Season 3 was packed with risk taking and tense moments as SailGP’s nine international teams pushed their super fast, foiling F50s to the limits. We round up the most impressive starts from the 11-event calendar, from multiple start line blasts from ‘the starting master’ Phil Robertson, to New Zealand’s signature ‘slingshot’ starting strategy.
Canada blasts across the line in Chicago
Phil Robertson’s fledgling Canadian team got off to a roaring start in Bermuda and Chicago, with Robertson executing perfectly timed starts to lead the drag race to Mark One. The Canadians’ excellent start translated into a race win and made Chicago the second consecutive event with Canada in the three-boat Final.
New Zealand’s flying start in Plymouth
The Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth was a milestone event for the Kiwi team, with driver Peter Burling nailing the starts to secure a 2-2-1-5-1 fleet racing record before storming to victory in the three boat Final. With 10 seconds to go, New Zealand emerges from the back of the pack to blast across the line alongside Canada and tussle with Phil Robertson’s crew on the sprint to the first mark.
A perfect start for Emirates GBR, Canada, France, Australia and New Zealand in Cadiz
With the leaderboard taking shape and the pressure building, the nine F50s were going all out in Cadiz to pick up crucial fleet racing points. As the third race of race day one got underway, five F50s all executed a perfect start together - Emirates GBR, Canada, France, Australia and New Zealand - the five teams that would ultimately sit at the top of the Season 3 Championship leaderboard.
A slingshot start for New Zealand in Dubai
The Kiwis were well established as a leading force in the F50 fleet by the time Dubai rolled around and were perfectly performing their characteristic slingshot starts on demand. In the fourth fleet race of Dubai, the Kiwis come in late at twice the speed of Emirates GBR to steal the inside track to Mark One.
Canada leaves the fleet trailing in Sydney
A last minute change in the wind conditions in Sydney flummoxed the rest of the fleet, while Phil Robertson’s Canada seemed unfazed. The red and white F50 approached the start line at speed, leaving the rest of the fleet trailing in their wake.
The United States fires across the line with an 11-second run up
The majority of the fleet were grouped together on the left hand side of the course as the third race of Christchurch got underway when Jimmy Spithill’s American team came speeding out of nowhere. The team crossed the line in pole the position and, as commentator Stevie Morrison, came in ‘like a raging bull’ on the sprint to Mark One.