ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team secured second place overall at the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix, as home team Australia SailGP Team took the victory in a narrow and dramatic final race.

The Danes led the rankings after five fleet races – qualifying in style for the event final with Australia SailGP Team and New Zealand SailGP Team – to fight for what would be their first SailGP event win.

As the final began, ROCKWOOL Denmark scored an early advantage, with both their rivals awarded early start penalties in a frantic opening sequence.

But three-time SailGP champions Australia’s local knowledge proved advantageous, as they fought back to claw ahead of the Danes, and despite a close race, managed to keep the ROCKWOOL team at bay right to the finish.

Denmark release

Australia deserved the win – Sehested

“It was a tight race, and we gave it a good shot, but we just made a couple of mistakes and in those situations, a team as good as Australia will punish you,” explains Denmark driver Nicolai Sehested.

He continues: “I think the Aussies deserved the win today, they sailed very well, but we came close to hunting them down.”

The event victory is Australia’s first of Season 4, despite their dominating lead in the overall championship.

Denmark are real contenders – Slingsby

Reflecting on the win, Australia driver Tom Slingsby admitted that ROCKWOOL Denmark pushed his team all the way: “I’ve been saying all year that Denmark are real contenders, and we saw why today. Those guys are getting so good in strong winds.”

He continues: “We managed to overtake them at the first beat, and I thought that we were going to sail away from them. No team has really, once we’ve overtaken them, come back and overtaken us, but they got so close to doing it at both the second last mark and the last mark. Full credit to Nicolai and the team as they are improving so fast.”

The second placed finish in Sydney leaves Denmark sitting third overall – comfortably in the all-important podium spots in the Season 4 championship – and sees the ROCKWOOL team extend the gap on the trailing fleet to at least four points.

Sehested adds: “We’re really happy with a good event, and getting back to foiling. It’s been a while since we had consistent foiling conditions, so we really enjoyed it. I think the level will go up over the next few events where we expect it to remain windy.”

Next stop: New Zealand

Next up, the SailGP fleet heads to Christchurch, New Zealand on 23-24 March, where Sehested will be looking to further

“We have a few tough events coming up, but we are sailing well and we are generally confident in the breeze, so we are hoping that the next few events give us some strong breeze.”

Final standings – KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix

Australia SailGP Team
ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team
New Zealand SailGP Team
France SailGP Team
Spain SailGP Team
Germany SailGP Team
Emirates GBR SailGP Team
Switzerland SailGP Team
United States SailGP Team
Canada SailGP Team

SailGP Season 4 Championship

Australia SailGP Team – 66 pts
New Zealand SailGP Team – 58 pts
ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team – 52 pts
Spain SailGP Team – 48 pts
France SailGP Team – 45 pts
Emirates GBR SailGP Team – 45 pts
United States SailGP Team – 45 pts
Canada SailGP Team – 38 pts
Germany SailGP Team – 21 pts
Switzerland SailGP Team – 17 pts