Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL heads to San Francisco for the Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix on 6-7 May on the verge of a best-ever finish on the water – and glory off it.
The Danes, led by Nicolai Sehested, currently sit in fifth place in the overall Season 3 rankings, but are closely followed by Canada SailGP Team and United States SailGP Team so must but in a strong showing on the west coast.
And in the Impact League – SailGP’s ground-breaking impact championship – Denmark is just one point behind leaders, and last year’s champions, New Zealand – a deficit that Sehested hopes to overturn ahead of the Grand Final.
“We take the Impact League very seriously, and we have done everything we can to push on and take the victory over the past few events,” he explains.
“Make no mistake, you cannot win the Impact League without being strong in every single area of the criteria, so we have had to work very hard to keep the pressure on New Zealand.”
Last season, the Danes finished last in the inaugural Impact League championship,and Sehested explains that it set a lofty ambition ahead of Season 3 – to finish in first place.
“I think in Season 2, we were so focused on improving on the water, that we found it difficult to properly integrate the Impact League into our activities. This season, the level is higher than ever and all teams are pushing for the win. On our side, we approach it like we do the racing – we analyse and identify where we are weak, find solutions, and implement them.”
“We have really integrated new behaviours and habits into our daily lives and team operations, whilst trying to think creatively about innovations and new ways of doing things. It would mean a lot to our team and our partners ROCKWOOL and One Ocean Foundation if we are able to take the victory and get our hands on the trophy in San Francisco.”
The winner of the Impact League will be announced on Friday 5 May, just 24 hours before the teams go racing in the Bay – in front of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
“San Francisco is such a fantastic place to race – it’s a fitting venue for the SailGP Grand Final,” continues Sehested.
“Of course, I wish we were still in the running for two season podiums – but instead we are focused on a strong finish to a season on the water which has brought more ups than downs for us, including making three event finals, and we are focused on achieving a better position than last year.”
The Danes have impressed in Season 3 and made the top three in Plymouth, Copenhagen and Singapore to bank their first podium finishes since joining SailGP ahead of Season 2.
Last season, the Danes took sixth place overall, so a strong showing in California will have them achieve their best result since joining the league in 2019.
Sehested believes that the team is making clear progress and has his sights set on mixing up the fleet in Season 4.
“We know that on our day, we can beat anyone in the fleet,” he continues. “We just need to keep working on our consistency, and raise our bottom level. We are confident that we can come into next season with speed, and break into that top three.”
The Danish team has already added talent to its ranks in the form of Richard Mason, the British grinder who has previously raced with both Great Britain SailGP Team and Switzerland SailGP Team.
“We’re really delighted to add a sailor of Rich’s quality into our roster, and he brings a lot of experience to the team, having spent a lot of time racing high-performance boats in both SailGP and the America’s Cup,” explains Sehested.
“He is a very versatile athlete, and has a strong mentality and personality which will help to raise our level ahead of next season.”
The Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix takes place on 6-7 May at 14.30 PDT (local time). Find out where and when you can catch the action live by heading to SailGP.com/watch.