The Spain SailGP Team enjoyed a superb opening day of the Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney Presented by KPMG, sitting atop the leaderboard following a fine day of racing on Sydney Harbour.
Winning the opening race, Phil Robertson’s team remained consistent throughout the rest of the day to finish racing five points clear of hosts Australia in second, with the United States rounding out the top three.
There was even more huge drama under the sunshine in NSW, as a collision between Great Britain and Japan in the pre-start for race three ruled both teams out the race - and possibly out the remainder of the whole event.
The Aussies, Driven by hometown hero Tom Slingsby, were not as impressive on the Harbour as they would have wished, but a strong performance in the last race of the day saw them rise into second place in the rankings - setting them up for a charge into the winner-takes-all FInal on Saturday.
In fine conditions in NSW, the action began superbly; one of the tightest races of the season was won by Spain, who put in a dominating performance to open the event with a vital victory. The Brits caught up with Spain in the final stages, and thought they had won the race, but Phil Robertson’s team did just enough to win in a photo finish.
Spain kept up their form in race 2, finishing second behind Japan. A commanding performance by Nathan Outteridge’s team gave them hope for another excellent event, but that hope was dashed in the pre-start for race three as the Brits collided with Japan’s F50, causing serious damage.
Both teams were ruled out of that race due to the incident, and a further investigation will be held to determine whether the damage can be repaired in time for Race Day 2. As a result of the major damage caused to the Japanese boat, Great Britain were penalised six points in the event rankings, leaving them in seventh place.
France prop up the rest of the leaderboard having also been penalised two points, while Japan and New Zealand moved ahead of the Brits due to their infraction. Denmark, meanwhile, sit in fourth, only two points off the top three heading into Race Day 2.