Australia leads ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix as thrilling day in Aarhus sees three different race winners • Live Sail Die
With difficult conditions in Aarhus making the racetrack a ‘minefield’, the opening day of the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix saw three different winners in three separate races, as well as a capsize ahead of the event that excluded a team from participating.
SailGP’s first visit to Denmark, the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix was called a dramatic event earlier in the week due to strong winds during race testing causing a capsize and then a broken SailGP speed record.
And Friday’s races did not disappoint, as Denmark, the United States and Great Britain each claimed a victory in Aarhus – the Danish squad delighting fans with their first ever SailGP race victory on their waters. national.
Although it didn’t win a single race on Friday, it was Australia who finished the first day of racing on pole to advance to Saturday’s three-team final, with two second places and a fifth place saw Tom Slingsby’s team at the top of the standings. – placing one point ahead of the British and two ahead of the United States in third.
Denmark’s good start at home was followed by a few poor results which saw Nicolai Sehested and his side drop to fourth place at the end of the game – although the Vikings are only three points behind the Australians. New Zealand initially finished the day in third place, but after the race were penalized with two points due to an incident with France that knocked the Kiwis down to fifth place; France was penalized by four points for the same incident.
Japan and France, sixth and seventh respectively, enter the second day with a lot of work to do to qualify for the final.
Spain, meanwhile, finished the first day of racing with zero points, as they unfortunately suffered damage to the foil during a capsize before the race, which excluded Phil Robertson’s team from the entire race. daytime.
The day started well for the home side, with Denmark claiming their first racing victory of the season in front of their own fans. An extremely close encounter, the Danes have just passed Australia in first place, with New Zealand also narrowly beating Great Britain for third place.
Speaking after the race, Danish driver Sehested said: “It’s a bit tricky here; you look like a hero one moment but zero the next.
“It’s really bloated and there isn’t really a system, so you just have to navigate what you see and be a little flexible. You can’t be too stressed out when falling behind boats as it’s a bit of a snake and ladders here. So patience and a calm boat are key today.
However, the Danes dropped out of the top three in race two, with the United States, Australia and Japan finishing first, second and third respectively.
“It’s a pretty tough circuit – it’s really a minefield,” added US driver Jimmy Spithill. “I think you are first or last, everyone has an opportunity right now. But that makes racing exciting.
“We’re just going to take it one by one. With each race we get stronger and stronger and we try to make gains with each race and each maneuver. “
Spithill also praised interim trimmer Jason Saunders, who sails for the United States at Aarhus due to Paul Campbell-James’ broken leg during practice earlier this week.
“He [Saunders] did a great job, ”added Spithill. “Dude, this is awesome; he arrived late last night, jumped without training or practice and fitted in really well with the boys. So let’s have fun. “
Great Britain, who broke SailGP’s speed record in Thursday’s practice in Aarhus, disappointed in the first two races of the day, dropping from the fourth to the fifth race of Race 2. But a strong performance in Race 3 saw Ben Ainslie’s side clinch a vital victory to move up to second in the event standings – just one point behind the top Australians.
The United States completed the top three in the standings at the end of race day 1, although with just three points separating leaders Australia from Denmark in fourth, there are sure to be plenty of twists and turns in the second. race day in Aarhus on Saturday.