Australia driver Tom Slingsby has admitted the cancellation of Sydney’s practice racing is ‘unfortunate’ but commended the league for making ‘the right call’.

Practice racing was called off amid forecasted thunderstorms, with only the USA and Germany granted two hours of crucial on-water practice time.

Looking back on Season 3, which saw the Sydney Tech Site hit by an extreme weather incident, Slingsby said the cancellation was ‘probably the right call’.

Speaking at a pre-event press conference, Slingsby said: “Everyone knows we had an unfortunate incident last season and we have to make sure we take the right precautions to make sure that doesn’t happen again. SailGP as a league is doing that and I commend them for that.”

United States driver Taylor Canfield and Germany driver Erik Heil were absent from the press conference due to undertaking training to familiarize themselves with the tight racecourse of Sydney Harbour.

Season 4 // Tom Slingsby at Sydney press conference

Slingsby admitted he’d much rather be ‘out there and training’. “That’s just the way it is, we don’t make the rules and we’ve just got to roll with the punches.”

He added Sydney is a ‘tough venue’ and it was right Germany and the U.S. had a chance to get to know the venue.

“You do have to understand where you can and can’t sail - there’s a lot of islands and channels and markers out there.”

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Looking ahead to the weekend, Slingsby said he welcomed the return of windier conditions.

“None of us here have sailed in breeze since San Francisco last May - we’ve been unlucky with the weather but Sydney is going to turn it on for us,” he said. “Hopefully we can hit the water a few minutes early tomorrow and get some training before the racing starts.”

The KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney takes place on February 24-25, with racing from 16:00 AEDT.