The F50 fleet has hit the water in Christchurch in preparation for official racing in New Zealand this weekend.

Teams had the chance to put their F50s through their paces ahead going head to head for the first time in Friday’s practice racing. Racing will kick off in earnest, with five fleet races and an ultimate three-boat showdown, on March 23-24.

Season 4 // Canada F50 underway in Christchurch training

New Zealand marks the 9th stop on Season 4’s record-breaking 13-event calendar, which means pressure will begin to mount on mid-fleet teams to move up the season leaderboard ahead of San Francisco’s Grand Final.

Fresh from winning their home event in Sydney last month, Tom Slingsby Australia currently sits at the top of the leaderboard with 66 points - a sizable lead on Peter Burling’s New Zealand team in second with 58.

Season 4 // Switzerland F50 flies out of the water in Christchurch training

Nicolai Sehested’s ROCKWOOL DEN is in third, with 52 points, just four ahead of Spain in fourth and well within touching distance of France, Emirates GBR and the United States, all of which are tied on 45 points.

Peter Burling’s Kiwi team will be looking to harness home support as they launch their campaign to secure their fourth event win of the season, while Nathan Outteridge will be stepping behind the wheel of Switzerland for the rest of the season.

Season 4 // USA crashes into water in Christchurch training

After Christchurch, SailGP will head to Bermuda for the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix on May 4-5.