I’m almost there >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News
For the United States SailGP team, it was one thing after another in Season 2. If they didn’t crash, they crashed into submerged objects. They had to replace their fender trimmer when he broke his fibula.
Yet they were still in a position to win it all, and while they failed to clear the final hurdle in San Francisco on March 26-27, skipper Jimmy Spithill looks back on SailGP season 2 and the season 3:
The last day of SailGP Season 2 summed up our whole year pretty well, in a few crazy hours.
We knew that going into the final US$1 million winner-takes-all SailGP race in San Francisco, there would be unpredictable drama in store – but even I was surprised by what happened. spent in the bay this weekend.
In the first race of the final day, just an hour before the biggest showdown of the season, we were taken out by Spain SailGP Team, who rammed us and left a huge hole in the back of our boat.
It was a difficult situation for the Japanese, the Aussies and ourselves – we all wanted to race hard and push in preparation for the final in the prep races, but we couldn’t afford a major incident… well, we were almost eliminated and not able to run the final.
Despite the drama, as long as the boat was still floating, not participating in the final race was never an option for us. So we took time out from the last fleet race while our shore crew got into action, removing the broken stern from the boat and carrying out repairs. It was true NASCAR style! What an incredible job they did in a short time, under enormous pressure.
As we’ve seen all season in SailGP, it’s like motor racing, when you’re going at those speeds, with that many boats, that’s racing. I’m glad everyone came out unscathed – and our shore team did an incredible job of preparing for the boat race and being able to race the final.
Also, I want to make a special mention to Jordi Xammar, the pilot of the Spanish boat, who came after and spoke to me and showed great sportsmanship. He is a real star of the future and an incredible talent.
I would like to give full credit to the Australians, who took the win and have been the go-to team all year in this fleet of incredibly talented athletes. To make back-to-back matches in a league as relentless and difficult as this is truly impressive, and it’s no surprise to me that they were crowned champions for the second time. Good game.
I’m optimistic about our first season as a team and proud of everyone involved who really got involved. When we took over the team at the start of the season, they had just finished last in Season 1, so for this new group to come in and go for the title, it’s a great statement for their first year together.
If you haven’t seen the footage of our training before the event, you really need to check it out. Kai Lenny and Jamie O’Brien came for a ride around the San Francisco Bay Area, and they got to see exactly what SailGP is all about. Kai even captured the perfect angle of our capsize on his camera.
Water entered our electronics and systems failed during a maneuver. When sailing these boats capsizing is always possible, and again a great job for our shore crew to get us back on our feet and sailing a few minutes later.
Kai is probably the best waterman in the world and Jamie is one of the best Pipeline riders. If you’ve ever seen the footage of these guys riding in places like Nazaré, Waimea Bay and some of the hairy situations they get into, then you’ll know that for them to come out on the boat and say that was absolutely insane , intense and they’ve never experienced anything like it, it’s pretty big.
I think it gives the sport of sailing – and SailGP – real credibility.
As we finish our first season in SailGP on the podium, I am really very proud of this crew. It’s been a hell of a season, and a lot of fun, but I really feel like this team is just getting started and I can’t wait for Season 3.
A huge thank you also to all the SailGP Team USA fans who came out, filled the stands and lined the shoreline to make our first home event a memorable one. It was literally like navigating through a grandstand… we couldn’t believe the noise coming from the fans as we raced past the stands and the amount of messages we received was unbelievable.
Can’t wait for season 3.
San Francisco Results
1. Australia, Tom Slingsby, 2-4-3-2-1, 33
2. Great Britain, Ben Ainslie, 1-6-4-3-2, 29
3. Japan, Nathan Outteridge, 6-2-1-6-4, 26
4. Denmark, Nicolai Sehested, 4-1-6-7-5, 22
5. New Zealand, Peter Burling, 3-5-8-1-3*, 21
6. USA, Jimmy Spithill, 5-7-5-5-DNC, 14
7. France, Quentin Delapierre, 7-8-7-4-6, 13
8. Spain, Jordi Xammar, 8-3-2-DNF-DNC, 9
* Four penalty points added due to a foul with France
Final results – SailGP Season 2 Championship (8 events)
1. Australia, Tom Slingsby, 85
2. Japan, Nathan Outteridge, 77
3. USA, Jimmy Spithill, 74
4. Great Britain, Ben Ainslie (alternate – Paul Goodison), 50
5. New Zealand, Peter Burling (alternate – Arnaud Psarofaghis), 47
6. Denmark, Nicolai Sehested, 45
7. Spain, Jordi Xammar (alternate – Phil Robertson), 43
8. France, Quentin Delapierre, 39
SailGP Information – San Francisco Details – Crew Lists
How To Watch – Results – Scoreboard – SailGP Insights
Format of SailGP events:
• The teams compete on identical F50 catamarans.
• Each event takes place over two days.
• There are three races each day, totaling six races at each event.
• The first five fleet races involve all teams.
• The race score gives 8 points for the first, 7 points for the second, etc.
• The final race of each event opposes the three best ranked teams to be crowned champions of the event.
• The season concludes with the Grand Finals, which includes the final championship race for the top three teams in the season standings for a one-game race where the winner takes it all for the $1 million prize.
SailGP Season 2 Schedule
April 24-25, 2021 – Bermuda Grand Prix
June 5-6, 2021 – Italian Grand Prix – Taranto
July 17-18, 2021 – British Grand Prix – Plymouth
August 20-21, 2021 – ROCKWOOL Danish Grand Prix – Aarhus
September 11-12, 2021 – French Grand Prix – Saint-Tropez
October 9-10, 2021 – Spanish Grand Prix – Andalusia
December 17-18, 2021 – Australian Grand Prix – Sydney
January 29-30, 2022 – New Zealand Grand Prix – Christchurch (CANCELED)
March 26-27, 2022 – United States Grand Prix – San Francisco (Grand Final Season 2)
Founded in 2018, SailGP seeks to be an annual global sports league featuring fan-centric inshore racing in some of the world’s iconic ports. Rival national teams battle it out in identical F50 catamarans, with the season culminating in a million-dollar win-win race.