SailGP’s Season 4 visit to Christchurch was packed with drama, with devastating penalties, collisions and close calls throughout the three fleet races and winner-takes-all Final. As we look back on the event, we round up some of the quotes which captured the emotion and adrenaline of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix.

The big news of this event is Nathan Outteridge swapping in to drive the Swiss F50 for the rest of the season - replacing Sebastien Schneiter. Ultimately I feel this will make the team a lot more competitive. Nathan is still lacking racing time - we saw that in Abu Dhabi and even in Sydney with the Final start line error. But that’s just a sign of being out of practice. With every race, Nathan will get better and better,” SailGP CEO Russell Coutts on the return of Nathan Outteridge.

Season 4 // Russell Coutts in Dubai

I think as an Aussie sportsman, it doesn't matter what sport it is, you want to come to New Zealand and beat the Kiwis on their home turf. Winning in New Zealand over a top Kiwi team is hard to do. It's a mountain to climb but we love motivation like that,” Australia driver Tom Slingsby on wanting to beat the Kiwis at home.

Season 4 // Tom Slingsby debriefs Australia race mark collision in Christchurch

Over the course of the next few events, the goal is just to chip away. We’re not expecting miracles, but if we can see progression and an improvement and get some top threes in races. That’s the ultimate goal, and a podium would be great this season, but we’re not getting our hopes up high yet,” Nathan Outteridge on driving Switzerland for the rest of the season.

Season 4 // Nathan Outteridge at Christchurch press conference

I think we have to believe more. We are able to do it. We showed it last season and it’s tough because we were on equal points many times and didn’t get into the Final. This is high level sport, it’s always a small margin you have to manage. I don’t think we have to change much, we just need to believe more in what we are doing,” France driver Quentin Delapierre on adjusting team’s mindset.

Season 4 // Quentin Delapierre at Christchurch press conference

For us, we go racing all over the world but to be at home and not get to go racing in front of your home fans, we’re really gutted for them. The support we were getting out there was absolutely amazing, we did a few laps up and down the sea wall at a very low speed just the cheers we were getting, the atmosphere on shore looked pretty amazing,” New Zealand driver Peter Burling after racing was cancelled on day one.

Season 4 // New Zealand driver Peter Burling talks in Christchurch Mixed Zone

All I knew is that we were going to hit Canada, and our bow was headed straight for their strategist - I had a choice to make and I just tried to keep people safe so I just turned the boat as hard as I could into the mark. It was either that or go straight through Canada. Honestly I’m just glad no-one is hurt because it was pretty scary on board. I don’t think it’s sunk in, I don’t care about the results, I’m a bit in shock if I’m honest. It’s been pretty emotional. It’s a scary moment when you feel like you’re about to kill someone,” Tom Slingsby on colliding with Canada in Fleet Race 1.

Season 4 // Nicolai Sehested talks to press in the Mixed Zone

It was an extremely difficult boat to sail after we destroyed it, full of water and the balance of the whole boat was wrong but we also knew that one point beating Australia might matter in San Francisco so that was the decision to just keep racing the best we could. Everyone did the best they could to keep the boat sailing around the racecourse but it wasn’t an easy day,” ROCKWOOL DEN driver Nicolai Sehested dissects the damage of hitting Canada in Fleet Race 1.

Season 4 // New Zealand driver Peter Burling talks to local media in Christchurch Mixed Zone

We had a tight battle to get into the Final so to come out on the right side of it is something we’re just blown away by. Christchurch has been such an amazing host, seeing all the fans come from all round New Zealand from all round the world down to this beautiful venue to cheer us on and for the conditions to deliver like that and to get that level of racing is unreal,” Peter Burling on winning his home event in Christchurch.


2024/25
Season
Starts November

Season 4 Grand Final