On home waters Australia SailGP Team grabbed a textbook start then sailed their own race in clear air to dominate race 4. The Aussies used their early lead to control the chasing F50s and take their third win on the final day of SailGP’s first championship event.
Behind them Great Britain SailGP Team and the Japanese battled for second in patchy ENE 10-12 knot breeze. Nathan Outteridge’s Japan SailGP Team managed to leapfrog the British between marks 4 and 5, stealing and holding the runner-up position.
Great Britain SailGP helmed by Dylan Fletcher finished third.
Lighter winds 7-9 knots made the going tough for the F50s in race 5 of SailGP Sydney. Shaking off a lackluster start, Australia SailGP Team with local hero Tom Slingsby at the helm clawed its way through the fleet to again dictate from the front.
Phil Robertson and China SailGP came to race 5 determined to make an impact, the red rocket chasing the local bolters but not able to rein them in over the stunning Sydney Harbour course.
Australia’s fourth race win came easily in the end, Great Britain second and Japan SailGP Team third across the finish line, Nathan Outteridge’s fifth podium finish as helm of the Japanese F50.
Post-race Tom Slingsby said, “We were able to extend at the finish. We were sailing really good pace we thought, and couldn’t drop them. That was a great race by them. When we’ve been leading we’ve been hard to catch.
Next up is the Final Match Race between Australia and Japan for the inaugural championship win and maximum points towards the next event, in San Francisco. “It’s going to be tight, it’s safe to say it’s going to come down to the start,” Slingsby promised.
It was a dream finish for the first-ever SailGP event in Sydney with the local green and gold F50 team led by Tom Slingsby commanding the Japanese in the Final Match Race.
Both high-tech wingsailed catamarans, the only single class of its kind in the world, started cleanly in a 7-10 knot summer seabreeze.
Australia SailGP Team controlled the inside running at mark 1 and by the fourth mark approach had extended their advantage to an unbeatable 350 meters.
The time difference at the finish line between Australia and the Nathan Outteridge helmed Japan SailGP in second was 38 seconds.
An Australian victory is the perfect finale for the thousands of locals and visitors aboard spectator boats, watching from along the harbor foreshore and those fans enjoying the action from the main guest platform at Shark Island.
Third place in the overall pointscore goes to Great Britain.