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20 SEPTEMBER 2019News

Race 1

The Marseille SailGP Grand Final got off to a spectacular start. Race one saw an intense start with a tightly packed fleet. The France SailGP Team was aggressive off the start line, leading the fleet into the first mark and giving the French fans lining the Seawall something to cheer about. Japan quickly upset the home town favourites, to take the lead. The United States SailGP team was forced to retire, citing technical issues with their foils, giving the French team an opportunity to hang onto the second place just on the heels on the Japan team. The second downwind leg gave the Australia SailGP Team and Great Britain SailGP Team a chance to move ahead of the French, using high boat speed to their advantage. With Slingsby on the offense, Nathan Outteridge focused on staying tactical superior and maintaining the lead, a strategy that paid off for the race one winners. Australia followed in second place, followed by the Brits, who moved up the leaderboard and one step closer to the podium.

Race 2

After dominating the first race, Nathan Outteridge and the Japan SailGP Team had a disappointing second race of the Marseille SailGP Season 1 Grand Final, finishing at the back of the fleet in fourth, despite leading at the first mark. The France SailGP Team, helmed by Billy Besson also had an impressive showing off the start line but suffered a penalty at the first mark, putting them back of the fleet. Tom Slingsby and Phil Robertson took advantage of the Japan team's error to move ahead in the standings; the Australians first with the China SailGP Team holding second place for the majority of the race. Robertson is a fierce competitor and had one of his best performances yet on the SailGP racecourse. At the final moment before the finish, the China team suffered a penalty that allowed Dylan Fletcher and the Great Britain SailGP Team to put yet another top of the fleet finish on the leaderboard, putting them five points ahead of the United States SailGP Team for third place on the podium. The American team was unable to race and continued to work to repair their broken foil to participate in race three.

Race 3

The third race of first day of the SailGP Season 1 Grand Final in Marseille saw increased tensions between Tom Slingsby's Australian team and Nathan Outteridge's Japan team. Outteridge and Slingsby were quick off the start line and continued to battle closely at the top of the fleet throughout the race. Fans cheered as the two teams traded the first-place position. It was Outteridge who ultimately dominated race three, running away with the lead into the final windward gate, Australia followed for second place. Race three is Outteridge's second first-place finish of the day. Dylan Fletcher and the Great Britain SailGP Team finished third and continued to put points on the board to pull ahead of the United States SailGP Team. Rome Kirby's United States SailGP Team battled technical issues on the water forcing him to retire from the first two races of the day, without the practice of the first two races, the Americans couldn't put the pieces together for the third race and ended up at the back of the fleet behind France and then China.