The French rose to the challenge of gusty 50 km/h wind conditions to dominate fleet racing. At the same time, Jimmy Spithill’s United States kept their San Francisco hopes alive by picking up three second-place positions and finishing second overall.
Meanwhile, the home favorites, Australia, were plagued by technical issues but still managed a respected racing record of 3-4-6 to finish third after three fleet races.
Technical issues plagued the dramatic first day, near capsizes, messy maneuvers, and even an Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team crew member falling overboard during the first fleet race.
Emirates Team GBR grinder Matt Gotrel fell through the fairing of the foiling F50 catamaran as the team approached the finish line while traveling at speeds of 50 km/h. However, Gotrel remained attached to the F50 via his safety line and was quickly pulled back on board by his teammates with no injuries reported. The team finished sixth in the race and picked up a record of 6-6-2 across the first day.
The first fleet race began with Australia announcing it could not race due to technical issues before the gold and green F50 dramatically crossed the start line. Despite problems, the team managed through messy maneuvers to finish the race in third overall.
Meanwhile, Peter Burling’s New Zealand, currently second in the Championship standings, was forced to retire from the first race due to technical issues and finished the day in sixth overall, one point behind Denmark in fifth.
Diego Botin’s second day behind the wheel of the Spanish F50 resulted in the team picking up an 8-5-9 racing record, with good moments throughout the race.
After racing at the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney, a major weather event resulted in significant damage to the wing sails and at least one boat at the SailGP technical site.
As far as is known, no one was seriously injured during the incident. However, SailGP has had to cancel racing for the second day of the Sydney event due to the damage.