“There’s a lot of work to be done,” said Jimmy Spithill, U.S. SailGP Team’s Driver and CEO, after a less than stellar first day of SailGP’s Season 4 opener at the Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier.

The team currently sits in ninth place after the first three races, which Spithill attributes to a combination of mechanical issues, and a lack of consistent execution. “It was a really difficult day for us,” he said. “The first race we had a great start and were up there fighting it out and then just couldn’t pull off the first gybe. That coupled with another bad maneuver, landed us in the back of the fleet.”

Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier | Season 4 | United States | Racing

In race two, halfway through the race the American F50 had a port-side board malfunction, and the team needed to sail in displacement mode (non-foiling) while it sorted the issue out. “That pretty much ended that race for us,” Spithill said.

“Ironically in the third race, when we got the worst start we had our best finish (sixth place), which just goes to show you there are opportunities out there,” Spithill said. “The Australians showed us that as well, when they missed the start and were able to come back into mid fleet.”

The 10-strong fleet put on a great show for the crowds that lined the southeast end of Navy Pier. Today’s northerly wind direction provided the perfect race course and finish line to showcase SailGP’s close-to-shore action, as the fans could nearly feel the spray of the F50s as they finished just feet away from the grandstands.

Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier | Season 4 | United States | Racing

Last year’s Chicago event winner, Australia SailGP Team, claimed the early lead and Tom Slingsby, Driver and CEO, thoroughly enjoyed the day. “It was beautiful today. The wind was blowing perfectly in line with the shore. It is an exciting start line where you have to decide if you start from inside or outside. I loved the race track.”

Chicago, which is infamous for its quickly-changing weather, will likely play Jekyll and Hyde as forecasters expect a completely different day for Saturday’s racing. In contrast to today’s winds in the mid-teen, light-air conditions are predicted for tomorrow, and Spithill anticipates the league will make the call to utilize the largest, 29-meter wingsail (95 feet).

He hopes that works in the team’s favor. “We plan to come out swinging. It’s going to be an entirely different game out there tomorrow.”

While premium tickets have sold out, limited General Access tickets are still available at SailGP.com/Chicago for the final day of racing. Racing begins at 4 p.m. in which three races are planned – two fleet races and the final podium race to determine the event winners.

Racing will be broadcast live on SailGP’s YouTube channel, and also on tape delay on CBS Sports.