Australia has been proclaimed champion of the British Grand Prix, after beating France and the United States in the grand final, and in turn, takes over from Spain in the leadership of the SailGP circuit. The F50 Victoria finished eighth at Plymouth and is now sixth overall, three points behind the new leader, tied with the USA and Japan.
The second day of the British Grand Prix, in Plymouth, still dawned with the echoes of the disqualification of the F50 Victoria on the previous day. The first black flag in the history of SailGP had been for the Spanish boat in a risky departure, a decision that is understood as excessive from within the team, and both Phil Robertson and Xabi Fernández disagreed. Although direct rivals such as Jimmy Spithill (USA), Nathan Outteridge (JPN) and Tom Slingsby (AUS) defended the decision of the judges, the most successful Olympic sailor in history and the lead of the British team, Ben Ainslie (GBR), wore next to the Spanish team.
Phil Robertson, cane of the Spanish team, declared at the end of the day that it had been a day “disappointing” and added “In general, we are doing things well, we just have to take advantage of the opportunities”. Along these lines, Xabi Fernández, wing trimmer, admitted that “we have navigated relatively well but we have made some mistakes, we have been complicated”. Despite the unsuccessful day for the F50 Victoria, Fernández explained that “There is still a long season left and we just have to try to have good tests”.
The first test of the day, fourth overall, was very important for the F50 Victoria, who had to risk everything for everything after the disqualification of the previous day. The Spanish boat made a good start, third, behind Japan and New Zealand. Nathan Outteridge’s men stood out early and as the test progressed they increased their advantage over the rest of the fleet, the New Zealanders were also confirmed in second position and the third position seemed to be played by Great Britain and Spain. Both were exchanging this position until the United States appeared, which would end up sneaking between the two, displacing the Spaniards to fifth place, since they would finally occupy and that left them, unfortunately, out of any option to dispute the final.
The following test would serve to define which three boats would go on to contest the grand final. The F50 Victoria, however, wanted to say goodbye to the British Grand Prix with a good taste. Although he came out in fifth position, he came to place third behind Great Britain and France, who were the dominators of the event. Spain, for its part, who was flirting between third and fourth places, saw Australia overtake them in the final stage and would end up crossing the finish line in fifth position. The United States, France and Australia were classified for the grand final.
Day modeled on the previous one, meteorologically speaking, with very light winds, which has made it more difficult to pick up speed and maneuver faster. The field has been changing all the time and the roles have not been favorable.
It was not the best regatta for the F50 Victoria, who now only thinks about the next event, the Rockwall Denmark Sail Grand Prix, to be held in Aahrus (Denmark) on August 20 and 21. There are still six events left this season where the Spanish team will try to climb positions and regain the lead. In addition, the team will be back in full swing with the return of the Olympians, who are currently in Tokyo.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism