Light winds put paid to ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team’s hopes of a home triumph – as Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team scored back-to-back event wins at the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix.
After a blistering opening race day which saw the fastest speeds of SailGP Season 4, and a memorable race win for the hosts, the ROCKWOOL team went into Sunday in fourth position, just three points off the top spot.
But in frustratingly light breeze, the fleet stuttered in the second half of the weekend, in non-foiling conditions – and the Danes fell out of contention of the final with two ninth places finishes.
Nicolai Sehested, driver of ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team, said: “It’s suprt frustrating. There isn’t a lot you can say about today – we didn’t sail well, and we didn’t get the luck – but we have to take our medicine and move on. We have a chance to put things right in two weeks, in Cádiz.”
He adds: “It’s been a fantastic event as a whole for ROCKWOOL, with hundreds of special guests cheering us on, and we can’t thank them enough for their support – we’re sorry we couldn’t deliver a more memorable second half for them.”
The ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix marked the first return to Italy since the visit to Taranto in Season 2, and the locals showed up to get a glimpse of the fleet in full flow, with thousands of spectators lining the sea wall and taking their places in the grand stand.
Ben Ainslies’ Emirates GBR team took the event plaudits, winning the fleet racing and the three-boat final. The result leaves ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team in fourth spot on the overall leaderboard.
“It’s a long season, and our focus is just on keeping ourselves in the mix, especially over this triple header with three events in six weeks. It’s an important time as it can make or break your season, so we have to pick ourselves up quickly and move on to keep ourselves up in the top spots.”
Aside from the racing, the event marked a week of purpose-led activity, organised by ROCKWOOL and its partner, One Ocean Foundation, in collaboration with the Comune di Taranto.
Some of the most prominent activations have included a 10-metre mural in downtown Taranto, celebrating SailGP’s ground-breaking impact initiatives; an ocean health themed photo exhibition next to La Rotonda del Lungomare; and a local schools programme that has seen more than 400 local youngsters experience SailGP’s Inspire activity, with ocean science education sessions.
“I think that the local impact from ROCKWOOL and our partners has been immense, and it has set a bar for what teams and their partners can deliver from these events,” said Sehested.
“It really makes you proud to be part of something much bigger than just racing on the water, and I know that the legacy of this event will live on in the future.”