It is ‘nonsense’ to claim Season 3 is over for the United States despite a slew of hero to zero performances this season, according to SailGP’s podcast.
In the latest episode of Deep Dive, hosts Stevie Morrison and Freddie Carr debated the chances of Jimmy Spithill’s team securing a place in San Francisco’s winner-takes-all Championship Final.
Morrison argued that the U.S. team are ‘struggling’ and haven’t been picking up enough points ‘all year’ to put them in good stead of reaching the Grand Final.
Singapore represented a last-chance opportunity to climb back up the Championship leaderboard, he added, but two early start penalties left the team with a 8-1-8-8 fleet racing record. This was despite bringing back seasoned flight controller Rome Kirby.
“They’re just not on form,” Morrison added, “they had to perform in Singapore and Jimmy Spithill knew that - he was aggressive at the start and got two over the line [early start penalties] in two out of four races.”
While Carr admitted the penalties were ‘inexcusable’, he dismissed the claim that the Grand Final is out of the team’s reach as ‘nonsense’.
“They’re only 11 points off third,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong - the Americans will have to sail super well to get to the Grand Final but I’m not writing them off - those points are gettable.”
He added that ‘it is no bad thing’ for Spithill to be ‘a bit back footed’. “Form is temporary, class is permanent, and I think Spithill is class. As long as there is breath in his body, Spithill is going to fight and fight and fight.”
Morrison admitted it was ‘mathematically possible’ for Spithill’s crew to make it into the Final, but with three events left to go and the team’s current form he said ‘I just don’t see it’.
Carr also disagreed with Morrison assertion that Championship leaders Australia and New Zealand are ‘a shoe-in for the Grand Final’.
He agreed that Australia, which is currently top of the leaderboard with 68 points, ‘has one foot in the Final’ but disagreed that New Zealand’s place is certain.
Looking ahead to the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix this month, he said: “This is going to be a Sail Grand Prix that really sets in stone the positions from two through to seven (…) - it’s game on for everyone else.”