Australia driver Tom Slingsby has admitted he’s ‘frustrated’ by the result in Cádiz, which saw the SailGP champions fail to win its 5th Final in a row.
Going head to head against the United States and ROCKWOOL DEN, the Aussies were second across the starting line but slipped into third place on the first downwind leg. From there, they were unable to get past the Danish and finished the event in 3rd place overall.
It came after a consistent fleet racing performance, which saw Australia proceed into the three-boat shootout in second behind the Danish, while the United States scraped in after beating New Zealand on points.
Despite remaining at the top of the overall Championship leaderboard thanks to five consistent events, Slingsby voiced irritation at the outcome in Cádiz.
Speaking after racing, he said: “I know it’s good for the overall points, but I’m getting a bit sick of hearing ‘oh it’s good for the overall points’ at the end of an event.” He added: “I want to hear ‘well done - you guys won’”.
He reflected on the team’s Season 4 habit of making it into three-boat Finals, but not winning. The last time the Aussies won an event was at San Francisco’s Season 3 Grand Final in May.
“I’m sick of it - five Finals in a row and we haven’t won one,” he said. “I just want to sail better.”
He compared the team’s performance in Cadiz to Saint-Tropez, the latter of which, he said, saw Australia out-performed by event winners Emirates GBR.
“In Saint-Tropez, we sailed really well and we were beaten, but at these other ones we just haven’t sailed well enough and we need to do better.”
Dissecting the race, Slingsby admitted he himself failed to ‘transition [his] mind to it being a fully foiling race’ after the marginal conditions of the earlier fleet races.
The key moment of the race unfolded on the first downwind leg, which saw the United States jibe away earlier than Australia and ROCKWOOL DEN and manage to stay in pressure - allowing the Americans to sail away and win with a commanding 600m+ lead.
“I was just thinking about doing fewer maneuvers in light airs, but that was a mistake,” Slingsby said. “I should have realized that you could foil around the racetrack and we should have gone for that - that was a big mistake.”
It comes as the fleet prepares to return to Dubai, which last season saw the Aussies come away with a last-minute thrilling victory against Emirates GBR and France. The Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix Presented by P&O Marinas will take place on December 9-10.