The top three teams from the first day of racing at the Singapore Sail Grand Prix have described the racecourse as ‘unpredictable’ and chaotic’ after light wind conditions plagued the opening day.
The nine F50s were fitted with the largest 29m wing and teams cut down to four-crew as winds of 6-14 km/h presented a unique set of challenges to the most experienced teams.
The light conditions postponed the start of racing by almost 50 minutes and resulted in a condensed racing schedule of two fleet races.
Australia topped the leaderboard at the end of the day with 18 points, followed by Great Britain and Canada with 14 points apiece. The race wins of the day meanwhile went to New Zealand and the United States.
Speaking about the day, Great Britain strategist Hannah Mills said: “It's really hard especially with such a small racecourse, as soon as you are back in the fleet, it is just chaotic. It is hard to find lanes, decisions becoming harder to make, you go slower than the boats in front of you, it’s just difficult.”
Driver Ben Ainslie added that competing in light conditions is‘just as challenging if not more so” as competing in ’40 km/h of wind when we are going close to 100 km/h’.
Canada driver Phil Robertson agreed, describing the racecourse as ‘unpredictable’. “It’s a tricky little venue to be honest, we came here expecting very little wind and what we had today was I suppose the expectation.”
He said the team’s result of two fourth place finishes wasn’t ’anything special’ but ‘not anything bad as well’, adding 'consistency is kind of key right now, especially on day one.'
Australia driver Tom Slingsby attributed the team’s day one success to ‘two good starts’.
“We did do well today […] we had two really good starts, we still made plenty of mistakes out there and coughed up a couple of positions at times, but we’re really happy that the day was a good one.”