Australia wins Denmark SailGP
Published on August 21st, 2021
Aarhus, Denmark (August 21, 2021) – Light winds plagued Aarhus Bay on the final day of racing at the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix, with Tom Slingsby’s Australia SailGP Team advancing along with Japan and Great Britain in the final podium race, with the Aussies dominating the trio for the win.
On a day when teams sailed with only three crew, the two prior fleet races for the eight teams were both won by Nathan Outteridge’s Japan team, boosting them up from their overnight position of sixth place to the final three, with Jimmy Spithill’s USA team slipping to fourth after two fifth place finishes.
“A second win in a row is very satisfying,” said Slingsby. “It was pretty stressful out there. It was very light winds and still very obvious that Nathan [Outteridge] has an advantage in these conditions. Fortunately, the last race went our way. We got a good start, there was a lot of argy-bargy behind us and we managed to sail away.”
The victory maintain the Aussies position at the top of the Season 2 championship leaderboard.
“I will happily say I have been copying Nathan and his team,” Slingsby continued. “In the past they have copied us in the heavy air conditions but in light winds they are a step above us. So, we looked at all their data – as you can’t hide anything. We are still not there, Nathan had two firsts, we had a near last today, so we have a long way to go but fortunately the last race went our way.”
The final three-way battle between Australia, Great Britain, and Japan had the teams grappling for position on a shortened, shifty course, searching for wind, and struggling with contentious umpire decisions that went against the Brits.
With Japan approaching the left windward gate mark on port, with the Brits on starboard, Japan entered the circle first which gives them control, and when the Brits did not give way, they were hit with a double penalty – the first for the initial incident and a second for taking too long to shake the penalty. While it seemed like a non-issue as Japan continued on to the right gate mark, the umpires saw it differently.
“It is difficult with the umpires as they have a tough job to do and everyone accepts that but every now and then you get a shocking call, and that was right up there in my experience of a terrible call,” said Ainslie. “That was a shame as it ruined the race but it’s what we have to deal with, it’s part of the competition. We will review it with the umpires and learn from it.
“It felt like a cheap shot from Nathan and I think it’s something the umpires need to look at closely. It is a tough one, but I have said my piece and it’s time to move on.”
The overall result was a tough outcome for Spain who was unable to race yesterday due a capsize ahead of racing on the opening day but, following a mammoth effort from the SailGP shore and technical teams, saw the Spanish boat back out racing on day two.
With less than a month before the fifth event of the season, all teams are instantly thrown into preparation for the showdown on September 11-12 in Saint-Tropez, France. Home team favorites Billy Besson’s France SailGP Team, will be looking to improve on its disappointing result in Denmark to wow the crowds in the ever-popular French Riviera.
3. Great Britain
Fleet Race Results (5 races)
1. Great Britain, 29 pts
2. Australia, 27 pts
3. Japan, 25 pts
4. United States, 24 pts
5. New Zealand, 21 pts
6. Denmark, 19 pts
7. France, 11 pts
8. Spain, 11 pts
SailGP Season Championship (after 4 events)
1. Australia, 32 pts
2. Great Britain, 30 pts
3. Japan, 28 pts
4. United States, 26 pts
5. France, 24 pts
6. New Zealand, 23 pts
7. Spain, 23 pts
8. Denmark, 22 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.