ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team navigated tricky conditions to grab a fourth placed finish in the opening Sail Grand Prix of Season 4 on Saturday.
The Danes – racing in a new-look, black and red boat – narrowly missed out on the overall podium at the ROLEX United States Sail Grand Prix in Chicago as light breeze made life difficult for the 10-strong fleet.
“It was really difficult today, it felt like a lottery sailing out there,” said Anne-Marie Rindom, Strategist on the ROCKWOOL boat, who spent the day on the handles as a Grinder in a 4-up configuration used to reduce weight onboard the boat.
“To be honest, we haven’t sailed more than perhaps half an hour in those kind of conditions since we joined SailGP, so it’s really new for us. But you have to keep developing and finding ways to win – that’s the game.”
If Friday was about flight time, Saturday was more of a float-off – but the thousands of spectators that lined the iconic Navy Pier cheered on excitedly as the world’s best sailors used every ounce of skill and experience to pick their way through the course.
For ROCKWOOL Denmark, who began the day in fourth place, Race Day 2 was about chipping away at the top spots to try and overturn a three-point deficit on third place.
An unlucky opening race essentially put paid to those hopes, as the Danes finished in tenth spot in flukey winds – but a strong final fleet race secured fourth spot, and fourth overall.
“Although we’re disappointed not to reach the final, we’re pretty happy to take a fourth place to open a new chapter of SailGP,” admits Nicolai Sehested, driver onboard ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team.
“We felt unlucky to finish last in Race 4, as it was a bit of a float-off, but I’m happy that we managed to get some points on the board before the day was out – and it leaves us in good shape for the next racing in Los Angeles.”
New Zealand SailGP Team took the victory on Saturday to kick off the new season in style, seeing off challenges from Australia and Canada in the final.
The next action of SailGP Season 4 sees the fleet stay Stateside – with an inaugural visit to Los Angeles on 22-23 July.