Last weekend’s KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney delivered plenty of close-to-shore racing action, with close crosses, dramatic penalties and near misses. From France’s hat-trick of race wins to Australia’s last-minute technical problems, we round up five moments you might have missed from the weekend.
After a disappointing eighth place finish in Singapore, France driver Quentin Delapierre came out firing in Sydney with something to prove. The crew overcame gusty conditions of 50 km/h and fierce fleet competition to dominate Saturday’s three races and pick up the overall event win. Following Sydney, France has moved back up into the top three teams and is just one point away from New Zealand in second.
Australia’s technical problems
Home town heroes Australia got off to a tricky start on Saturday after experiencing technical problems in practice. The start of racing was delayed in the hope the team could fix the issue, but it was announced minutes later the team would not be able to compete in the first race. Despite this, the green and gold F50 was seen unexpectedly streaking towards the start line at the sound of the gun and battled on despite the problems on board. The team finished the event in third overall and extends its Championship lead to a comfortable 12 points.
France and Emirates Great Britain close cross
There were many drama-filled moments in the first race of the day, including the moment France executed a last minute dive to avoid Emirates GBR on the third leg of the race.
Matching racing between the United States and France
There were plenty of tight match racing moments between France and event runner up the United States as both teams entered the home straight to the finish line. Ultimately it was Delapierre’s crew who came out on top, pipping the Americans to the post in all three races.
Matt Gotrel falls through the fairing
The most dramatic moment of the day was undoubtedly the moment Emirates GBR grinder Matt Gotrel slipped through the fairing of the British F50 due to mis-stepping during a maneuver. The incident, which occurred in the first fleet race, saw Gotrel remain attached to the F50 via his safety tether and pulled quickly back on board by his teammates. The team resumed the race and even managed to salvage a decent six place finish.