Kiwi driver Peter Burling has revealed a secret F50 tactic he deployed in Chicago’s challenging light airs to beat Australia and Canada.
The Kiwis triumphed on Lake Michigan, winning the Rolex Untied States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier after beating arch rivals Australia and Canada in winds as low as 4 km/h.
Speaking after racing, Burling revealed ‘everyone across the fleet’ has realized that raising and lowering the hydraulic daggerboard can help propel the boat through the water.
“Normally we sail in enough breeze that it doesn’t make any difference… you can gain speed by putting the daggerboard up and down and effectively use the hydraulic pump downstairs to push the boat forward,” he said.
He said without this tactic, the fleet would have ‘barely been moving’ across the glassy, still surface of Lake Michigan in one of the lightest days in SailGP history.
“It really gets us through some of those awkward situations,” he said, adding that “everyone’s got the same amount of power, so they can do it equally.”
“I think everyone would prefer to be sailing in a bit more breeze to be honest, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
The 10-strong F50 fleet will next meet at the Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix | Port of Los Angeles.