Kiwis overcome to win SailGP Singapore

Published on January 15th, 2023

In a gutsy and impressive performance New Zealand defied the odds to win the Singapore Sail Grand Prix. The win cements Peter Burling’s position as the main threat to Tom Slingsby’s charge for a third straight season title, with New Zealand now clearly second in the Season 3 standings. The Kiwis are also the only team besides Australia to win more than one event this season.

Prior to the racing on January 14-15, contact by the Kiwis with USA in a practice race resulted in a four point penalty before the first race, but a 1-5 by New Zealand in the light winds of day one was enough for just two points to separate Great Britain in second and New Zealand in sixth.

Better winds on day two was dominated by three teams, with New Zealand, Denmark and surprise packet Switzerland finishing in the top three of both fleet races. It was a day to remember for the Swiss, as they claimed their first ever race win to finish the event in fourth, agonizingly short of a first final appearance.

Nicolai Sehested’s Denmark raced well to finish second in race three, win race four, and pushed the New Zealand team all the way in the final. A strong first day was enough to see Australia make the final but its indifferent form from the day two fleet races carried into the final and it finished third.

For Burling it was a victory to savor, after his team started the event on minus four points for the contact incident with the United States in pre-event training.

“Coming into this weekend on the back of those penalty points and just seeing the way the team came together under a bit of adversity is super pleasing for us as a group,” noted Burling. “It’s two from two against the Aussies now in the finals, we’re more than happy to keep chipping away.

“Now looking forward, we want to firstly try to make the top three which obviously this weekend helps out a lot with, and then to try to be in our best possible shape going into that final to win the season.”

It was a third event final appearance of the season for Nicolai Sehested and a first time in second place on the podium after a solid weekend for the Denmark SailGP Team which saw it keep in touch with the all-important top three.

“We closed the gap to the top today and that’s all we need to do,” said Sehested. “We still have two more events to keep closing the gap, it’s only in San Francisco that counts, so we will just keep chipping away and we don’t mind sitting in fifth until the San Francisco event.”

The Australians now sit fifteen points clear of fourth place with just three events remaining and are all but guaranteed a place in the Grand Final.

“We’re feeling really good, we‘re really happy with how we’re looking on the ladder,” shared Slingsby. “It’s going to be amazing going back to Australia.

“It feels like we can just do our thing and sail and just try to get some decent results, we don’t need to go out there and get first to make the final. So we’re going to go out there, sail free and try to get the win in front of the home crowd.”

It was a banner day for Sébastien Schneiter and Nathan Outteridge, co-drivers of the Swiss team, as they claimed their first ever win and very nearly pushed their way into the final with a second place finish in the day’s other race.

Quentin Delapierre’s France dropped out of the top three in the season standings after an eighth place finish at East Coast Park, while fourth for Ben Ainslie’s Great Britain team in Singapore was enough to see them replace France in the Grand Final positions.

Seventh at this event for the United States leaves them seventh in the championship and driver Jimmy Spithill looking unlikely for a second straight Grand Final appearance, while Canada’s early season form seems to have evaporated as Phil Robertson’s team sits sixth in the season standings.

Spain’s struggles continued with a last place in Singapore leaving driver Jordi Xammar only one point above the bottom-placed Swiss on the season three ladder.

SailGP informationSingapore detailsSeason 3 scoreboardYouTubeHow to watch

Final Results – Singapore
1. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 1-5-2-3-(1)
2. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 3-6-3-1-(2)
3. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 2-2-7-4-(3)
4. Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter), 6-8-1-2
5. Great Britain (Ben Ainslie), 5-3-5-5
6. Canada (Phil Robertson), 4-4-9-7
7. United States (Jimmy Spithill), 8-1-8-8
8. France (Quintin Delapierre), 7-9-4-6
9. Spain (Jordi Xammar), 9-7-6-9

Season Three Standings (after eight of 11 events)
1. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 68 points
2. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 59 points
3. Great Britain (Ben Ainslie), 54 points
4. France (Quintin Delapierre), 53 points
5. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 51 points
6. Canada (Phil Robertson), 45 points
7. United States (Jimmy Spithill), 43 points
8. Spain (Jordi Xammar), 24 points
9. Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter), 23 points

• Spain SailGP Team: Docked two points in Season Championship for four-point penalty at Plymouth
• Switzerland SailGP Team: Docked two points in Season Championship for four-point penalty at Saint-Tropez
• United Stated SailGP Team: Docked four points in Season Championship for eight-point penalty at Saint-Tropez
• New Zealand SailGP Team: Docked two points in Season Championship for four-point penalty at Dubai; Docked two points in Season Championship for four-point penalty at Singapore

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 14-15, 2023 – Singapore Sail Grand Prix
February 18-19, 2023 – Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney
March 18-19, 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.

Source: SailGP, Scuttlebutt

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