From Canada hitting a race mark to Australia missing its first Final this season, we round up five moments you might have missed from SailGP’s first visit to Abu Dhabi.
Switzerland hits Emirates GBR in practice racing
It was a disappointing start to the event for Sebastien Schneiter’s Swiss crew, which picked up a 4 point event penalty for hitting Emirates GBR in practice racing. The fleet was rounding a mark when Switzerland hit the British F50 from behind, which meant they had to start the event with -4 points, as well as picking up a 2 point deduction from their season score.
Canada hits a race mark
There was plenty of drama throughout the weekend, with Canada hitting a maneuvering race mark in the fourth fleet race. Despite driver Phil Robertson attempting to avoid the mark, the Canadian F50 made contact. The team battled back from the incident and finished the race in 7th overall, beating ROCKWOOL DEN, Switzerland and Spain.
Germany’s best racing result yet
Erik Heil’s fledgling German team picked up its best race result so far, coming second in Fleet Race 5. While it wasn’t quite enough to get them into the three-boat Final showdown, the team had a fair performance, finishing 5th overall.
Australia misses its first Final of the season
Despite not yet winning an event in Season 4, Season 3 champions Australia had managed to win a place in every Final of the season - except Abu Dhabi. After picking up an OCS by the thinnest of margins in Fleet Race 5, the Aussies went from the top of the leaderboard to taking 7th place overall - their worst result of the season so far.
Taylor Canfield’s USA makes first Final
After surprising fans with a 3rd place finish in Dubai’s last fleet race, Taylor Canfield’s revamped American team continued to perform in Abu Dhabi - winning fleet racing on points and proceeding into the three-boat Final for the first time. The USA went in all guns blazing to win the event, taking risks in an effort pass New Zealand and Spain. Ultimately though, they finished third - an impressive result for their second event as a new outfit.
Next up, the F50 fleet will meet at the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney on February 24-25.