Teams at full force for Denmark SailGP
Published on August 19th, 2021
Aarhus, Denmark (August 19, 2021) – With the Olympic Games and baby births complete, the eight international teams are at full force as they prepare for the fourth event of SailGP Season 2 on Friday and Saturday, August 20-21.
Ben Ainslie has returned to the driver’s seat for Great Britain, along with a new family member to cheer him on. And, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are back in charge of the New Zealand SailGP Team following silver medal success in Tokyo.
Points remain tight with Tom Slingsby’s Australia, Great Britain, and Billy Besson’s French team in the top three seats, with only one point separating second and third place. Jimmy Spithill’s U.S. team is just off the podium in fourth, and is hopeful for a clean event as either collisions or gear trouble has plagued his season.
New Zealand SailGP Team, currently sitting in last position, welcomes back Burling (driver) and Tuke (wing trimmer) along with Josh Junior (grinder), and Andy Maloney (flight controller) after their Olympic campaign in Tokyo.
“I think for us it’s a lot about time on the water and really maximizing those opportunities we get to train as a group on the boat,” Burling said. “And, over the last couple of days we have got a lot more comfortable, especially in the upper wind strength that we’ll see today.
“But we are very much still in a learning phase. The good thing is that from the data no one can hide or do anything different, so it is pretty easy to go back and review what other teams were doing at specific events and at specific times. That is what we have been doing, and we have been learning a lot.”
In fifth spot is Nathan Outteridge’s Japan SailGP Team with Leo Takahashi (flight controller) and Sena Takano back in action after the Tokyo Olympics; and right behind them is Spain SailGP Team, reuniting with their recent Olympians, bronze medalist Joan Cardona (grinder) and Jordi Xammar (driver), alongside Florian Trittel (wing trimmer) and Tara Pacheco.
The format comprises of two days of racing with five fleet races followed by a podium race, with the top three boats in the ultimate showdown to decide the winner on August 21. After strong winds for the past few days, the weather is moderating but should still deliver plenty of punch tomorrow but the finale could get light.
UPDATE: As soon as this report was published, the U.S. SailGP Team notified Scuttlebutt that their veteran Wing Trimmer Paul Campbell-James broke his leg today in official practice racing, ruling him out for the event. Jason Saunders, who previously raced as interim wing trimmer for the New Zealand SailGP Team earlier this season, is currently en route to Aarhus from France to join the team.
SailGP Season Championship (after 3 events)
1. Australia, 22 pts
2. Great Britain, 22 pts
3. France, 21 pts
4. United States, 19 pts
5. Japan, 19 pts
6. Spain, 19 pts
7. Denmark, 17 pts
8. New Zealand, 17 pts
Format for SailGP events:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs across two days.
• There are three races on each day, totaling six races at each event.
• The opening five fleet races involve every team.
• The final match race pits the three highest ranking teams against each other to be crowned event champion.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all match race for the $1m prize.
SailGP Season 2 Schedule*
April 24-25, 2021 – Bermuda Grand Prix
June 5-6, 2021 – Italy Grand Prix – Taranto
July 17-18, 2021 – Great Britain Grand Prix – Plymouth
August 20-21, 2021 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Grand Prix – Aarhus
September 11-12, 2021 – France Grand Prix – Saint-Tropez
October 9-10, 2021 – Spain Grand Prix – Andalusia
December 17-18, 2021 – Australia Grand Prix – Sydney
January 29-30, 2022 – New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch (CANCELLED)
March 26-27, 2022 – United States Grand Prix – San Francisco (Season 2 Grand Final)
*Subject to change
2021-22 Teams, Helm
Australia, Tom Slingsby
Denmark, Nicolai Sehested
France, Billy Besson
Great Britain, Ben Ainslie (alternate – Paul Goodison)
Japan, Nathan Outteridge
New Zealand, Peter Burling (alternate – Arnaud Psarofaghis)
Spain, Jordi Xammar (alternate – Phil Robertson)
United States, Jimmy Spithill
Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the iconic harbors around the globe. Rival national teams compete in identical F50 catamarans with the season culminating with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.