The inaugural Singapore Sail Grand Prix took place this weekend in challenging, light air conditions which put all nine teams to the test.
Racing started 50 minutes later than expected on day one, so only two of the three scheduled races could be held. Volatile wind conditions meant that the F50s were configured with the largest 29m wings and had only four crew onboard. The Canadians managed to find a couple of passing lanes in both of Saturday’s races and sailed consistently to finish with two fourths.
Commenting on day one, Robertson said: “It’s not easy out there but everyone is sailing in the same conditions, so you’ve just got to beat them in what you get. The sailors we’ve got are quite adaptable and you’ve got to learn how to adapt, so it was a good day for us.”
Going into day two, the Canada SailGP Team was tied for second place with Great Britain. The wind was up slightly to 14km/h, which meant that the full crews of six were onboard the F50s. The pressure was on for the Canadians to try to secure a place in the finals. But the team never recovered from a tussle at the start with Australia and finished ninth in Race 3, while Switzerland led from the start and took their first race win in Season 3.
Race Management was optimistic and set the teams up for a seven leg course in Race 4. A change in wind conditions resulted in the course being shortened to five legs which was just not enough racetrack for Phil Robertson and the crew who were battling it out mid-fleet. The team finished seventh in Race 4, ahead of the United States and Spain.
“Tough day. We were not getting off the start line and it was a pretty one-sided track from there. Not having clean starts was the big issue and it never opened up for us. Something to look at and build on is consistency in how we are starting,” said Robertson.
The Singapore Sail Grand Prix wrapped up with Canada in sixth place, consistent with the team’s position on the overall leaderboard. The event win went to the New Zealand SailGP Team despite having started out with a four point penalty from a pre-event collision with USA. The Denmark SailGP Team finished strong in second overall, while Australia took third.
From Singapore, the fleet will head to Sydney for the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix on 18-19 February.