With an impressive showing in San Francisco under its belt, the Great Britain SailGP Team is looking to continue its upward momentum.
The Great Britain SailGP Team has had anything but a restful break between the San Francisco and New York City events. The team voted “most improved” after San Francisco has had a steep learning curve, but racing on San Francisco Bay saw the group sailing consistently and skillfully. They were one of the few teams without a breakdown, and their slick maneuvers earned them a place on the podium.
Heading into New York SailGP, helmsman Dylan Fletcher and his crew are reflecting on what they did right, and how to carry that momentum into racing on the Hudson River.
“We are aware that New York could throw up a load of surprises, and when the wind funnels through the skyscrapers, it can be tricky,” said Fletcher. “I hope lady luck is on our side and we can work our way into the final match race.”
In anticipation of the event, the team logged hours in the high tech simulator in London, which they used to play out any number of scenarios they could face on the Hudson River. The British team has been notorious for its intense review of data, which will keep it in even closer contention for the top spots in the fleet. The team really prides itself on “being adaptable and having the right style for the racecourse and the conditions.”
In New York, with shifty breezes from the buildings, Fletcher will be less focused on the details of flying the boat and more focused on the environment they are racing in.
“[In San Francisco] we were trying to be pre-emptive and tactically smart, not get ourselves into difficult situations. In New York concentrating on finding our own way around the racecourse will be important,” said Fletcher of their approach.
Every member on the Great Britain SailGP Team has also campaigned the 49er for the British Olympic Team, and their shared values from Olympic training remain at the center of their SailGP campaign.
“What really sets us apart is the way we’ve chosen to train. We have no egos, we aren’t arrogant, we’re here to do a job, and at times we will get beaten, and at times we will do well, it’s all about learning as quickly as we can, and the results will take care of themselves.”
After New York, the team will be looking ahead to their hometown event in Cowes.
“It’ll be great to see the home crowd,” said Fletcher, “hopefully the weather is good so we can show off how spectacular these boats are in real life, no matter how much you watch it on TV, it doesn’t prepare you for what it’s like in real life.”