Zapped Kiwi F50 out for SailGP Sydney

Published on January 26th, 2023

SailGP’s 10-boat fleet of one-design F50s is set to reshuffle for the next event of Season 3 after New Zealand’s lightning-struck F50 known as Amokura was deemed unable to compete.

After their victory at the Singapore Sail Grand Prix on January 14-15, the Kiwis’ boat was being towed back to the Tech Site when lightning struck the top of the 29m wing, causing significant damage.

Initial investigation found the lightning had ‘exploded all of the electronics on the boat,’ according to Tech Team Manager Brad Marsh, while the extent of the damage to the carbon fiber platform remains unknown.

As a result, the Kiwis’ F50 will be shipped back home to the SailGP Technologies facility in Warkworth, New Zealand to undergo further testing and repairs. This rules out the possibility of the boat being repaired in time to compete on February 18-19 at the Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney.

“The option of sending Amokura back here to do all the analysis we need to do and verify that it is structurally sound makes sense – we have the facilities and resources to do the investigation that we need to,” Marsh said.

With the confirmation that Amokura will not be ready to compete in Sydney, the New Zealand team will instead compete in Boat 6 – the F50 previously used by the Japan team and currently in use by Canada. Canada meanwhile will take delivery of Boat 10, which recently completed construction in New Zealand and will be the team’s permanent boat going forward.

Canada driver Phil Robertson said the team was ‘thrilled’ to receive the boat ‘earlier than expected’.

“The only downside is the lack of time we have to prepare it for racing,” he added. “We will have a lot of work ahead of us but have a great team that is hungry to work and get the new boat on the start line in top shape.”

Boat 8 – the lightning-struck boat previously used by New Zealand – will be shipped from Singapore to Auckland to arrive at SailGP Technologies by February 14. The race will then be on to test and repair the boat in time for the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix on March 18-19.

Marsh contends that every boat and wing is completely one-design so there should be no consequence when gear gets shifted from one team to another.

“We’re able to shuffle the parts around, shuffle wings, boards, rudders and platforms in the knowledge that we have a one-design fleet and we can always put one-design boats out there for the athletes.”

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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