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Great Britain SailGP Team Blog: Update from Chris Draper, CEO and wing trimmer

15 MARCH 2019News
  • Great Britain
Great Britain SailGP Team CEO and wing trimmer Chris Draper.

After a little down time following Sydney SailGP, the team has been really busy. Dylan and Stu have been getting stuck into their Olympic 49er sailing and are looking really confident going into their next regatta in Palma. It’s great to see them move so seamlessly back into Olympic mode and this is something the whole team is striving to help them achieve.

We’ve been spending a lot of time accessing and analysing the event footage and focussing on what we did well and what could improve both on and off the water. This included everything from our living arrangements at each event to what rudder differential settings look to be the best. The feedback from the team has been really constructive. This is something we see as an essential part of developing the team and building all of the processes we need to keep improving every step of the way. The learning curve is so enormous for us all at the moment that the gains are so easy to see and not so hard for us to put our fingers on. I am sure as we continue to improve we will have to be tougher on ourselves to find those extra golden nuggets to be the standard setting team.

We have looked to slightly expand the team in areas that we were stretched as well as streamlining our processes on the shore. This will ensure that the boat is in the best shape it possibly can be and we can maximise our training time and analysis each day. Sydney was a fantastic event for the team but the ground to make up to the top two teams is large so we really need to make sure we focus our time well on the low lying fruit and then start picking away as we develop.

Great Britain SailGP Team in action in Sydney.

The control system is evolving on the boat which will make the manoeuvring quite different. The team will be taking the opportunity to benefit from Artemis Technologies simulator again, based in Slough in the UK, to become familiar with this ahead of our two-week training block in San Francisco before the next event. By the time we hit the start line in San Fran, we will have doubled our time on the boat. This is a really exciting thought but it’s also important to highlight how punishing sailing these boats will be on the city front race course out there and how much work we will have ahead of us.

It is such an exciting time for the team. We have built a great group that are working excellently together. We have huge gains on the table and are all eager to start getting stuck into them. The event itself in Sydney went really nicely and I’m certain that San Francisco SailGP will be even better. So, for all those Brits living in San Fran, buy your tickets now and make sure you are there flying the flag for us, it makes such a difference.

By the time the boats are racing in Cowes, at our home event, the racing is going to be so tight and the teams will be pushing so hard. Cowes SailGP is shaping up nicely and it’s going to be simply an amazing spectacle - tickets for that event go live on 1 April (no joke!) so not long now - register your interest online and be the first to secure your place.

We can’t wait to get back amongst it, carry on working away on those learning points and start capitalising on a great start to the championship. Thank you to everyone for the support. We look forward to doing Great Britain proud.