Aussie SailGP champs suffer ‘instant capsize’ as ‘frustating’ blow puts four-peat under threat

URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL

Australia may find themselves sluggish heading into the grand finale of SailGP Season 4 after the team’s first capsize at this weekend’s event in Canada opened the door for their pursuers.

The third-to-last event of the season in Halifax, Canada, turned into a nightmare for the Australians when they got into a tough battle with Nathan Outteridge’s Switzerland on the opening day and finally capsized their boat on Sunday.

Watch SailGP FREE and LIVE on Kayo Freebies. New to Kayo? Start your free trial today >

The Australians had a good chance of reaching the final and were comfortably leading in the fifth fleet race until Tom Slingsby’s team suffered an accident and a technical defect caused the team to capsize.

Due to a technical defect, the boat dramatically capsized and tipped onto its side, sending shockwaves among fans watching the action on the Halifax waterfront.

Unlike the frightening capsizing of the US team in Bermuda, in which several crew members fell through the wing, the Australians were fortunately unharmed and were able to remain in their capsules on the boat.

Watch Australia’s first capsize at SailGP in the video above

“We were as shocked as everyone else,” Slingsby said.

“We were just flying against the wind, had a nice lead and were happy until the wing turned in the wrong direction.

“There was a button malfunction. Basically, the boat registered that a button had been pressed that had not been pressed. If that button on the boat malfunctions and the wing is flipped over, capsizing will occur almost immediately.

“We saw this happen to the US team in Bermuda. But the difference is that for them it was due to human error – someone accidentally pressed the button to flip the wing – whereas for us it was due to a technical malfunction.”

The extent of the damage to the Australian F50 is still being investigated by SailGP’s technical team.

It was dramatic even before the start of the race, because strong winds prevented all ten F50s from being lifted into the water before the race.

SailGP was forced to make the difficult decision after the first day of racing to prioritize teams in order of placing, which meant that Switzerland and the United States were unable to participate in the race.

Great Britain won the final in Halifax, defeating France and Denmark.

Slingsby’s crew finished the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix in seventh place with 26 points.

Spain’s strong performance this weekend has also pushed the Australians from second to third in the season four championship standings.

Slingsby said: “If you had asked me two months ago if we would be third overall and other teams were hot on our heels to make the final in San Francisco, I would have said we had no chance. The way things have gone, with the harsh penalty decision in Christchurch, the technical problems in Bermuda and now a technical problem in Halifax, it’s really frustrating.”

Due to the restructuring of the leaderboard, five teams are now fighting hard for a place in the grand finale.

New York, the twelfth stop on the Season Four calendar, will prove to be a crucial turning point for the Australians, with just one event remaining before the grand finale in San Francisco on July 13 and 14.

Earlier in the weekend, Slingsby also confirmed that the Australian team had secured a place in SailGP Season 5, while the remaining five SailGP teams are under pressure to secure ownership or investment or risk being excluded from the league.

Slingsby did not comment further on the matter, but hinted: “That’s true, but that’s all we can tell you at this time.

“There will be an announcement soon and I can say it is exciting for SailGP and the sport of sailing and I think everyone will be quite shocked and really impressed with what we have achieved.”

Ranking of the fourth SailGP season

New Zealand — 83 points

Spain — 72 points

Australia — 71 points

France — 65 points

Denmark — 64 points

Great Britain — 58 points

Canada — 58 points

USA — 50 points

Germany — 35 points

Switzerland — 28 points

Leave a Comment