For the first time ever, SailGP’s fleet of ten national teams descended on Abu Dhabi for the 7th event of Season 4. Racing got underway yesterday afternoon at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council with light air conditions, which meant four crew onboard and that the 29M wings were up.
On day one it was the Canadians who overtook the most boats on the race course and were notably the best at getting out of tough situations. Finishing 3rd, 6th and 5th put the team in 4th overall, in striking distance of the event podium.
Today in race four, seven teams were over the start line early including Canada, which meant dropping back behind the last boat to cross the line (ESP), yet the team battled back to finish 7th.
With a fifth place finish in race five, the team was just one point shy of a spot in the grand final where the United States, New Zealand and Spain lined up (34, 32 and 30 points respectively) and New Zealand taking home the win.
Driver Phil Robertson said: “I’m a little disappointed, but it is what it is. The umpires see what they see, but we could've done more to not be in certain situations. Lots to review and learn from here.”
“The results don't reflect the work and improvements we have made as a team. I'm confident that very soon it is going to pay off,” said Philippe Presti, Coach of the Canada SailGP Team.
The team’s sights are now set on the Australia Sail Grand Prix on 24-25 February.
Abu Dhabi gave the teams an amazing welcome, with the opening press conference at the Louvre and the first ever concert with Take That onstage in the fan village on Saturday after racing.
Finley Nakatsu joined the team for this event as the team’s weCANfoil intern, as did Eric Hill (President of Sail Nova Scotia) and Paula Minnikin (Halifax Event Co-chair) who came to Abu Dhabi to experience what lies ahead for Halifax as hosts of the first ever Canada Sail Grand Prix on 1-2 June.