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Unlucky US, high-flying Spain, and possible hometown glory: Reasons to watch the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix

15 JULY 2021News
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  • Great Britain Sail Grand Prix

The Great Britain Sail Grand Prix is finally here, as SailGP's eight national teams go head-to-head in Plymouth this weekend hoping to win the third event of Season 2.

Great Britain, the home team for this event, won the opening event of the campaign in Bermuda, with Nathan Outteridge's Japan being crowned Champion of event 2 in Taranto, Italy.

Despite not winning either event so far, it is actually Spain who tops the Season Championship leaderboard at this stage, and Driver Phil Robertson would love to prove the Spaniards' title credentials by being crowned Great Britain Sail Grand Prix Champion.

At the other end of the leaderboard sits Denmark and the United States, but only five points separates last place from first and a fine showing in Plymouth could turn a bad start to the season into a promising one.

We've already had plenty of drama in Bermuda and Italy this season, and Plymouth promises more of the same, and SailGP.com takes a look at five talking points for the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix, below...

Hometown glory for Great Britain after disappointment in Taranto?

Champion of the opening event of Season 2 in Bermuda, Great Britain endured a more disappointing sixth-placed finish in Taranto last time out under interim Driver Paul Goodison.

Goodison remains as skipper for the Brits’ home Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth, and he’ll be hoping for an improved performance in front of thousands of adoring fans.

Great Britain still sit second in the season leaderboard despite the poor showing in Italy, and a home victory would see the British team further solidify its standing as one of the Championship favorites.

Spain hoping to extend Championship lead

Spain, despite not winning either event so far this campaign, is the only team ahead of the Brits in the Championship rankings right now. Phil Robertson’s team tops the leaderboard thanks to finishing fourth and third in Bermuda and Italy respectively, and he’s proven consistency across events is key to achieving success in SailGP.

Naturally, the Spanish will be going for victory in Plymouth, but another top-three finish would be no bad thing – and it would prove the Spaniards' Championship credentials.

United States to finally end unlucky streak?

It’s been a rather unfortunate start to life in SailGP for Jimmy Spithill.

The United States Driver, who signed on for Season 2, saw his team finish last on his debut event in Bermuda due to a collision with Japan which damaged both F50s so much they were pulled out the remainder of the event.

Things were looking much better in Taranto as the US qualified for the winner-takes-all Final, only for Spithill’s team to collide with an underwater object during said Final while the US was leading and set for victory.

Once again, damage to the F50 meant the US had to retire, and Spithill now enters his third SailGP event still hoping to see one through to completion.

Here’s hoping Plymouth proves to be a happier hunting ground for Spithill and the United States.

Denmark hunting for form ahead of Aarhus event

Following the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix, SailGP heads to Aarhus for the inaugural Danish event of the Championship.

There will be plenty of support for the home team in Aarhus, but Denmark will be hoping to head into that event in better form than the team has been in so far this season. Driver Nicolai Sehested sees him team currently last in the Season Championship, having so far picked up just 11 points.

It’s still early in the season so far too soon to write the Danes off, but Sehested and his teammates need to start moving up the table if they are to be in with a shot of winning silverware.

And what better time to do that than ahead of Denmark’s home event, with a strong showing in Plymouth guaranteed to create hype for the Danes heading into Aarhus.

Replacement Drivers out to impress

Both Great Britain and New Zealand utilised interim Drivers during the Italy Sail Grand Prix, with Paul Goodison and Arnaud Psarofaghis skippering the teams respectively in place of Ben Ainslie and Peter Burling.

Psarofaghis fared the better of the two, winning Race 4 and ending the weekend fourth in the rankings, but neither truly excelled as they experienced the F50 for the first time.

But now having gained a full event’s worth of experience, both Goodison and Psarofaghis will hope to put in improved showings in Plymouth to ensure the Brits and Kiwis remain within touching distance of the top of the Season Championship leaderboard.

Follow live coverage of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix on sailgp.com, or find your How to Watch details HERE