SailGP fans have narrowly backed former U.S. driver Jimmy Spithill to deliver an Australian victory in Dubai over Peter Burling’s New Zealand.

A total of 24% of fans voted for Australia to win in Dubai - despite the team not winning an event yet in Season 4 so far and racing without permanent driver Tom Slingsby, who is out on paternity leave.

Peter Burling’s New Zealand was voted second most likely to win in Dubai, picking up 23% of the vote.

Ben Ainslie’s Emirates GBR meanwhile, which won in Saint-Tropez and Taranto, was voted into third with 14% after an excellent 2nd place finish in practice racing.

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It comes after New Zealand hit the Dubai waters with purpose - excelling in three practice fleet races to finish at the top of the leaderboard. Ainslie’s crew came second overall - finishing one point behind the Kiwis - while Quentin Delapierre’s France finished in third.

Australia had a tricky first racing day however, finishing 8th overall after three fleet races.

On the other end of the spectrum, Germany was deemed least likely to win in Dubai, with 0% of the vote, while Switzerland and Taylor Canfield’s United States picked up 1%.

Season 4 // Jimmy Spithill takes the wheel of Australia F50 in Dubai training

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The Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas will take place on December 9 & 10, with racing scheduled between 2pm-3.30pm GST.

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