SAINT-TROPEZ, FRANCE – September 11, 2021 – The U.S. SailGP Team won two out of three qualifying races on the first day of the France Sail Grand Prix after Wing Trimmer Paul Campbell-James was cleared for racing following his remarkable recovery from a fractured leg sustained at the previous event in Aarhus, Denmark three weeks ago.
Race officials reduced the number of crew prior to racing due to light winds and U.S. SailGP Team Driver Jimmy Spithill opted to lead a three person team that included Campbell-James and Andrew Campbell.
Spithill tapped Campbell – who regularly races as tactician – to help fly the team’s F50, rotating him into the pilot slot for the first time in the reduced crew setup. Regular Pilot Rome Kirby is absent from the France event due to standing personal commitments.
“It’s been tough from day one this season,” said Spithill. “I really want to give Paul a shoutout for how he recovered so quickly since snapping his fibula, not a lot of people could do that; he’s an incredible team player, and also Andrew Campbell, it was his first go in the three-person setup today and he did a fantastic job as well. We’ll keep fighting and take it one at a time tomorrow.”
The team stands at the top of the leaderboard heading into tomorrow’s final race day with the goal of qualifying for the event’s podium final race.
The team has qualified twice this season for the podium final only to have unfortunate circumstances prevent their first event win in both circumstances – first hitting a submerged object in Italy followed by a disfigured rudder in Great Britain.
Add to this an unforced collision in Bermuda and Campbell-James’ recent broken leg and the American team will look to continue its climb up the overall leaderboard where they currently sit in fourth place, knocking on the door of the podium.
“We’re taking it one event at a time,” continued Spithill. “If we can get through this event without hitting something, sinking, or breaking another bone, that would be fantastic.”
The France Sail Grand Prix | Saint Tropez will air live on SailGP YouTube tomorrow, Sunday at 7:30am EDT as well as delayed coverage of both days airing on CBS Sports at 5:30pm EDT and 10:00 EDT.
For more information on the full Season 2 calendar as well as the US SailGP Team visit SailGP.com or follow the team on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.