Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL completed a tough weekend on the water in New Zealand – struggling to make an impact on the top spots as the F50 catamarans raced in the inaugural SailGP event on Kiwi waters.

The Danish team took eighth place overall after a frustrating set of fleet races marred by technical issues and under performance, as Canada SailGP Team took the plaudits in its first event win ever.

New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch | Season 3 | Denmark | Racing

Sehested said: “We are disappointed. We just had a debrief trying to figure out why we couldn’t do the things we wanted out there. We tried to change a few things after yesterday – and while we were better in some areas, we just didn’t get it right today.”

Reflecting on Race Day 2, he admits: “We got a little bit unlucky with our screen not working in Race 4, which meant we got a boundary penalty but didn’t know, and by the time we found out, we had to go from being in the lead to last place. In a fleet this good, it’s difficult to come back from that. In Race 5, we just weren’t pulling off things to the level that we needed to.”

More Speed Less Plastic hits landmark

Despite the underwhelming result in New Zealand, Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL did take the third highest speed in Lyttelton Harbour as it clocked 85.9 km/hr – converting to 859 kilograms of ocean-bound waste diverted as part of its More Speed Less Plastic initiative with ROCKWOOL and One Ocean Foundation.

Event winners Canada SailGP Team took the top speed of the weekend, hitting 88.2 km/hr, which means that One Ocean Foundation will divert 882 kilograms of ocean-bound waste on behalf of the team and its sponsor OceanWise.

That makes more than five tonnes of waste diverted since the team launched the More Speed Less Plastic initiative in Singapore two months ago, in collaboration with three teams – New Zealand SailGP Team, Switzerland SailGP Team and Canada SailGP Team.

“It’s really pleasing that we’ve hit this landmark with More Speed Less Plastic so soon, and great that a collection of our competitors have helped us towards an impressive target. SailGP is all about rivalry on the water and collaboration off it – and with the help of ROCKWOOL and One Ocean Foundation we’re making a big impact together as we go racing.”

The Danes still sit second overall in SailGP’s groundbreaking Impact League rankings as the final event of the season nears. Last year’s winners, New Zealand, lead the table which scores every team on its sustainability initiatives in each SailGP event.

Lack of training leaves team cold

Many of the teams went into the event in Christchurch without any training after big breeze forecasted put paid to the usual practice racing on Friday.

“Clearly this no preparation and no warm up doesn’t suit us,” says Sehested. “This time of the year is difficult in Denmark which means doing sailing at home is not much of an option, whilst the other teams down here are sailing all the time.”

He continues: “We need to find out how we can come more prepared to San Francisco, because if we can’t show up at the same level as the other teams, we are going to be in trouble. I don’t have the answers right now, but I will find them.”

Though making the final in the United States Sail Grand Prix on 6-7 May is still statistically possible, Sehested sees the next event as a perfect opportunity to go into the Season 4 firing on all cylinders.

“Realistically, with the fleet sailing the way it is, we think the final this year is gone,” he explains. “But San Francisco is important – we are trying to get better, especially in big breeze, and it will give us a fantastic chance to get ahead of our plan for Season 4.”