The first ever Sail Grand Prix in Denmark ended with a sixth placed finish for the Danish SailGP Team, after a challenging second day featuring light and shifty winds in Aarhus Bay.
But despite the disappointing finish to the weekend, the inaugural SailGP event in Denmark will be remembered for the blistering start from the Denmark SailGP Team – led by Nicolai Sehested – which opened the racing with an historic race win on home waters on Friday.
That victory was the team’s first since joining SailGP in late 2019, and Sehested admits that it was the ‘perfect’ start to proceedings in Denmark.
“Even though we didn’t finish the way we would have liked, it has been fantastic to sail at home and show the best of the sport of sailing to Aarhus and Denmark,” said Sehested.
“SailGP is the coolest racing in the world – with the best sailors on the planet – so to take a win in the first action of the weekend was fantastic.”
Saturday’s racing was challenged by the weather in Aarhus, which was light and shifty – causing SailGP race organisers to reduce onboard crew to three people – and, at times, seeing boats becalmed in the water.
In SailGP, races can run for a maximum of 15 minutes, and if the time exceeds that, then the rankings are taken at the time – a ruling that cost Denmark SailGP Team several points, as they made progress after the 15 minute mark.
“Aarhus is known as a fantastic sailing venue, but also a very challenging one at times, and we got to see and feel that today. It wasn’t perfect conditions for these large F50s, and it made the racing very tactical, but you also need a bit of luck to find the right gusts of wind,” added Sehested.
Before racing, the Danish boat welcomed HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark onboard its F50 for a sail around the bay.
Next up for SailGP teams is a trip to the south of France for France Sail Grand Prix in St Tropez in September, and Sehested is confident that the Danes can continue to build momentum following the home event.
“We are still improving every time we get on the water, and we are seeing that we can mix it with the best teams in SailGP, so that’s really pleasing. If we keep on this trajectory, it won’t take long before we’re in the final match race.”
Australia SailGP Team ended up winning the final race on Saturday ahead of Japan SailGP Team and Great Britain SailGP Team. The sixth place in the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix leaves the Danish team in an overall eighth place after four of nine Grand Prix.