The Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas hosted the closest Final in SailGP history, with New Zealand crowned event champions in a dramatic photo finish.
SailGP's 10 national teams went head to head against the iconic cityscape of Dubai as the 6th stop on Season 4’s action-packed 13-event calendar got underway.
Bolstered by new wing trimmer Paul Campbell-James, Phil Robertson’s Canada got off to a perfect start - taking the win in the opening race.
Next up, Jimmy Spithill proved why Tom Slingsby trusted him to drive the Flying Roo in Dubai, with Australia landing a win in the second race, while Erik Heil’s Germany was handed instant disqualification for barging in at the start line.
And finally, honorary home team Emirates GBR took the win in the third fleet race.
Australia topped the leaderboard heading into day two, but with multiple teams tied on points, there was all to play for.
Ben Ainslie’s British team started the day with a bang, netting their second win of the event, while Spain was forced to sit out the fourth fleet race due to technical difficulties.
There was plenty of drama as the final fleet race got underway, with new U.S. driver Taylor Canfield executing aggressive match racing tactics to shut the door on the Brits on the start line, resulting in a Black Flag and instant disqualification from the race.
The Aussies meanwhile, who trailed at the back of the fleet, had to pass at least one boat to make it into the Final. Finally, they passed the Spanish and crossed the finish line to secure their place in the three-boat showdown alongside Canada and New Zealand.
Australia secured the best start as the Final got underway and was first at Mark 1, with Spithill leading for much of the race.
Peter Burling’s New Zealand meanwhile made key tactical decisions to gain the inside track at the final turning mark, resulting in all three boats coming back together as the finish line loomed.
An 11th-hour penalty denied Canada the ultimate victory, while Australia and New Zealand crossed the finish line within meters of each other. Ultimately though, it was the Kiwis who pipped the Aussies at the post, claiming their second event win of the season.
Next up, the 10-strong F50 fleet heads to Abu Dhabi for the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council on January 13-14.