The pressure is all on triple SailGP champions Australia when racing gets underway in New York after a ‘fallible performance’ in Halifax, league commentators have said.

Tom Slingsby’s Australia, which has dominated SailGP’s first three seasons, slipped down into third place on the Season 4 leaderboard after last month’s event in Canada. This is new territory for the Aussies - the lowest season ranking the team had prior to Halifax was 2nd overall.

Season 4 // Tom Slingsby debriefs Australia race mark collision in Christchurch

Halifax saw the Aussies pick up their lowest race results of the season so far, with 8-6-1-6-8 fleet race finishes. The team also suffered a dramatic capsize caused by a technical issue in the fifth fleet race.

Commentator Stevie Morrison called the team’s performance ‘pretty unheard of’, adding ‘we’ve never seen them look so fallible’.

Season 4 // Australian crew dangle from F50 during capsize in Halifax

The shifty and changeable conditions in New York will reset the pecking order of the fleet, he said. “Just because you’re a big gun like Australia, you’re not going to be able to rock up and boss it - you’re going to have to roll with the punches and take what you can get.”

Season 4 // Australia underway in Bermuda practice

He pointed to the city's gusty conditions, which saw the British team capsize ahead of racing at Season 1’s New York event.

“The venue is incredible but if you’re a sailor then there’s a lot of jeopardy on that racecourse - if it was Wacky Races in Halifax, then we could be getting ready for Mario Kart in New York’.

Season 4 // Emirates GBR and Australia underway in Halifax

While Australia’s performance in New York may be under pressure, commentator Emily Nagel highlighted the fact that San Francisco’s five fleet races, which proceed the Grand Final, mean ‘there’s still 20 points to go’.

It means both Emirates GBR and Canada, currently in 6th and 7th respectively with 58 points, remain within ‘scraping distance’ of the top three.

Season 4 // Emirates GBR and Canada around the mark in Halifax

Ultimately though ‘it really does put pressure on the Australians to perform in New York and feel confident going into that San Francisco event,’ Nagel said.

The Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix takes place on June 22/23.


2024/25
Season
Starts November

Season 4 Grand Final