GBR flag

Great Britain SailGP show exciting potential to take third place overall

16 FEBRUARY 2019News
Tags:
  • Great Britain
Helm Dylan Fletcher on the cross.

SYDNEY – Saturday February 16, 2019 – So day two and the climax of the Sydney SailGP event – who will take the prize? The breeze was looking better than Friday and from a more stable direction, so anticipation was in the air as the British team carried out their pre-race checks, their hospitality meet and greets and media interviews and then they were ready for action.

To recap from day one, the Japanese and Australian teams were topping the leaderboard followed by the British team in third place – but across the board the points were close and all to play for. The plan for the second day here in Sydney was two fleet races and then the top 2 teams would go head to head in a final match race to take the event title.

190216 SailGPSydney 013

Race 4
Race 4 saw another great start from Dylan Fletcher and his British team. Tucked in beside the Australians, these two teams made a strong and fast charge towards mark 1. Slingsby rounded just in front, with Dylan in second and Nathan with his Japanese team hot on their heels. An early gybe by the Brits was followed by Japan with the Australians pushing to the boundary. All top three boats were showing speeds of 23-30 knots. The Japanese continued to breathe down the necks of the young British team. Dylan managed to hold them off for a quite a while but eventually the Japanese managed to cross and keep the Brits behind them so Japanese took second in that race with Great Britain in third.

Race 4 results
1 - Australia; 2 – Japanese; 3 – Great Britain; 4 – France; 5 – USA; 6 - China

Race 5
Great Britain were lining up for another great start when disaster struck as they were blocked out of the start line by the Japanese team and left for dead – a tough lesson learnt for the guys due to lack of time in these flying machines. They started at the back of the pack and kept their focus on getting back into the game. At the front of the fleet, the Australians again gave everyone a lesson in how to sail these boats leading from start to finish with the Chinese team pushing them to take a well-deserved 2ndplace.

Dylan and his British team managed to get back in the pack by the last leeward gate rounding hot on the heels of the 3rd and 4th placed Japanese and USA teams, so all to gain and nothing to lose to push back into this final race. Dylan and his team gained a credible 5th place, impressive given they started behind the fleet and showed they have the speed and ability to sail these boats fast.

190216 SailGPSydney 033

Race 5 results:
1 - Australia; 2 – China; 3 – Japan; 4 – France; 5 – Great Britain; 6 - USA

Overall points after fleet racing:
1 – Australia 47 pts
2 – Japan 45 pts
3 – Great Britain 36 pts
4 – China 33 pts
5 – France 33 pts
6 – USA 31 pts

Match Race

The final match race between Tom Slingsby and his Australia SailGP team and Nathan Outteridge and his Japanese team went pretty much as expected with the highly experienced Aussies leading the way and making it look easy. Overall results for Sydney SailGP gave the overall win and 1 points to Australia SailGP with Japan SailGP taking second place with 0 points.

Overall points after SailGP Sydney
1 – Australia 48 pts
2 – Japan 45 pts
3 – Great Britain 36 pts
4 – China 33 pts
5 – France 33 pts
6 – USA 31 pts

Match Race

The final match race between Tom Slingsby and his Australia SailGP team and Nathan Outteridge and his Japanese team went pretty much as expected with the highly experienced Aussies leading the way and making it look easy. Overall results for Sydney SailGP gave the first event win to Australia SailGP with Japan SailGP taking second place.

Great Britain SailGP summary

The British team showed some serious talent this early in the season – really being the best of the ‘new teams’. Really strong on starts and good speed around the course racing well but more work to be done on boat handling and manoeuvres.

Comments from the British team after racing

Dylan Fletcher, Skipper:
“I’m really proud of the team and how we performed for this first event, given our lack of training in these F50s and racing them being a whole new experience for me. We started well and were racing well, and today felt much better than yesterday with smoother and much faster foiling gybes. We were always learning and making gains on the fleet which feels good. We looked hard at the data last night and we need to do much more of that analysis going forward. I absolutely loved the racing, can’t wait for more and we are all really looking forward to San Francisco.”

Comments from the British team after racing

Dylan Fletcher, Skipper:
“I’m really proud of the team and how we performed for this first event, given our lack of training in these F50s and racing them being a whole new experience for me. We started well and were racing well, and today felt much better than yesterday with smoother and much faster foiling gybes. We were always learning and making gains on the fleet which feels good. We looked hard at the data last night and we need to do much more of that analysis going forward. I absolutely loved the racing, can’t wait for more and we are all really looking forward to San Francisco.”

Chris Draper, Team CEO and wing trimmer:
“I’m really pleased with this result for our first event. When we set out 4 months ago, we recognised that a third place in Sydney would be a great result. For sure we want to win the overall championships but what is most promising is how we showed our potential during the racing, we pushed the leaders and improved significantly, even over the last two days of racing. Bring on San Francisco!”

Joe Glanfield, team coach
“A fantastic start for the team, lots of positive progress in every aspect and still very early days with lots to learn. This team has a great attitude to finding solutions and making continual improvements. We could see that in the second day of racing where the guys came out of the blocks looking really strong and hit the ground running with the overnight learning.”