Ahead of the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix on December 9/10, we round up the best bits from SailGP’s first visit to the iconic city in Season 3. Key highlights include close calls between Switzerland and ROCKWOOL DEN, match racing between Emirates GBR and France and a nail-biting three-boat showdown featuring France, Emirates GBR and event winner Australia.
Switzerland vs Emirates GBR at the mark
This close moment between Emirates GBR and Switzerland unfolded in the first race of the event, with Emirates GBR picking up a penalty for not giving the Swiss enough room at the mark. This meant the British had to drop from 6th to 5th place.
Australia vs Switzerland on the start line
The light wind conditions of the first day of racing challenged crews, with Australia picking up two bad starts in the first two fleet races. The start of the second fleet race saw many teams early to the line and aggressive tactics from Switzerland pushed Australia into the back of the fleet.
New Zealand's flying start
The Kiwis took full advantage of the increased breeze as day two got underway, with driver Peter Burling executing an incredible start with almost twice the boat speed of the rest of the fleet.
Close call between ROCKWOOL DEN and Switzerland
This close moment unfolded in the first race of day two, with the Swiss turning away from ROCKWOOL DEN just in time. Driver Sebastien Schneiter's late reaction cost the team a penalty, handing the advantage back to the Danish.
New Zealand hits Switzerland on the start line
Despite an excellent start to the fourth fleet race, New Zealand misjudged the start of race five, hitting Switzerland in an effort to cross the line at speed. The Kiwis were handed a penalty for the mistake and docked four points from their event score.
France fly too high
France looked under control and fast during the final fleet race when a flight control error saw the red and blue F50 leap out of the water. Thankfully, the mistake was short-lived and without serious consequence, allowing the French to secure a second place finish.
France and Emirates GBR match race in the Final
One of the most exciting Finals of the season got underway in style, with Emirates GBR and France match racing each other to Mark 1. The French racked up a top speed of 70 km/h, overtaking the British and reaching Mark 1 first.
Australia, Emirates GBR and France go to battle
The neck and neck Final came to a head on the last gate, with Australia driver Tom Slingsby spinning the gold and green F50 in front of his competitors. The tight moment saw the British come out on top, taking the lead on leg 6 of 7.
Emirates GBR lose the Final on the foil drop
Triumph was short-lived for the British, who were seconds away from winning the event. But a maneuvering error by Ainslie's crew handed the lead to Australia and second place to the French.
The F50 fleet will return to Dubai on December 9/10 for two days of fast and furious racing in front of shoreside crowds.