Nicolai Sehested’s ROCKWOOL Denmark triumphed in practice racing ahead of the France Sail Grand Prix in Saint-Tropez this weekend, while the U.S. suffered a dramatic capsize.
The full F50 fleet hit the water on Friday to undertake practice racing - going head to head across three fleet races before official racing on September 9 & 10.
Shifty conditions and a steadily building breeze challenged crews due to the F50s’ 29m wing and light air foil configuration. But it was ROCKWOOL Denmark that sailed consistently across all three races to finish with a 1-1-4 race record at the top of the leaderboard.
Phil Robertson’s Canada and Peter Burling’s New Zealand rounded out the top three, while Germany ended the day with a second place finish in the third and final fleet race.
Elsewhere, it was a solid day for Sebastien Schneiter’s Switzerland, which seemed to benefit from regaining former Japan driver Nathan Outteridge in the strategist role and the addition of former France flight controller Francois Morvan.
The team picked up solid results in the first two races of the day - a 5th and 3rd - but were forced to retire from the third fleet race after coming close to capsizing.
Jimmy Spithill’s United States meanwhile wasn’t so lucky, and toppled over minutes before the start of race three. Both the U.S. and Switzerland sat out the third race and headed back to the Tech Base after to assess the F50s before official racing. All crew members are safe and accounted for.
Despite a tricky start to the day for home favorites France, Quentin Delapierre’s team rebounded to claim a 10-5-3 race record and finish in 4th overall. LA champions Spain also struggled, placing 6-9-7 to finish the day in 9th overall.
Elsewhere, Season 3 champions Australia and Season 3 Grand Finalist Emirates Great Britain both had lukewarm performances, with Australia finishing in 7th overall and Emirates GBR in 8th.
Both teams will be looking to move up the leaderboard and claim a better set of fleet racing results when official racing gets underway at 13.30 CEST tomorrow. Full broadcast and how to watch information can be found HERE.