Aussie driver Tom Slingsby has unpacked the moment Australia was forced to undertake a last-minute U-Turn on the start line of Chicago’s second fleet race.
As the seconds counted down to the start, Australia led the fleet but was early to the line. At the last moment, the green and gold F50 dived away and U-Turned behind the rest of the fleet to cross the line in 10th and last place.
Speaking after racing, Slingsby said the mistake was ‘all on me’.
“We got down to one second to kill and all of a sudden I realized we were out of room,” he said, adding that the error made him ‘feel like a rookie’.
Had the Aussies continued on their trajectory to cross the start line early, they would have picked up an OCS penalty and been forced to drop behind the whole fleet.
“I’m glad we didn’t try and get underneath that start line because we would have paid the penalty for it.”
Despite the mistake, the Aussies managed to sail their way through the fleet to perform a remarkable recovery and finish in fifth overall.
Slingsby credited the comeback to taking advantage of the ‘clear air’ at the back of the fleet.
“Then we were fortunate around the bottom mark - they were all fighting each other, tacking around the left hand turn and slowing each other up and we came around and had clear air up the whole beat, so it worked perfectly for us to get back into the race.”