Diego Botin and Jordi Xammar’s respective debut performances as driver of Spain have been put under the microscope thanks to SailGP’s cutting edge data analysis.
Data provided by the nine-strong F50 fleet allows analysis of Jordi Xammar’s first day as driver at the Season 2 Grand Final in San Francisco compared to Diego Botin’s debut at last month’s KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney.
Data metrics that can be compared are starts, position retention from Mark 1 to finish, straight line performances and maneuvers. Other factors that should be taken into account however, include the improved racing performance of the rest of the fleet and the Spanish crew as a whole.
Botin and Xammar had largely similar starts, with Xammar picking up an average Mark 1 ranking of 4.33, slightly better than Botin’s 4.8.
Xammar’s place retention was also better, averaging at a loss of 0.3 positions from Mark 1 to the finish, while Botin lost an average of 3 places.
When it came to straight line boat speed however, Botin had the better performance on the downwind legs, while the upwind legs were similar to the rest of the fleet.
Xammar’s upwind boat speed was 0.9% slower than the wider fleet, while Botin’s was 1.2% slower. On the downwind, however Botin was 0.3% faster than the rest of the fleet, while Xammar was 0.3% slower.
Greater differences are seen in the two drivers’ maneuvers. When comparing the distance 15 seconds before and after the maneuver was made, Botin came out on top. These figures are compared to the wider fleet’s performance on the same day.
Xammar deviated 0.7% on tacks and 7.2% on jibes, while Botin deviated 2.7% on tacks and just 1% on jibes. Speaking about these results, data analyst Hugo Stubler said: “The differences are on the maneuvers. Diego was a bit better than the fleet, while Jordi was further beyond. However, Spain worked a lot on their jibes during Season 3, which might bias this conclusion.”
The subtle differences between the two drivers’ debuts are difficult to spot in the team’s event rankings. Xammar’s debut saw Spain finish in last place, while in Sydney, Spain finished in eighth ahead of Switzerland.
However, Xammar picked up a racing record of 8-3-2-8-8, while Botin’s was 8-5-9. While both drivers had ‘more or less the same starts’, Stubler said, ‘Jordi managed to execute two good races that put him in the mix at the end of the first day.’
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