New Zealand wins New Zealand SailGP

Published on March 24th, 2024

Peter Burling’s New Zealand team delighted home fans by winning New Zealand SailGP held March 23-24 in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Kiwis topped France and Canada in the Final, securing a picture-perfect start and executing a flawless race to claim victory on Lyttelton Harbour.

After the cancellation of racing on the first day due to dolphin activity on the race course, the final day had ten teams racing in three fleet races with the top three advancing to the winner-takes-all final podium race.

The first race of the day went the way of hometown favorites with New Zealand taking the lead on the start and finishing by overtaking France on the final mark to claim the opening victory on Lyttelton Harbour.

Critically, season leader Australia was ruled out of the event following a collision with a course mark just after the start, leaving them with event-ending damage to the green and gold F50.

“The moment was a blur,” admitted Driver Tom Slingsby. “As we rounded mark one, we had two boats on our inside (to the boundary) and we looked like we were going to hit Canada. The decision was so quick but keeping the team safe is the most important thing so we went straight for the mark. I’m just glad that all our people are safe.”

Race two went the way of Canada – with native Kiwi driver Phil Robertson at the wheel. The race felt from the get go that it really was Canada’s race with Robertson in jest telling the crowd of his victory, “I think I just became the favorite Kiwi putting the Aussies out of the running in the first race.”

The third and final race to the podium saw Quentin Delapierre’s France take the win, resulting in three races with three different winners – France, New Zealand, and defending champions Canada – set to go head-to-head in the three-boat podium final.

A strong start from the Kiwis saw Canada having to keep clear of them on the line, with Burling taking the first mark with France in hot pursuit. Canada split the pack after the second mark, a decision that caused them to trail for the remainder of the race and allowing the Kiwis to take a strong early lead, ahead of France, which they held onto for the duration of the race.

The win for New Zealand and the resulting penalty points awarded to Australia for the damage caused in race 1 – a total of 12 season points – sees the Kiwi’s top the overall leaderboard, nine points in front of Australia. However, Australia have requested a points penalty review, and there remains the question whether Slingsby’s team will be repaired in time for the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix on May 4-5.

“The whole front beam has broken and they take a 3-4 months to build one of those and this one is a complete write off,” he said. “It will be a matter of whether there is a spare one in stock whether we’ll be racing in Bermuda.”

Other teams to accrue penalty points were:
• Great Britain penalized eight points for making contact with Switzerland during practice racing.
• Denmark penalized eight points for making contact with Canada during Fleet Race 1.

SailGP informationChristchurch detailsYouTubeHow to watch

Christchurch Final Results
1. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 1-4-2-(1)
2. France (Quintin Delapierre), 2-5-1-(2)
3. Canada (Phil Robertson), 5-1-3-(3)
4. Spain (Diego Botin), 3-2-4
5. Germany (Erik Heil), 6-6-5
6. Switzerland (Nathan Outteridge), 7-7-7
7. Great Britain (Giles Scott), 4-3-8
8. United States (Taylor Canfield), 9-9-9
9. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 8-8-6
10. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 10-DNC-DNC

Season 4 Standings (after nine of 13 events; results and total points)
1. New Zealand (Peter Burling), 1-7-8-DNC/6-4-1-1-3-1; 68 points
2. Australia (Tom Slingsby), 2-3-2-2-3-2-7-1-10; 59
3. Spain (Diego Botin), 5-1-3-6-6-10-2-5-4; 55
4. France (Quintin Delapierre), 6-8-6-4-7-4-4-4-2; 54
5. Denmark (Nicolai Sehested), 4-2-4-7-2-6-9-2-9; 50
6. United States (Jimmy Spithill/Taylor Canfield), 9-5-5-3-1-8-3-9-8; 48
7. Canada (Phil Robertson), 3-4-10-5-5-3-6-10-3; 46
8. Great Britain (Ben Ainslie/Giles Scott), 7-6-1-1-8-5-8-7-7; 45
9. Germany (Erik Heil), 10-10-7-8-9-10-9-5-6-5; 27
10. Switzerland (Sebastien Schneiter/Nathan Outteridge), 8-9-9-9-7-10-8-6; 22

For scoring adjustments, click here.

Season 4 – 2023
June 16-17 – United States Sail Grand Prix | Chicago at Navy Pier
July 22-23 – United States Sail Grand Prix | Los Angeles
September 9-10 – France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez
September 23-24 – Italy Sail Grand Prix | Taranto
October 14-15 – Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía- Cádiz
December 9-10 – Dubai Sail Grand Prix | Dubai*

Season 4 – 2024
January 13-14 – Abu Dhabi Sail Grand Prix | Abu Dhabi
February 24-25 – Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney
March 23-24 – New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Auckland
March 23-24 – New Zealand Sail Grand Prix | Christchurch
May 4-5 – Bermuda Sail Grand Prix
June 1-2 – Canada Sail Grand Prix | Halifax
June 22-23 – United States Sail Grand Prix | New York
July 13-14 – SailGP Season 4 Grand Final | San Francisco
* Added October 3, 2023

Format for Season 4:
• Teams compete in identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event runs across two days.
• Up to seven qualifying fleet races of approximately 15 minutes may be scheduled for each regatta.
• The top three teams from qualifying advance to a final race to be crowned event champion and earn the largest share of the $300,000.00 USD event prize money purse (increases to $400k for Abu Dhabi with the winning team now earning $200k at each event).
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which includes the Championship Final Race for the top three teams in the season standing with the winner claiming the $2 million USD prize.
• The top team on points ahead of the three-boat Championship Final will be awarded $350,000.00.

For competition documents, click here.

Established in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual, global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing among national teams in some of the iconic harbors around the globe.

Source: SailGP

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