SailGP’s fifth visit to Sydney Harbour saw packed crowds, full foiling conditions and plenty of racing drama, from Germany’s near capsize to the start line pile up in the Final.

Season 4 // SailGP drivers photographed by Sydney Harbour Bridge

With practice racing cancelled, the 10-strong F50 fleet hit the water cold on Saturday, February 24, taking advantage of the limited warm up time before racing got underway.

Season 4 // Crowds watch racing in Sydney

Home favorites Australia got off to a perfect start, executing flawless maneuvers and boat handling to take the first race win.

Season 4 // Germany near capsize in Race 2, Day 1 of Sydney

Diego Botin’s Spain showed its capability in windier conditions, taking the win in the second fleet race, which also saw a close call between Germany and France result in the German F50 nearly capsizing.

Ger near crash

New Zealand, driven by subbed in driver Nathan Outteridge, triumphed in the third and final race of the day.

Season 4 // Fleet underway on day one of Sydney racing

But it was disaster for Canada, which suffered technical problems throughout Race Day 1, leaving them unable to start Fleet Races 2 + 3.

Season 4 // Spain underway on day one of Sydney racing

Erik Heil’s German team bounced back from its near capsize on Race Day 1 to claim its first ever race win in the fourth fleet race while France found its form on day two to win the fifth and final fleet race.

Season 4 // Canada rounds the mark on day one racing in Sydney

Despite not winning a race, Nicolai Sehested’s ROCKWOOL DEN won fleet racing on points, followed by New Zealand and Australia, with all three boats proceeding into the winner-takes-all Final.

Sydney Harbour once again hosted SailGP's fast and furious racing

There was start line chaos as the Final got underway, with both Australia and New Zealand picking up early start OCS penalties, handing the advantage to the Danish.

Aus winners

But the Aussies never gave up, eventually overtaking ROCKWOOL DEN with carefully timed precision at Gate 3.

Denmark release

From there, Australia stretched ahead and crossed the line to the delight of shoreside crowds on Shark Island.

Season 4 // Australia crowds on Shark Islands in Sydney

Next up, the F50 fleet will return to Christchurch for the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix on March 23-24.