Slingsby steers Aussies to win in wild SailGP regatta

Tom Slingsby and Team Australia received the Spain Sail Grand Prix on Sunday by crusing to a straightforward win in the rostrum race after Sir Ben Ainslie’s British workforce capsized simply after the beginning, successfully knocking U.S. skipper Jimmy Spithill out of rivalry.

The victory on a wild afternoon on the Bay of Cádiz allowed the defending champion Aussies to vault again into the lead in the season standings heading into their house regatta in Sydney in mid-December.

The anticipated heavyweight showdown in the rostrum race amongst three of the world’s greatest skippers by no means materialized. Slingsby, Ainslie and Spithill had been crewmates with Oracle Team USA in 2013 and helped stage one the best comebacks in sports activities to efficiently defend the America’s Cup.

Ainslie’s foiling 50-foot catamaran nosedived shortly after the beginning and Spithill had to flip so abruptly to keep away from a collision that his catamaran crashed off its foils, triggering the emergency cease methods. During the time it took for the methods to restart, Slingsby had sailed away for his third victory in six regattas this season.

“We’re stoked with the day. It couldn’t have gone better for us,” stated Slingsby, who for the second time this season bounced again from a last-place end to win a regatta.

“Off the line we realized Ben got a better start, better acceleration, and we saw it all unfold right in front of us,” Slingsby stated. “It looked like they got a big gust and got a little bit high on the foils. I just saw them go into a huge pitch-pole right in front of us. The goal was to avoid them and then we didn’t really realize what happened to Team USA. We realized we had a big lead and we just had to nurse our way around the track.”

Spithill, a two-time America’s Cup winner, was ready to get going once more and completed the race to strengthen Team USA’s spot on the leaderboard.

Team Australia leads the eight-team fleet with 45 factors, adopted by the United States and Japan with 44 every and Britain with 40. The remainder of the fleet contains New Zealand with 36 factors, Spain 35, Denmark 33 and France 31.

Following the Sydney regatta, the season championship might be determined in San Francisco from March 26-27 when the highest three groups will sail for the $1 million, winner-take-all championship. The Aussies received the $1 million prize in the course of the inaugural 2019 season.

“It’s a nice feeling to finish the European leg in front,” stated Slingsby, who received a gold medal on the 2012 London Games, the place Ainslie capped his Olympic profession by successful his fourth straight gold medal and fifth medal total. “Everyone’s joking we’re the Ricky Bobby of the fleet. We’re either first or last. I didn’t expect that that to happen but it’s true at the moment. We’re either on form or we’re off form. I’m happy we’re on form in the final event and we’re heading into Australia with the lead.”

The Aussies received simply one in every of 5 fleet races in the course of the weekend however by no means completed decrease than fourth place in the opposite races.

With the wind blowing above 20 knots, Spithill skippered the American boat into the rostrum race for the fourth time this season.

“Today was definitely on the edge. You’re really in avoidance mode,” Spithill stated. “As we all came off the start line and saw Ben do a huge nose dive, we bowed out to avoid them, which caused us to crash. It triggered our emergency stop systems, effectively shutting the boat down. While we restarted the systems, Tom was already far down the line.”

The host Spanish capsized throughout follow and had been knocked out of Sunday’s racing due to main injury.

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