Canada driver Phil Robertson challenged Taylor Canfield’s United States to ‘walk the walk’ in New York when the teams’ rivalry reignited ahead of racing.

The pre-event press conference saw both drivers trade jibes after SailGP’s behind-the-scenes docuseries Racing on the Edge captured Robertson and Canfield calling each other ‘arrogant’.

Robertson highlighted the poor performance of Canfield’s team in Halifax, which culminated in three 10th place finishes on Race Day 1.

Poor results on the the opening day meant the United States missed out on racing on day two (the top ranked teams were prioritized for racing when poor weather played havoc with SailGP’s craning schedule).

Season 4 // Phil Robertson at New York press conference

Speaking at the press conference, Robertson even suggested investors would be ‘asking serious question’ of the U.S. team.

“The U.S. has been struggling a lot and, as an investor of that team, I would be asking serious questions of the person making personnel decisions on board.”

He acknowledged the league is ‘competitive’ but challenged Canfield to post improved results in New York.

“At some point, you’ve got to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”

Season 4 // United States team with Statue of Liberty during New York practice

Responding, Canfield said on water improvements would ‘take time’. “I think everyone has alluded to how difficult these boats are to sail and how tricky the conditions were in Halifax,” he said. “We’re making mistakes and we’re looking to improve those mistakes as quickly as possible, but it’s going to take time.”

He added he was ‘confident’ the team ‘will be fighting for the top in Season 5’.

Season 4 // Canada vs United States in Halifax

Heading into the race weekend, Robertson said Canada would be ‘attacking every race like it’s the first one’ to move up the season leaderboard.

“We’re a little bit off in the points now, but one crash and it’s all on again - if you’re not pushing you’re not going to be near the front,” he said, adding that he was ‘hoping for a three or even four boat pile up’.

“We’ll just slip around the outside,” he said.

Starts November

Season 4 Grand Final