Jimmy Spithill has reflected on his first day as substitute Aussie driver, stressing the quality of the league’s ‘benchmark’ team, which sits at the top of the leaderboard heading into day two.

Australia delivered a calm and calculated performance across the first three fleet races of Dubai to finish day one with a 3-1-3 race record and 26 points.

This means the Aussies have a 5 point lead above New Zealand and Canada heading into the final day of the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix.

Reflecting on racing, Spithill described the three-time SailGP champions as ‘a very slick team’.

Season 4 // Australia's Jimmy Spithill at Dubai press conference

“You can see that this is a benchmark team in the league and I’m just trying to get in there and not make too many mistakes.”

Spithill has an established track record racing with Australian wing trimmer Kyle Langford and grinders Kinley Fowler and Sam Newton and said this experience has ‘made the transition easy’.

Season 4 // Close up of Australian crew during racing on day one of Dubai

Australia’s commanding first day came after a lackluster practice racing performance, which saw the team finish in 8th overall. Looking back, Spithill admitted he had ‘an absolute shocker’, but spent ‘a fair bit of last night… trying to get myself back up to speed’.

“I felt like we took some good steps today, but tomorrow is a different day - it’s looking very light, so we just have to regroup and focus on that.”

The Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas continues at 2pm GST on Sunday, December 10.

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