Home favorites Australia and ROCKWOOL DEN will lead the fleet when racing resumes after both teams mastered shifty wind conditions in a game of ‘snakes and ladders’ on Sydney Harbour.

Tom Slingsby’s Australia, which remains on the hunt for its elusive first win of the season, kicked off its home event in style, securing a dominating lead and winning the first fleet race. The Aussies followed the win with consistent 2nd and 4th place finishes to finish the day on 26 points.

Season 4 // Australia against backdrop of Genesis Island in Sydney

The Danish meanwhile relished in the return of their driver Nicolai Sehested, who missed Abu Dhabi, with the team securing a solidly consistent 2-3-2 race record to end tied on points with Australia at the top of the leaderboard.

Speaking after racing, Sehested said: "I must admit - I’m a bit rusty, with less warm up I could feel it, but the guys are not rusty, they’re helping me through it and we had some really solid teamwork today and that makes my life a lot easier."

Season 4 // Fleet underway on day one of Sydney racing

Nathan Outteridge, who is subbing in for New Zealand driver Peter Burling this weekend, steered the Kiwis to third overall after three fleet races, following a 3rd and 5th place finish with a bullet to end the day. Heading into day two, the Kiwis are just two points off the Aussies and Danish at the top of the leaderboard - leaving everything to play for when racing resumes.


Elsewhere, Diego Botin’s Spain had a solid first day, winning the second race and ending the day in 5th with 20 points - 1 point behind Quentin Delapierre’s France.

SailGP’s return to Sydney Harbour for the 8th event of Season 4 was packed with drama, with Erik Heil’s Germany narrowly missing a dramatic capsize in the second race of the day. The Germans came up upon the French at the penultimate gate and were forced out of the inside lane by Quentin Delapierre’s crew. They scrambled desperately to avoid hitting the mark but the effort caused the German F50 to teeter dangerously mid-air.

Elsewhere, Canada was unable to race at all after the team was plagued by technical issues, while Switzerland suffered two major nosedives on the penultimate leg of Fleet Race 2 as new crew member Nicolas Rolaz got to grips with flight control.

The KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney will resume on Sunday, February 25, with racing scheduled from 16:00 AEDT.

Starts November

Season 4 Grand Final