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Denmark’s best SailGP race result sets up exciting second day at Great Britain Sail Grand Prix

16 JULY 2021News
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  • Denmark

Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL recorded its best ever race result since joining SailGP as the fleet took to the Plymouth Sound for Day One of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix.

The Danish boat claimed second spot in Race 2, it’s second race podium this season, following a third placed finish in the final race at Italy Sail Grand Prix last month.

And driver Nicolai Sehested is delighted that his team has continued that positive momentum in the first SailGP action on British shores since 2019.

“Race 2 was good for us. We sailed like we know we can, we kept it clean and didn’t make too many mistakes. It shows that our level is up there, and that bit of experience helps,” he explains.

Denmark SailGP Team came out firing in Race 1, making a bold move that saw it charge toward the start line in the lead at almost twice the speed of its rivals – but were deemed to have crossed the start line a fraction early, resulting in a OCS (on course side) penalty that put them to the back of the fleet.

Sehested and his crew worked hard to climb the rankings, but found it tough to bounce back from that early disadvantage and ended in seventh place as Australia SailGP Team took the win in the first battle of the event.

30 centimetres over the line

“It was a hero or zero move – we didn’t think we’d be over the line, so we went for it,” admits Sehested. “Watching it back, I think we were just about 30 centimetres over the line, going at over 50 kph. It shows the fine margins that can be the difference when you’re racing at this level.

“If we didn’t have an OCS then we’d have been leading by miles – but when you risk a lot, you lose a lot. We need to improve at managing those risk versus reward scenarios, and I think we did that well in the following two races.”

The third race saw Spain SailGP Team receive the first ever ‘black flag’ – or automatic disqualification – since SailGP began, after making what race management deemed a dangerous move at the start line which caused rival boats to change course to avoid collision.

“The start that Spain did in the last race, we did in the first race – but in our case, we didn’t infringe on any other boats, we just got there a touch early. After that first race, we realised that the boats were getting closer and closer to that mark. It was only a matter of time before the door closed – they got away with it in the second race, but in the third it was game over. I think it was a fair call.”

All eyes on the podium

Denmark SailGP Team finished the third race in sixth place, to add to a seventh and a second spot that saw them end Day One of Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in fourth place overall, setting up a tantalising second half of action on Sunday – and leaving the Danes with an outside chance of making the overall podium, and the final match race.

“I think we’re only just getting started,” says Sehested. “This is our fourth event in the F50, and most of the other teams have done a few more events than us, if not whole seasons. We’re hungry and we’re working hard. I think every time you interview us in the next few events it’ll be a different team with more performance in the tank.”

Leaderboard after Race Day 1