The Australia SailGP Team started its defense of the SailGP Championship in perfect fashion by ending the first day of the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess top of the leaderboard with a clean sweep of three wins from three.
A stunning late overtake of France propelled the Aussies to victory in race one, before the team dominated race two to further extend its lead in first place. A fantastic battle with Great Britain at the front of the pack in race three was eventually won by Tom Slingsby, who ended up crossing the finish line 11 seconds ahead of Ben Ainslie’s team.
Having been soundly beaten by Ainslie and the British in Sydney in front of his home fans in SailGP’s prior event last year, Slingsby will be delighted to have got his revenge in commanding fashion.
Speaking from Australia’s F50 following the final race of the day, Slingsby said: “I don’t know if there was a secret [to our success]. It was more just avoid the carnage.
“I think by getting good starts we managed to stay out the pack. I turned around and watched the carnage behind and was glad I wasn’t part of it.
“I think we raced clean. We didn’t make too many errors and it was a really good job for the team.”
Australia’s day one dominance will also sting for the New Zealand SailGP Team, which was racing in its first event with dynamic duo Peter Burling (helm) and Blair Tuke (wing trimmer).
A sixth placed finish in the opening race was the best it got for the team, who finished last in each of the following two races to end the day propping up the rest of the leaderboard with just 11 points.
Meanwhile, Season 1 runner-up Japan put in a good showing to prove the team’s credentials as serious Season 2 Championship contenders, ending the day level on points with France behind the Aussies.