ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team leads the fleet at the halfway point in the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix after a strong opening day that saw the team secure three podiums from three races.

The Danes – with Nicolai Sehested back on the helm following his paternity absence in Abu Dhabi last month – began the day with a solid outing in Race 1, coming back from mid-fleet to secure second place at the final gate mark. “It’s a good first day for us – obviously, it’s still all to play for tomorrow, but we have a healthy lead on fourth place and we’re happy to get through Race Day 1 in good shape,” explains Sehested.

Season 4 // ROCKWOOL DEN on first day of racing in Sydney

Shark Island splitting the fleet

With Shark Island – featuring thousands of SailGP spectators – in the middle of the race course, Sydney Harbour poses a unique challenge to the F50 fleet. Teams must choose which side of the island to navigate, leading to tactical splits across the course. In Race 1, Denmark split from the majority of the fleet to gamble on a shorter distance by taking the western side – and the bet paid off, with the black boat jumping three places at the final gate.

“We agreed to make a new choice every time, by judging where the breeze was. We decided to keep our minds open, and if there was breeze, we would go for it, but if not, we’d stay away. There wasn’t really a system to it, it was more about staying ready for anything.”

Consistency the key

The Danes followed up with a perfect start in Race 2, staying consistent around the course as the conditions challenged some of the more inexperienced teams, including causing Germany SailGP Team to near-capsize, and grabbing a third placed finish. And a second spot in the final action of the day left the ROCKWOOL team atop of the standings on level points with hosts Australia SailGP Team – setting up a big Race Day 2 as the Danes seek a place in the final, and their first ever SailGP event win. “Of course, we are right where we want to be, with a nice cushion – but we can’t get complacent,” adds Sehested.


“Tomorrow is a completely different challenge, and we will possibly be sailing with a bigger wing, in lighter breeze, so we have to approach it in a new way. We will spend tonight debriefing with the data and come back tomorrow ready to go.”

Racing begins at 0600 CET on Sunday (1600 local time). Fans can tune into SailGP by heading to