The fleet racing performances of Spain and Canada have been put under the spotlight after the Spanish beat the Canadians to the LA Final by a margin of just one point.

Diego Botin’s team scraped into the Final after finishing ninth in the fifth and final fleet race and beating Canada, which finished in fourth, by one point in fleet racing. Had Spain finished one place behind, or had Canada finished one position ahead, Canada would have proceeded into the Final instead.

Data provided by the 10-strong F50 fleet shows that the performance of both teams was fairly even across key fleet racing metrics.

It was Canada that picked up the highest average speed in fleet racing - but only just - a speed of 40.26 km/h versus Spain’s 39.5 km/h. There were paper-thin margins in other metrics too, with Canada picking up an average foil height of 0.31m versus Spain’s 0.28m. Canada foiled for 61.11% of the five fleet races, while Spain’s foil percentage was slightly higher at 62.8%.

Season 4 // Phil Robertson and Diego Botin at the Los Angeles press conference

The teams had similar starting speeds too - with Canada’s 32.3 km/h narrowly pipping Spain’s 28.3 km/h. However, Canada, which has a reputation as the best starting team in the fleet, was consistently positioned closest to the line - just 12.2m at the gun, compared to Spain’s 26m deficit.

But Spain beat Canada across key metrics too - including average distance sailed and maneuvers. Spain covered an average distance of 8,120m- beating Canada’s average of 8,252m. And Spain performed just 55 maneuvers throughout fleet racing, while Canada executed 11 more, with a total of 66.

Spain flies in Sydney during Season 3 with driver Diego Botin

The close performances of the two teams were evident in their average Mark 1 positions, which were separated by just one place - Spain had an average position of 4.4, while Canada’s was 3.4. However, it was Spain that was able to improve its Mark 1 ranking by the time it crossed the finish line - Spain picked up an average finishing position of 4.2, beating Canada’s 4.4.

Season 4 // Close up of foiling Canada F50 in Los Angeles

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