The poor performance of Jimmy Spithill’s U.S. team in Chicago has been laid bare in data provided by the league’s 10-strong F50 fleet.
Spithill’s home team had a disappointing performance in the season opener, finishing with a 9-10-6-2-8 race record, and in 9th overall - just ahead of the new German team.
The U.S. team struggled across multiple metrics, including ride height and average speed. According to SailGP Insights, the U.S. was the slowest boat in the fleet with an average speed of 40.35 km/h. Germany was the second slowest (40.47 km/h) followed by Switzerland (40.87km/h). By contrast, the team with the highest average speed was Canada (45.38 km/h), followed by Australia (44.38 km/h).
The United States also had the lowest ride height, just 0.46m - meaning the American F50 flew lower to the water than another team, resulting in increased drag. The second lowest was Spain (0.47m), followed by Germany (0.48m). At the top of this metric meanwhile was Canada with 0.61m, followed by event winner New Zealand (0.59m) and Australia (0.56m).
Minimizing maneuvers is also important in maintaining speed - but the U.S. performed a total of 42 - the second highest of the fleet. Only Emirates GBR performed more - a total of 43 - while event winners New Zealand (29), and finalists Australia (30) and Canada (31) performed the least.
When it came to starting, the Americans ranked well in time to start - taking an average of just 4 seconds to cross the line after the gun. In fact, they were the second fastest in this metric behind Canada, which took just 2.7 seconds to cross the line.
The U.S. also had a decent average starting speed of 32km/h - the only teams with higher starting speeds were Australia (33.3km/h), Canada (37.2 km/h) and Denmark (35.3km/h) - and Spithill’s team also faired well in start line positioning.
The American F50 was, on average, positioned 17.2m from the line. However there were big disparities in this metric - with Spain positioned the furthest away - an average of 67.8m - and Australia positioned the closest - just 11.1m away. Despite the U.S.’s promising starting statistics, the team had an average mark one ranking of 5.3, which slipped down to an average finishing position of 6.6.
Powered by Oracle, SailGP Insights is an online dashboard which provides fans with huge amounts of data from our cutting-edge racing F50 catamarans.