Two of the drivers caught up in Christchurch’s crash-filled racing have blamed the incidents on a lack of on-water practice.

Speaking at a pre-event press conference in Bermuda, Australia driver Tom Slingsby unpacked the incidents, arguing the Australian team was ‘hampered’ by limited on-water training time.

Season 4 // Tom Slingsby with Giles Scott at Bermuda press conference

The first day of racing was cancelled completely due to a dolphin on the racecourse, resulting a shortened race schedule. When racing did start, the incidents unfolded in quick succession with ROCKWOOL DEN hitting Canada in the pre-start of the first fleet race.

Canada then rebounded to hit the United States then, shortly after rounding Mark 1, Australia collided with a race mark, causing significant damage to its F50.

Season 4 // Australia crash into race mark in Christchurch

ROCKWOOL DEN and Australia were both handed devastating penalties for the incidents, with the Danish docked 4 season points and Aussies docked 8.

Reflecting on the incident, Slingsby said: “We hit the start line with no practice and had three crashes in 40 seconds.”

Season 4 // Nicolai Sehested at Bermuda press conference

Danish driver Nicolai Sehested agreed that restricted training was to blame.

“We didn’t have ideal preparation as a team - we didn’t get any racing on Saturday or a good warm up - it was just straight into racing with all teams trying to win the races,” he said.

“If you put a Formula 1 car on the start grid without warm up laps, I’m pretty sure you’ll have issues at the first corner and I think that’s really what you saw in New Zealand.”

Season 4 // Canada with Christchurch fleet on practice day

Slingsby added that only by giving teams more on-water training time could the league increase the size of the F50 fleet.

“I don’t think 10 (teams) is too many - we could go to a couple more,” he said. “If we get more practice, we can increase the number of boats and race effectively on the water.”

Slingsby said the Australian team - which took the event win at Season 3’s Bermuda event - is ‘looking forward’ to bouncing back when racing gets underway in Bermuda this weekend. “We're just going to move on and get a great position here.”

Racing in Bermuda begins at 2pm ADT on May 4/5.