Quentin Delapierre tested himself onboard one of SailGP’s cutting-edge F50s for the first time ever on Monday.
Delapierre, who placed eighth in the Nacra 17 at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year, was last month appointed to the France SailGP Team as their new Driver, replacing Billy Besson.
French team manager Bruno Dubois opted to make the change following a disappointing home event in Saint-Tropez, which saw France drop to the bottom of the Season Championship leaderboard with only three events remaining this season.
Just a few short weeks after his arrival in SailGP, Delapierre already has a debut event to tend with, as the Spain Sail Grand Prix takes place in Cadiz this weekend.
Delapierre has been afforded time in the SailGP Simulator to train with his new teammates since his appointment, but only on Monday did the 29-year-old finally get his chance on the F50.
During a practice session in Cadiz, Delapierre and his crew spent around two hours on the French boat so he could gain some real hands-on F50 experience ahead of event weekend. In gusty conditions with an average wind speed of over 20km/h, the French boat at times surpassed an impressive 60km/h with Delapierre Driving for the first time.
Speaking as he prepared to take to the water on Monday, Delapierre said: “It’s part of a dream which has come true. Now I have to keep both feet on the ground, do my job correctly and be incisive.
“Never be too confident. I try to be just confident enough, and I just want to have fun and see what happens. They are magic boats.”
Following his debut training session, with more time on the water to follow over the coming days as we count down to the SpainSGP kicking off on Saturday, Delapierre added: “There hasn’t been a single moment without me saying to myself ‘this is awesome’.
“The F50 is just incredible, it goes so fast. Above all, there is a kind of coordination onboard which is amazing.
“It was a great day that I will remember for a long time I think.”