Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL put in a dominating performance on Race Day 2 at France Sail Grand Prix in Saint-Tropez to pick up its second race win in SailGP.
As the fleet raced with 29-metre wingsails for the first time, the Danes – led by Nicolai Sehested – started the day in style, leading the opening action of the day in Race 4 and extending on the fleet, before a broken jib sheet put paid to their hopes of taking the victory.
The team continued to battle without the use of their jib – significantly reducing power and lift to the boat – and a valiant performance saw them finish in fifth spot in that race, leaving slim hopes of making the French event’s final three race.
In Race 5, the Danes led over the start line, and dominated all the way around the course to take the win in tricky, light winds in Saint-Tropez bay and pick up a second ever SailGP Race win in style.
“It was very frustrating to break the jib sheet at that moment in the race. I think it was probably the safest first place I’ve had for a long time, with such a big lead, and then – boom – it’s gone. But it is what it is. That’s racing – shit happens, you have bad luck, and today it was our turn,” said Sehested.
“I was really happy with the way we bounced back in the final race. There was no pointing fingers or blaming, the shore crew was fantastic, and it was great how everyone pulled together to grab the win.
“We kept improving, developing and pushing, and that’s what it’s about for us. Now, we’re starting to win races, so it’s pleasing for us. Have we proved the doubters wrong? Not yet. We like being doubted and questioned, it keeps our motivation high, but we haven’t proved anything until we start winning regattas.”
The result leaves Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL sitting in fifth place in the overall France Sail Grand Prix standings, and Sehested is happy with the positive momentum shown by his team following back to back race wins in Aarhus and Saint-Tropez.
“We were the best team out there today, we are showing that we are able to compete with the top teams, and I think there will be a few people analysing us, rather than the other way around.”
He adds: “But it doesn’t count for anything until you start posting results, and that’s our next challenge, to turn Race wins and podiums into top three finishes and Grand Prix wins.
The result in Saint-Tropez sees Denmark SailGP Team climb off the bottom of the season rankings, into seventh spot after five events.
Next up, SailGP heads to Cadíz in Spain where the fleet will compete in the Spain Sail Grand Prix on October 9-10.