USA claim Saint-Tropez SailGP 2022
Published on September 11th, 2022
Jimmy Spithill led the United States SailGP Team to his first ever SailGP victory, prevailing in the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix on September 10-11 in Saint-Tropez, France. Advancing to the Final, the USA team topped a feisty Kiwi team while Ben Ainslie’s Great Britain team finished third.
The event was a tale of two halves, with record setting speeds on the first day followed by mostly non-foiling winds on day two. The shore teams got a workout, having to shift from the small rigs and foils to the larger sets to keep the F50s moving. However, even that wasn’t enough as only one of three scheduled qualifying races was completed before advancing the top three to the Final.
Spithill’s win revives what had to this point been a deeply troubled season for the United States team so far, with this event marking the first appearance in an event final.
“It’s been a long time coming, but it was just an incredible team effort this weekend, and it’s great to be on the board at last,” noted Spithill. “We have just been working really, really hard since the beginning of this season. We backed ourselves, we knew we would get there, we just needed to keep learning the lessons and not worry too much about what was said outside the team.”
The impact on the championship standings for the United States might not be as strong as hoped as Spithill picked up four season penalty points for an incident with Quentin Delapierre’s French team during qualifying. “My mistake, we clipped the back of the French boat,” said Spithill of the incident. “We got stuck at the bottom gate and didn’t have much steerage. It wasn’t on purpose, or dangerous. Look, if boats touch, someone is going to lose some points, and yeah, we were in the wrong.”
While the French team was hoping to make it into the Final, their strategist Amélie Riou did as she filled in for the injured Stephanie Roble onboard the victorious United States F50. “I’m just so happy to win in France, to do this in front of a home crowd and in front of some really close friends here today was a really special moment I’ll never forget,” shared Riou. “It’s been an incredible weekend for me.”
Elsewhere Australia missed the final for the second straight event, while Switzerland suffered a two season point penalty for an incident in pre-event training with the United States which dropped them to the bottom of the leaderboard.
Final Results – France
1. United States (Jimmy Spithill), 3-2-3-1 (1)
2. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 1-4-1-2 (2)
3. Great Britain (Ben Ainslie), 2-9-4-3 (3)
4. France (Quintin Delapierre), 6-6-2-5
5. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 5-1-7-7
6. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 9-3-8-6
7. Spain (Jordi Xammar), 4-5-9-8
8. Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter/Nathan Outteridge), 7-8-5-4
9. Canada (Phil Robertson), 8-7-6-9
Season Three Standings (after five of 11 events)
1. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 42 points
2. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 41 points
3. Great Britain (Ben Ainslie), 34 points
4. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 33 points
5. France (Quintin Delapierre), 31 points
6. Canada (Phil Robertson), 29 points
7. United States (Jimmy Spithill), 25 points
8. Spain (Jordi Xammar), 15 points
9. Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter), 12 points
2022-23 SailGP Season 3 Schedule
May 14-15, 2022 – Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess
June 18-19, 2022 – United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier
July 30-31, 2022 – Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth
August 19-20, 2022 – ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix | Copenhagen
September 10-11, 2022 – France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
September 24-25, 2022 – Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía – Cádiz
November 12-13, 2022 – Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas
January 13-14, 2023 – Singapore Sail Grand Prix
February 17-18, 2023 – Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney
March 17-18, 2023 – New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch
May 6-7, 2023 – United States Sail Grand Prix | San Francisco (Season 3 Grand Final)
Format for 2022-23 SailGP events:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs across two days.
• There are three qualifying races each day for all nine teams.*
• The top three teams from qualifying advance to a final race to be crowned event champion and earn the largest share of the $300,000 prize money to be split among the top three teams.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race – a winner-takes-all match race for the $1m prize.
* Qualifying schedule increased from five to six races at France SailGP.
For competition documents, click here.
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 for event prize money as the season culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race.