As it happened: New York SailGP Day 1

22 JUNE 2019News

Race 1

The drama of New York SailGP started before the race even began with the Great Britain SailGP Team capsizing just minutes before 'go.' The fleet was gun-shy right from the start, the Australia and Japan SailGP Teams led off the start line, followed closely by the French. Coming around the first mark, Japan came out with a strong lead. However, it was anything but smooth sailing challenging the teams with gusts ranging from 10 knots to 30 knots in matters of seconds. Skippers were constantly looking over their shoulders for gusts that could make or break the racing. On the second upwind leg, Australia moved into the lead and didn't look back. They established a massive lead putting more than two minutes between themselves and the Rising Sun Japanese boat. The China SailGP Team took third, proving any hesitation they had after their crash in San Francisco was behind them. The United States SailGP team finished fourth, leading the French, who struggled in the difficult breeze to the finish line.

Race 2

Race two saw three lead changes in the very first leg, but the Japan SailGP Team ultimately prevailed at the first gate taking the lead, they were followed by Australia and China. Into the third leg, they all raced on the city side where winds proved to be steadier. The China SailGP team helmsmen Phil Robertson was pushing hard and overtook the Japan SailGP Team, if only for a minute. Nathan Outteridge and crew were able to move into first by keeping the boat foiling on the lulls. These conditions are some of the toughest in the sport, and it takes focus and skill to keep the boat flying. Race two brought wind shifts 30 to 40 degrees, meaning teams had to be able to adapt in seconds. While the Japanese ran away with the race, chased by the Australians; China, France, and the United States teams engaged in a close battle for third. Nathan Outteridge, looking more confident than ever, piloted his F50 to the team's first win on the Hudson River racecourse. The Australians finished in second place, followed by Billy Besson and his French team, then China and finally the United States SailGP Team.

Race 3

Nathan Outteridge will be feeling confident after his first day on the water in New York City. The Japan SailGP Team sailed a tactically superior race, finding the breeze and keeping the boat on foils even in the lulls. Race three didn't begin with Japan in the lead, the China SailGP Team showed their more aggressive side, leading at the first mark. Shortly thereafter a gust knocked them off the foils, opening the door for Japan to move into the lead. Undeterred China continued to chase them down the course, followed by the Australians. The order remained until the fourth gate when France was able to knock the Australians off the podium and into fourth place. Unfortunately for French helmsman Billy Besson it didn't last, the Australians managed to find an area of heavy breeze and foil back into second place, putting the Red Dragon boat and the French colors behind them. Japan triumphed, taking their second race of the day followed by Australia 15-seconds later, China, France and finally the United States.

The overall standings put the Japan SailGP Team in the lead, followed by the Australia SailGP Team. The China SailGP Team earns a podium spot on the first day of racing in third place, closely followed by the France SailGP Team. The United States SailGP Team is ranked fifth going into day two. The British SailGP Team capsized 30 minutes ahead of racing, all sailors are safe, with no injuries. The team was unable to participate in today's racing, putting them at the bottom of the leaderboard.