Canada colliding with a wandering race mark, the mass early start penalty of Fleet Race 4 and the U.S. making its first Final as a revamped team have been named Abu Dhabi racing highlights by SailGP fans.
Members of SailGP’s fan loyalty program The Dock were quizzed on the standout racing moments from Abu Dhabi, with the majority picking the moment Canada accidentally hit a race mark.
The remote controlled mark maneuvered onto the course and, despite driver Phil Robertson’s best efforts, the Canadian F50 was unable to avoid a collision.
“It was a really tricky situation for us,” Robertson explained after racing. “We were sailing upwind, just crossing in front of the Swiss boat. When I first saw the mark we were below it and then suddenly it was right in front of us.”
“I loved Phil Robertson’s commentary on hitting the mark,” said Heather King, while Jordan Atkins added: “Canada hitting the mark was a highlight.”
Elsewhere, fans were impressed with a new mix of teams in the three-boat Final, with New Zealand going head to head against Spain and Taylor Canfield’s new-look Untied States.
Louise Silverdal picked ‘seeing a change of teams in the Final’ as a highlight of the weekend, while Maria Soria picked ‘seeing the Spanish team winning 3 of the 5 fleet races and finishing the event in 2nd place.”
Daniel Gruhn however was impressed by the level of Canfield’s United States team so soon after he stepped in as driver. “My favorite moment was the U.S. making it to the event Final - this was only the second event for Taylor Canfield as driver -that’s seriously impressive”.”
Elsewhere, fans highlighted the moment 7 teams of the 10-strong F50 fleet received an early start penalty for crossing the line early in the fourth fleet race. Australia, France and Spain were the only three teams not to start early.
Spain was a delayed starter, so all 7 boats had to drop behind France before reaching Mark 1. This resulted in Australia and France storming ahead to finish the race in first and second place respectively.
Next up, SailGP returns to the iconic waters of Sydney Harbor for the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix on February 24-25.