Emirates GBR sealed its first event since Season 2 by minimizing maneuvers and sailing the shortest distance in the fifth leg of Saint-Tropez’s Final.

Emirates GBR overtook Tom Slingsby’s Australia in dramatic fashion on the penultimate and last upwind leg of the race by performing just two maneuvers to Australia’s 5.

Ben Ainslie’s crew also sailed the shortest distance on the penultimate leg - a total of 1,576m compared to Australia’s 1,872m - and had the highest average speed - 24.6km/h versus Australia’s 22.8 km/h.

This meant that Emirates GBR also sailed the shortest distance of Australia and Spain in the entire race, despite performing the most amount of maneuvers overall.

Emirates GBR covered a total distance of 6,428.7m compared to Australia’s 6,663.4m and Spain’s 6,857.3m, but performed 12 maneuvers in total compared to Australia’s 11 and Spain’s 9.

But the key moment of the race, which allowed Emirates GBR to overtake Australia on leg 5, was the British team’s decision to split with the Aussies at the bottom gate. Wind shifts on the right hand side of the course favored the Brits, and allowed them to pull off fewer maneuvers and sail less distance in the approach to the final reach.

Despite a solid start, Australia was first to Mark 1 and led for the majority of the race. Emirates GBR beat Australia and Spain in start line distance - and was positioned just 0.2m from the start line at the gun, compared to Australia’s 7.6m distance and Spain’s 50.4m.

Emirates GBR was also the quickest to cross the line after the gun - just 0.1 seconds compared to Australia’s 0.6 seconds and Spain’s 3.7 seconds. But it was Spain that made the fastest start, clocking a speed of 50.7 km/h compared to Australia’s 43.7 km/h and Emirates GBR’s 40.1 km.h.

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