An early decision to jibe away towards the first mark sealed the U.S.’s victory in Cadiz over ROCKWOOL DEN and Australia.

Data from the Final of the Spain Sail Grand Prix shows how Jimmy Spithill’s team went from a penalty in the pre-start to winning the three-boat showdown with a commanding lead.

The Americans couldn’t have had a worse start to the race, picking up a boundary penalty in the pre-start, which left them positioned 178.5m from the line at the gun. This meant they took 13.8 seconds to begin the race after it had started.

But the team’s decision to jibe away early on the first downwind immediately reversed this poor start, and saw the Americans able to sail a more direct angle to the first bottom gate than Australia and ROCKWOOL DEN.

USA SailGP x Spain Sail Grand Prix

As a result, the U.S. sailed significantly shorter distance on the first downwind leg - a total of 730.6m compared to ROCKWOOL DEN’s 1,067m and Australia’s 1,281m.

Season 4 // United States stretch away with huge lead in Cadiz final

The USA was also able to increase its speed - picking up an average speed on the downwind leg of 17.6 km/h versus ROCKWOOL DEN’s 10.9 km/h and Australia’s 12.2 km/h. This meant the U.S. was able to take the lead and continue the trend on the first upwind leg too - sailing 974.7m to Australia’s 1,460m and ROCKWOOL DEN’s 1,391m.

Season 4 // Jimmy Spithill with Nicolai Sehested after racing in Cadiz

The Americans had the highest average speed - 32.7 km/h to Australia’s 30.1 km/h and ROCKWOOL DEN’s 29.4 km/h and the highest fly time - 61% to Australia’s 54% and ROCKWOOL DEN’s 52%.

Season 4 // United States crew celebrate on board F50 after winning Spain SailGP

Overall, the Americans sailed a significantly shorter race than their rivals, covering a total distance of 4,888m to ROCKWOOL DEN’s 5,620m and Australia’s 5,946m.

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