Australia driver Tom Slingsby has reflected on the team’s ‘scrappy’ second day performance in Singapore, admitting the team ‘wasn’t on top of boat handling’.
However, the Aussies were ‘stoked’ nonetheless to ‘lock in a top three’ result and consolidate their position at the top of the overall leaderboard.
The Aussies came third overall, losing out to Nicolai Sehested's Denmark in second, and New Zealand, whick took the event win.
The start turned out to decisive, and while Australia had the quickest starting speed of 63.4 km/h, Denmark was the closest at the gun - just six meters from the line. However, it was the Kiwis who had the best angle to mark one and led the race from there.
Reflecting on the start, Slingsby said: “We weren’t completely in control of the boat with the big wing and that much wind - we couldn’t get down to the bottom of the [start] line, which was our plan.”
He added: “We were up the line and the Kiwis got the pin end and that was the race really - they sailed a good race from then on and there were no opportunities to overtake.”
A boat handling blunder by the Aussies on the third leg sent them to the back of the pack and left the team trailing in third for the remainder of the race.
Despite this, Slingsby said he was happy to secure another podium finish and said that the team's ‘comfortable position’ means there is no necessity to win events for the remainder of the season.
“Our position is quite nice at the moment - there’s not a heap of pressure on us,” he said. “We don’t need to go out there and get firsts to make the Grand Final - if we go through the rest of the season with some top fives, I think we’ll be comfortable.”
After the light wind venue of Singapore, which Slingsby said he expected to be ‘tough’, the team is gearing up for the three upcoming venues of Sydney, Christchurch and San Francisco, all of which are known for gustier conditions.
“From here we’ve got - on paper - windy venues and that’s what we like, so we should be able to finish the season strong,” Slingsby added.
The nine-strong F50 fleet will next meet at the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix on February 18 & 19.