SailGP: USA falls hard with breakdown
Published on September 20th, 2019
Marseille, France (September 20, 2019) – As they sought to secure a place on the podium, the United States SailGP Team buried themselves on the first day of Marseille SailGP when their board-down line, a critical system on the foil that controls its downward movement, failed and forced the American team to retire from the first two races.
“Our board-down line broke while heading downwind to the bottom mark,” Helmsman Rome Kirby said. “We tried to keep sailing, but the board kept catching and skimming the water, which obviously isn’t good.
“It’s really frustrating because we were in the mix until that happened, but it was clear the issue was more serious than initially thought and we made the decision to retire to allow time for the repair. Upon further inspection, we suspect that it was a failure that was not preventable, which makes it even more frustrating.”
The Shore Team immediately jumped into action but it took more than halfway through Race Two before the system was repaired enough to resume racing.
“It came down to the wire, but our Shore Team got it done and working just in time. Obviously, it wasn’t an ideal situation to jump straight into Race Three. We were sailing off our back foot and never really regained our composure.”
The US team entered the event in third overall, but just three points ahead of Great Britain. After getting last place points today in all three races, they’ve fallen to fourth and are just two points from last place overall.
As the overall SailGP Season 1 leaderboard stands, Australia and Japan are sufficiently ahead to have locked up the top two positions. SailGP’s Season 1 Grand Final continues with three more fleet races planned for tomorrow and two fleet races on September 22 followed by the $1 million winner-takes-all match race.
Day One Results:
1. Australia, Tom Slingsby, 2-1-2, 28
2. Japan, Nathan Outteridge, 1-4-1, 27
3. Great Britain, Dylan Fletcher, 3-2-3, 25
4. China, Phil Robertson, 5-3-5, 20
5. France, Billy Besson, 4-5-4, 20
6. United States, Rome Kirby, 6-6-6, 15
SailGP Season 1 Overall Leaderboard
1. Australia, Tom Slingsby, 197
2. Japan, Nathan Outteridge, 192
3. Great Britain, Dylan Fletcher, 145
4. United States, Rome Kirby, 137
5. China, Phil Robertson, 137
6. France, Billy Besson, 135
Note: Total points based on SailGP scoring.
Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and San Francisco, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric, inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe and culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race. Rival national teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan, and the United States battle it out in identical wing-powered, foiling F50 catamarans, engineered to exceed 50 knots.
Sydney, Australia (February 15-16)
San Francisco, USA (May 4-5)
New York, USA (June 21-22)
Cowes, UK (August 10-11)
Marseille, France (September 20-22)
Source: US SailGP, Scuttlebutt