Quentin Delapierre’s France burst onto the racecourse of Sydney Harbor with something to prove following a substandard performance in Singapore, SailGP’s commentators have said.

The dominance of the team, which picked up a hat-trick of race wins, came after a sorrowful performance at November’s Singapore Sail Grand Prix where the French finished eighth overall.

But in Sydney, the team overcame gusty conditions of up to 50 km/h and commanded close head to head racing with the United States to finish top of the leaderboard.

SailGP commentator Todd Harris said the team ‘didn’t seem themselves’ in Singapore and consequently ‘a lot of people thought they were fading’.

Fellow commentator Stevie Morrison agreed, 'they didn’t sail well and maybe people thought the French were just a flash in the pan.'

Looking back on Singapore, Emily Nagel suggested the French ‘struggle’ to perform with the league’s largest 29m wing. This wing was fitted to the nine-strong F50 fleet to cater for the light wind conditions of Singapore.

“They tend to struggle with the largest wing, whereas they perform really well with the middle and smallest wings,” she said.

Morrison complimented France’s ability ‘to take advantage of other teams’ mistakes’ and sailing ‘technically well’ in ‘head to head situations’ with Canada and the United States.

Nagel also highlighted the ‘battles between the United States and France’. “Going into it we knew they could both be strong contenders, but to see them both perform so strongly was really impressive”.

Following Sydney’s event win, France has moved up into third on the overall Championship leaderboard. Only the top three teams will secure a place in the Season 3 Grand Final in San Francisco and there are currently just 12 points separating the United States in sixth and New Zealand in second.

Season 3 // Australia Sail Grand Prix // Quentin runs across France F50

Jimmy Spithill’s United States had an improved performance in Sydney, picking up a 2-2-5 racing record and finishing the event in second overall. However, all three commentators agreed the Season 3 Grand Final in San Francisco remains out of reach.

Nagel pointed to the U.S.’s ‘improved starting strategy’ in Sydney after the team picked up two OCS penalties for crossing the start line early in Singapore.

While Morrison agreed the team had ‘sailed really well’ in Sydney, he suggested driver Jimmy Spithill would be ‘doubting himself’ following a turbulent season behind the wheel.

Season 3 // Australia Sail Grand Prix // United States training in Sydney

“As much as Jimmy is a big character, I would be surprised if his confidence hasn’t been knocked a bit,” Morrison said, arguing the team ‘lost their place in the San Francisco Grand Final a lot earlier in the season’.

“If you look at the points, they’re now 11 points behind the French in third, so they need to finish six places ahead of the French and the Kiwis in the next two events,” he said.

The F50 fleet will meet again at next month’s ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch on March 18-19.