AUSTRALIANS STORM TO VICTORY TO WIN THE OVERALL TROPHY AND PRIZE PURSE OF US$1M
Marseille, France - Sunday September 22, 2019 – It was all on for today. The final two fleet races to decide the third place podium following by the climax to the season-long rivalry between Australia and Japan for the $1m prizemoney and the title of SailGP Season 1 Champion. The British team were ready for the battle and went into the day on equal points with the Chinese – it promised to be an intense battle with both of these two teams in the running to claim that final podium place.
But it was not to be for Dylan Fletcher and his British team – the wind was super light and the Brits had a disastrous first race getting caught out by a wind hole at the start and, despite closing the gap, they finished in 4th place. Much to the joy of the home fans, the French team took their first race win this season and the Chinese finished in 2nd position. Following a short postponement and the wind dying out, luck was not on the side of the British athletes today and the final fleet race was cancelled – China took 3rd place overall with 171 points and Great Britain SailGP finished up their first season in a very credible 4th place on 169 points.
“It has been such a challenging year for our team and I am super proud despite today’s result. We are naturally gutted not to have secured the 3rd place podium that was within our grasp but I have loved every minute of the SailGP championship and we have grown so much as a team. It’s a shame that we cannot keep racing and that we have to wait until end February to compete again in Sydney but we are going to use the time to train and prepare so we ready to join the top table for 2020.” commented Dylan Fletcher, British team helmsman.
All eyes now turn to 2020 and planning for the second SailGP season which will start in Sydney, Australia on 28/29 February 2020. The team have an action packed calendar already set out for the winter months, focusing on training, fitness, team building and simulator sessions alongside the commercial focus of securing partners for season 2.
“We set out at the start of this year with the objective of being competitive by the final event and I feel happy that we have shown that we can race at the front of the fleet”, added Chris Draper, CEO and wing trimmer, “I’m so proud of the whole team, everyone has worked so hard – today was super disappointing but we will learn and rise above that. We have had some big wins this season but also, as expected for such a new team, some disappointments too. But we will not stop learning, questioning, evolving, improving. Our apprenticeship ends now and the next level will kick in for season 2.”
The final match race was incredibly close between Australia and Japan, with the Japanese wing the start and in control. Tom Spithill and his Australian team kept the pressure on and managed to overhaul Nathan and his guys to take a closely fought win to become the SailGP Season 1 Champion and claim the $1m prizemoney.
Breakdown of GREAT BRITAIN SAILGP SEASON ONE
Two event third places (Sydney and San Francisco)
One event fourth place (Marseille)
Two event sixth places (New York and Cowes) – capsize and boat damage (6 races missed)
25 fleet races done during the season – GBR team completed 19 races – 6 races missed due to capsize/boat damage
First to hit fity knots!
First to capsize an F50!
Breakdown of race results:
1st place x 1
2nd places x 3
3rd places x 6
4th places x 6
5th places x 1
6th places x 2