Season 3 was packed with risk taking and tense moments as SailGP’s nine international teams pushed their super fast, foiling F50s to the limits. We round up the most dramatic penalties from Season 3, from Emirates GBR’s dramatic last-minute penalty in Plymouth, to Australia and the Kiwis’ near collision in Copenhagen.
France’s Black Flag in Bermuda
France got Season 3 off to an explosive start, earning an immediate disqualification from the fourth fleet race for trying to barge in at the start line. The British F50 was forced to swerve and avoid a collision when the French boat came in at speed, trying to squeeze into a gap that had already closed. The French were immediately ‘black flagged’ by chief umpire Craig Mitchell, leaving them with zero points for that particular race.
Emirates GBR’s dramatic last minute penalty in Plymouth
One of the most controversial penalties unfolded in Plymouth, when home team Emirates GBR had to beat Australia to make it into the three-boat, winner-takes-all Final. Ben Ainslie’s crew undertook a close cross with the Aussie team in an effort to cross the finish line first, but the move was quickly penalized by the umpire team. The penalty, which meant the Brits had to cross the finish line after the Aussies, barred the British team from the Final - handing the place to Australia instead.
Australia comes close to hitting New Zealand in Copenhagen
With racing cancelled on the first day of Copenhagen, crews put it all on the line on Race Day 2 to propel themselves up the leaderboard. Australia went head to head with rivals New Zealand as the pair closed in on the finish line, coming close to hitting the Kiwi F50 before bearing away. The avoiding action was judged to be too little, too late by the umpire team, which penalized the Aussie boat as it rounded the mark behind Burling’s crew.
New Zealand squeezes inside Switzerland at the mark in Cadiz
The pressure was on as the second day of racing in Cadiz got underway, with the Kiwis fighting tooth and nail for every point. As Peter Burling’s team closed in on the United States, they saw an opportunity - squeezing inside Switzerland at the mark to attempt to move into third place. But the umpires quickly delivered justice, penalizing the Kiwis for infringing the Swiss, who had the right of way.
New Zealand collides with Switzerland in Dubai
The Kiwis picked up a four point Part 2 penalty in Dubai after hitting Switzerland on the start line of the fifth fleet race. The Kiwis were attempting to find a gap in the start line up when their rudder shaft glanced off the windward hull of Switzerland. Not only did the Kiwis lose four points from their event score in Dubai, but they also lost two season points too.
The United States almost hits Switzerland in Christchurch
Drama unfolded on the waters of Lyttelton Harbour when the United States came within meters of hitting Sebastien Schneiter’s Switzerland in the fourth fleet race. A late turn by Jimmy Spithill’s crew saw the American F50, the port tack boat, just avoid a collision, but the late reaction was still enough to earn the U.S. a penalty.