Slingsby Australians take a SailGP hat trick in Saint-Tropez
Tom Slingsby’s Australian team will try a hat trick this weekend at the SailGP World League Regatta in Saint-Tropez, France.
The Australians have had dominant victories in the last two regattas, in England in mid-July and in Denmark three weeks ago, although they were not complete as crew members competed in the Games Olympic Games or were concerned with family matters. These two victories followed an unusual last place in Italy in early June.
With the return of sharpener Sam Newton for the Saturday and Sunday races, Slingsby has reunited with his frontline crew on the Australians’ 50ft foil catamaran. Flight controller Jason Waterhouse returned for the regatta in Denmark after missing two regattas due to the Olympics and crusher Kinley Fowler was also back after missing a regatta to be with his wife for the birth of their second child. Newton has been to Australia with his family.
“These are guys who unfortunately were unable to attend all of the events during the Olympics or have kids or be stuck in Australia,” Slingsby said on Friday. “Now we have our whole team, we have no more excuses, that’s for sure. So I hope we can play with these guys because in my eyes, it’s our A team. ”
Slingsby steered the Australians to the inaugural season championship in 2019 and the winning prize of $ 1 million.
Australia lead the Season 2 standings with 32 points, followed by Sir Ben Ainslie’s British side with 30 points and Nathan Outteridge’s Japanese side with 28 points. The United States, skippered by two-time America’s Cup champion Jimmy Spithill, are fourth with 26 points. France (24), Spain (23), New Zealand (23) and Denmark (22) complete the fleet.
The Australians struggled in the light winds finishing last in Italy. Some races in this regatta, as well as the podium race in Denmark, were run with crews of three instead of five due to the light wind. The Australians dominated Great Britain and Japan in the podium race in Denmark.
There could be more air traffic this weekend over the Mediterranean.
“I think we are constantly trying to improve ourselves,” said Slingsby, Olympic gold medalist and former America’s Cup champion. “We’re very open and upfront about where the other teams are stronger than us and who they are and what we can learn from them and we’re kind of on this constant evolution trying to improve ourselves. “
Slingsby still considers Ainslie’s team to be one of the Australians’ fiercest competitors in the fleet.
“If I’m being honest I think Ben is going to be strong,” Slingsby said. “He was first beaten in the last event and for sure he will come back strong.”
Ainslie, a quadruple Olympic gold medalist and former America’s Cup champion, won the race on the podium at the season opener in Bermuda after the Slingsby crew dominated the race in fleet. Ainslie missed the next two races to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.
Meanwhile, US wing trimmer Paul Campbell-James could be back in action after breaking a leg three weeks ago in a training incident the day before the regatta started in Denmark.
The team said Campbell-James had a good assessment on Friday, but Spithill wanted to wait until Saturday morning to make the final decision.
Jason Saunders, who replaced Campbell-James in Denmark, was transported on hold.
After undergoing surgery, Campbell-James went through an aggressive rehabilitation program.
“The determination and determination that Paul has shown over the past few weeks to recover has been incredible and is a real motivation for our team,” said Spithill. “So far this season our team has faced more adversity than any other team in the Championship, but we continue to fight and climb the standings.”
Match racer world champion Taylor Canfield will replace American flight controller Rome Kirby, who has personal commitments.
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