New Zealand’s ability to beat Spain and the USA’s starting speeds in Abu Dhabi’s winner-takes-all, three-boat Final proved definitive to the Kiwis taking the overall win.
Data provided by Oracle Insights shows the Kiwis clocked a starting speed of 27.8 km/h - far eclipsing Spain’s 14.2 km/h and the USA’s 16.2 km/h respectively, which meant Peter Burling’s crew were first to Mark 1.
This was despite Taylor Canfield’s USA being positioned closest to the line - just 1.6m away - compared to New Zealand’s 6.4m and Spain’s 14m. The USA was also the quickest to cross the line after the gun - taking just 0.2 seconds compared to New Zealand’ 0.9 seconds and Spain’s 4.3 seconds.
The start - and being first at Mark 1 - proved definitive for teams taking fleet race wins throughout Abu Dhabi’s light wind conditions - and the Final was no different. The three-boat showdown saw conditions of just 8 km/h of wind, gusting to 17 km/h, with four people crew on board and the F50s fitted with the biggest 29m wing.
By reaching Mark 1 first, New Zealand gave themselves the biggest chance of winning. It allowed them to take advantage of the clear air, stretch ahead, and finish the race with a 25 second lead over Spain in second.
The Kiwis picked up a max boat speed of 31.4 km/h throughout the Final - once again beating the USA’s 16.2 km/h and Spain’s 14.2 km/h
New Zealand’s win in Abu Dhabi marked back-to-back victories for the Kiwi team in the UAE after their triumph in Dubai, and closed the points gap to the Aussies at the top of the Season 4 leaderboard.
Powered by Oracle, SailGP Insights is an online dashboard which provides fans with huge amounts of data from our cutting-edge racing F50 catamarans.