The first ever ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix delivered plenty of drama, with close crosses, tight mark roundings and tense boat on boat situations. From the converging fleet to France crashing just meters from the finish line, we round up the most nerve-racking moments of the weekend.
New Zealand and Australia
Rivals and season leaders Australia and New Zealand went toe to toe in the first race of the event, resulting in a tense close cross. As the boats converged on the third leg, the Aussies had the right of way and forced Peter Burling to dart behind the gold and green F50 and in front of Canada.
Denmark and Canada
The Danish team got off to a sticky start in the first fleet race when they were forced to dive away from Canada at the last moment. Canada, which had the right of way, soared past Denmark to secure the inside track and round the mark in fifth.
France and Spain close cross
The second race of the event saw Spain driver Diego Botin steer the Spanish F50 perilously close to France as the young Spanish team swept in front to steal the inside track around the mark from Emirates Team GBR.
France turns into Australia
Next up an uncharacteristic mistake by France driver Quentin Delapierre saw the French F50 turn directly into the path of Australia after rounding Gate 4 in the third fleet race. Delapierre was quick to rectify his mistake, but the error resulted in a painful Part 2 penalty and saw the French fall off the foils.
The fleet converges in Fleet Race Four
The close action continued on the second day of racing when the fleet converged in the fourth leg of the fourth fleet race. There were multiple close crosses at once as the U.S., Switzerland and Emirates Team GBR all came together at the mark.
France vs New Zealand
A key dramatic moment occurred when France and New Zealand went head to head in the showdown sprint to the finish of the fourth fleet race. France claimed room at the final mark and attempted to pass over the top of New Zealand's bow, but the Kiwis bit back and luffed the French. France crashed down into the water just meters from the finish line and picked up a penalty to boot.