SailGP returns to New Zealand this weekend, as ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team looks to take one big step closer into the podium spots – and the Grand Final in July.

Just five events remain in SailGP’s Season 4, and the Danes sit in third spot in the leaderboard, with a four-point advantage on closest challengers Spain SailGP Team.

Nicolai Sehested drives the ROCKWOOL Denmark F50

It leaves Nicolai Sehested’s crew knowing that a solid result in Christchurch could move his team into an envious position, sitting in the top three with an even bigger gap to the chasing pack. “We had a great event in Sydney, and pushed Australia all the way on home waters, which has given us a big boost ahead of this event,” admits Sehested.

“Sydney is one of the most challenging courses in the league, and one which has caused us problems in the past, so to go out and dominate in the fleet racing was a big landmark for us as a team. However, we know that it only counts if we go and make an impact in the coming events.”

Sydney final: a sign of things to come?

The Sydney final between Australia, Denmark and New Zealand was one of the most talked about battles of the season – with many commenting that we may have watched a dress rehearsal of the grand final in just over three months’ time, as ROCKWOOL Denmark took second spot in a close fight with the Aussies.

“Who knows – we would like to think that we will be racing those two again in San Francisco,” explains Sehested. “However, we aren’t getting carried away. There are a lot of points left on the table and we have some tricky events coming up – beginning with something completely different in Christchurch.”

Nicolai Sehested drives the ROCKWOOL Denmark F50

Learning from mistakes

Last time on the South Island, ROCKWOOL Denmark suffered an underwhelming event – finishing in eight spot, and failing to register above a seventh place in the fleet rankings – but Sehested adds that the team arrives in New Zealand with a clean slate.

“The key thing is that we learn from the mistakes of last year, and that’s something that we have done well so far this season. We go racing in Christchurch in different circumstances to last year, with more experience, and we have to execute our plan – if we do that, I have no doubt that we will be in the mix.”

Every point counts

A positive result in New Zealand sets up Denmark for a best-ever season finish this campaign, as attention turns to a final leg in North America, beginning with Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix in May before a breathless three events in six weeks in Halifax, New York and San Francisco.

Denmark’s performances Down Under last month have many backing them to book their place in the final three, but does Sehested feel that his team have received enough plaudits, given their consistent showings against the top teams?

“To be honest, Sydney hasn’t changed anything for us – we have always been confident, and we know that if we focus on ourselves and do the right things, we can beat any boat out there,” he adds.

“However, we are entering the business end of the season, and we know that the pressure is on us to keep turning up and showing that we are worthy of a podium spot,” said Sehested.

Fans can tune into the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix by heading to Racing begins at 1600 local time, which is 12 hours ahead of CET.