SailGP Sydney cancelled after day one

Published on February 18th, 2023

Sydney, Australia (February 18, 2023) – High winds on Sydney Harbor was a test of boat handling which a lot of teams did not survive, and ultimately cancelled the second day of racing. But for the three races held today, Quentin Delapierre’s France team put on a master class to win them all.

With winds gusting near 30 knots, the nine teams strapped on their small rigs to survive the gusty conditions. While the French often were in the front early, the USA team with Jimmy Spithill finished the day in second overall after weaving through the bedlam for a 2-2-5.

The dramatic first day was plagued by technical issues, near capsizes, messy maneuvers and even an Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team crew member falling overboard during the first fleet race.

Emirates GBR grinder Matt Gotrel fell through the fairing of the foiling F50 catamaran as the team approached the finish line while traveling at speeds of 27 knots.

Gotrel, attached to the F50 via his safety line, was rag-dolled under the trampoline for several seconds before the boat was slowed and pulled back on board by his teammates with no injuries reported.

But an even bigger story came after racing when a major weather event occurred that resulted in significant damage to several wing sails and at least one boat at the SailGP technical site. As a result of the damage, SailGP canceled racing for the second day of the Sydney event.

The Bureau of Meteorology had issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds which came after a heatwave warning saw multiple sports events cancelled over the weekend. The storm wreaked havoc in parts of the city and left 60,000 people without power.

The Canadian team appeared to get the worst of it as they tried to get the wing out of the boat before the storm arrived. Video shows the Canadian wing in tatters after whacking the tents. The team also incurred damage to their boat which was christened just two days earlier.

“It was some of the most wind I have ever seen in my life,” said Phil Robertson, Driver of the Canada SailGP Team.

The league indicated that after a preliminary assessment, it plans to move forward with the final two events in Season 3.


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

SailGP informationAustralia detailsSeason 3 scoreboardYouTubeHow to watch

Season Three Standings (after nine of 11 events)
1. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 76 points
2. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 64 points
3. France (Quintin Delapierre), 63 points
4. Great Britain (Ben Ainslie), 61 points
5. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 57 points
6. United States (Jimmy Spithill), 52 points
7. Canada (Phil Robertson), 49 points
8. Spain (Jordi Xammar/Diego Botin), 27 points
9. Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter), 25 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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