Positive progress for the US SailGP team >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

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After five events, the coxswain of the American SailGP team, Jimmy Spithill, believes that the fortune of his crew is on the rise after the last event in France. With the circuit moving to Spain in less than three weeks, Spithill offers his assessment in this report:


As we passed the highest mark in the last French Grand Prix sailing race, we knew this would be the defining moment of our regatta.

The battle between us and the Japan SailGP team was neck and neck, and the victory would go to whoever chooses the faster side of the course by the time we descend to the bottom.

When you’re in these high-pressure situations, with the adrenaline pumping, it’s a big call to separate yourself from your rivals – but it’s all about the risk versus the reward. You have to be decisive and trust your instincts.

In Saint-Tropez, it was not our day. Credit to Japan, they deserved the victory. In light conditions they have an advantage over the rest of the SailGP fleet and we are working hard to close that gap.

We’re here to win every race – and when we don’t, you can see the disappointment on the faces on board. I like to see that, it shows that we have the right mindset.

But when you look at the big picture, it was a big event for us. Finishing second – and going through a clean event with no broken bones or damage, for the first time this season – shows that things are starting to turn for this team.

Despite all the adversity we have been through this season, we have never stopped fighting. We’re now second in the overall standings, and, man, we have a real million dollar chance.

In SailGP, it all comes down to that last race in San Francisco. It’s the only one that matters and we must constantly push ourselves to prepare for this moment.

We must enter the final race at all costs. To do this, in a series as strong and competitive as SailGP, you have to be consistent and create winning habits.

I’m excited that we’re running strong races, and when we’re not doing things right, we dig deep and go back to the data and images to improve and get stronger. It’s about evolving every day.

SailGP boats are also evolving. In France, we had new equipment to play – a much larger canopy of 29m. The wings of the F50 are something else. They’re made from carbon fiber and look more like a vertical airplane wing or some sort of NASA breakthrough than a traditional wing.

Throwing a bigger sail on the boat is a bit like an F1 car putting on a whole new tire compound. It really changes the balance of the tires and the configuration of the boat, and since it’s so new, we’re looking at how to get the most out of it on the go.

It’s a bit like learning to fly the plane when it’s already in the air. But the good thing about SailGP is that it’s a collective effort as you aren’t hiding any secrets so the whole fleet is upgraded together.

The larger canopy means we can still reach breakneck speeds in a lighter breeze, precisely manipulating the camber (depth) and twist (angle) of the sail to find the sweet spot and help the boat get out of the way. ‘water.

The man responsible for this work has insane power at his fingertips. In Saint-Tropez, we welcomed our wing trimmer, Paul Campbell-James, back on board just three weeks after breaking his leg during the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Aarhus.

CJ is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever met… but this one even surprised me. When you look at the x-rays you wonder how anyone could be ready to walk after three weeks, let alone run on a trampoline on a foiled F50.

It says a lot about the strength and attitude of this team. We never give up, we just keep pushing our way and that’s what CJ did.

He broke through the pain barrier to give himself every chance to race in France, and believe me, the rest of the team sees it.

Although he had a few packs of painkillers, CJ was the key for us this weekend and gave us the motivation to get out and perform on the water.

Then we head to Cadíz for the Spanish Sailing Grand Prix on October 9th and 10th. Believe me, you don’t want to miss this one – we’re coming to the end of the trading season, and we’re locked in and willing to give our all to stay in the top spots.


SailGP Information – Spain Details – Facebook

How to watch – Results – Scoreboard

SailGP Season Championship (after 5 events)
1. Japan, 37 points
2. United States, 35 points
3. Australia, 35 points
4. Great Britain, 34 pts
5. Spain, 31 points
6. New Zealand, 30 pts
7. Denmark, 28 points
8. France, 27 points

Format of SailGP events:
• The teams compete against each other 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 final match race pits the three best ranked teams against each other to be crowned champion of the event.
• The season ends with the Grand Final, which features the Championship Final Race – a match-based race where the winner takes home 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 Denmark 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 (Season 2 Grand Final)
*Subject to change

Teams 2021-22, barre
Australia, Tom Slingsby
Denmark, Nicolai Sehested
France, Billy Besson
Great Britain, Ben Ainslie (alternate – Paul Goodison)
Japan, Nathan Outteridge
New Zealand, Peter Burling (alternate – Arnaud Psarofaghis)
Spain, Jordi Xammar (alternate – Phil Robertson)
United States, Jimmy Spithill


Founded in 2018, SailGP aims to be an annual global sports league featuring fan-centric coastal races in some of the iconic ports around the world. Rival national teams battle it out on identical F50 catamarans, the season culminating with a $ 1 million race per match.

Source: SailGP


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