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Tom Slingsby makes history for Australia as the first winner of the SailGP Championship

22 SEPTEMBER 2019News
  • Australia

Australia SailGP team storm to victory, taking home SailGP Season 1 Championship trophy and impressive US$1 million purse

MARSEILLE, France – September 22, 2019 – Tom Slingsby has lead the Australia SailGP team to a stunning victory and secured their place in history, after beating Team Japan during the final championship match race, to be crowned the SailGP Champion of Season 1.

Slingsby went head to head with long standing season rival Nathan Outteridge from Team Japan on the Rade Nord racecourse, proving the team’s superior tactical prowess and brute strength in the most dramatic race the sport has ever seen.

The victory for Slingsby at the final match race also reflects the team’s consistent performance during the SailGP Season 1, having won three out of the four previous events.

“I like to think that Australia has some of the best sailors in the world; to be able to cement our country as the champions in the first inaugural season SailGP season is a huge honour.

“Throughout the race we were behind after we received a penalty at the pre-start, but we kept fighting as only Aussies can and when we got the opportunity to overtake Japan we took it and sailed away for the win.”

“We have worked hard all year. I’m proud to be Australian, a part of this team and I feel we got the result we deserved,” said Slingsby.

Australia team mate and wing trimmer Kyle Langford shared in the honour of the win saying, “It’s the first series where an entire season of work comes down to one race and we were fighting for every centimeter on the race course today and to be able to come out on top is such an awesome feeling. I said we were the team to beat at the beginning of the season and we proved that today.”

In addition to the victory, Slingsby and the team walked away with the grand Thomas Lyte-designed SailGP Championship trophy and the most substantial monetary prize in the sport, US$1 million. Slingsby plans to distribute the prize money amongst both sailors and shore crew, who he credits as being instrumental in the success of the team on the water.

Slingsby said, “we are going to split the money amongst the team. It’s a huge effort from everyone and I can say with confidence that we wouldn’t have been standing on that podium today without the support of our shore crew and other team members.

The boat worked perfectly at this event and I truly believe we have the best shore crew in the game.”

The Australia team were also able to celebrate with the thousands of fans lining the seawall, who erupted in cheers when the team stood on the winners podium, delivering an electric atmosphere.

“My hands were shaking on the wheel as we approached the finish line. I have sailed into the finish line in the Olympics and the Americas Cup and I can tell you I have never had that reaction before. It just shows how much the moment meant to me and to win the SailGP championship with this team,” said Slingsby.

Slingsby and the Australia team will now prepare to compete in SailGP Season 2, which will be returning to the iconic Sydney Harbour for the first event on February 28 and 29.

“There is nothing more special and motivating for the team than to have the support of the home crowd and be able to sail on our own Sydney Harbour. We are all very focused on delivering another victory for Australia at Sydney SailGP,” said Slingsby.