their podium race ambitions.

The United States's flight control problems in Chicago

After a mid-fleet fifth place finish in Bermuda, the United States were fired up for racing on home waters in Chicago. But the home team put in a diasterous performance, picking up an 8-9-8-7-3 fleet racing record and crashing spectacularly in front of fans on the finish line of the second fleet race.

The performance prompted critics to question the appointment of new flight controller Hans Henken and forced driver Jimmy Spithill to apologise to fans after the event.

Great Britain's last-minute dramatic penalty on home waters

Perhaps one of the most dramatic moments of the season so far happened in the fifth fleet race of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix.

Home favorites Great Britain were just 200m from the finish line and about to secure a place in the Final when they were dealt a crushing penalty from chief umpire Craig Mitchell for crossing too closely to the Australian F50.

As a result, Ben Ainslie's team missed out on a place in the Final, which was handed to Nicolai Sehested's Denmark instead.

New Zealand breaks Australia's winning streak in Plymouth

The Australians' five-strong event winning streak was finally broken in Plymouth after the Kiwi team proved critics wrong and sealed its first ever event final.

The win followed a weekend of calculated and skillful racing by Peter Burling’s crew, who picked up a 2-2-1-5-1 fleet racing record in front of huge crowds.

Slingsby's aggressive racing tactics in Copenhagen

A brewing rivalry between two-time defending champion Australia and Peter Burling's upcoming challenger New Zealand reared its head in Copenhagen. With the first day of racing canceled due to poor wind conditions, the pressure was on the fleet on the second day to perform across three fleet races and the Final.

Aggressive racing tactics by Slingsby in the third fleet race labelled a 'big mistake' by commentators resulted in a crucial penalty, which forced the Aussies to drop behind the Kiwis.

Great Britain hitting the bottom in practice

Copenhagen spelled disaster for Ben Ainslie's British team, who hit an uncharted rock in training.

The British F50 sustained significant damage during the incident, ruling the team out of racing across the whole weekend and leaving them with a mountain to climb in Saint-Tropez.

New Zealand luffs Australia in Saint-Tropez

The Kiwi-Aussie rivalry continued to grow in Saint-Tropez when aggressive match racing tactics by New Zealand driver Pete Burling forced the Australian F50 to nosedive just meters from the finish line.

The floundering Australian F50 was promptly overtaken by Great Britain, the U.S., and Spain, leaving the Aussies to finish fifth, instead of second.

The United States secures first ever event win in Saint-Tropez

The United States battled back from months of criticism to claim its first ever event win in Saint-Tropez after two days of racing in extreme conditions.

Jimmy Spithill's crew went head-to-head against New Zealand and Great Britain in the three-boat winner-takes-all Final.

Spain, the United States and New Zealand all cross the start line early in Cádiz

A choppy sea state and gusty wind conditions forced crews to choose between speed and stability in Cádiz, resulting in uncharacteristic mistakes.

One of these occurred on the start line of the fifth and final fleet race of the event, when New Zealand, Spain and the United States all crossed the start line early. New Zealand crosssed the line just under five seconds early, followed by the U.S. and Spain around one second early. All three teams were handed OCS penalties by chief umpire Craig Mitchell, forcing them to drop of the back of the pack.

The United States and France race neck-and-neck in the closest SailGP Final ever

Cádiz hosted the closest Final in SailGP history after neck-and-neck racing between France and the United States culminated in a tense dash to the finish line.

The French crossed the line with just three seconds to spare, securing victory by the thinnest of margins.

The nine-strong F50 fleet will next do battle at the Dubai Sail Grand Prix from November 12-13.