From Emirates GBR’s dramatic Black Flag to the revamped USA team’s first podium finish, we round up five moments you might have missed from Dubai.
Germany get Black Flagged
Disaster struck Erik Heil’s German team as Fleet Race 2 got underway, with Germany squeezed out on the start line by Switzerland to pick up a Black Flag. This meant the team was disqualified and received 0 points for the race, leaving them on the back foot heading into race three.
Black Flag blocks Emirates GBR from the Final
After picking up two race wins in the third and fourth fleet races, Emirates GBR was gunning for a place in the Final. However, a dramatic start line incident saw the Brits squeezed out of the starting line-up by the USA, resulting in an immediate Black Flag and disqualification from the race. This meant the Brits missed out on the points they needed to make it into the Final, leaving them in 5th place overall.
Revamped USA secures podium finish
Dubai marked the first time the revamped USA team, led by new driver Taylor Canfield, went head to head against the rest of the fleet. Despite finishing near the back of the fleet in the first four races, the Americans battled back in the fifth fleet race to pick up a third - their best finish so far and an encouraging sign for the new team.
Australia sneak into the Final
A shaky start to the fifth fleet race left the Aussies trailing at the back of the fleet and meant they needed to pass at least one boat to make it into the three-boat showdown. Luckily, subbed-in driver Jimmy Spithill kept his nerve and just managed to pass the Spanish to take a place in the Final alongside New Zealand and Canada.
Photo finish Final
Dubai hosted the closest finish to a Final in SailGP history, with all three boats coming together at the final turning mark. While an 11th hour penalty denied Canada the victory, despite Phil Robertson’s team crossing the line first, New Zealand and Australia finished the race within meters of each other. After a few minutes of confusion, the umpires declared the Kiwis the overall winners of Dubai.
Next up, the F50 fleet will meet at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council on January 13-14.