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Australia warms up in San Francisco

Australia SailGP commences practice in San Francisco ahead of the Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix and $1 million dollar grand final.


Photography by Ricardo Pinto for SailGP

23 March 2022

Tom Slingsby and the Australian SailGP Team’s revolutionary F50, emblazoned with a giant kangaroo, has set sail for the first time in San Francisco, ahead of the championship-deciding Season 2 Grand Final, the Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix, on 26 and 27 March.

The team’s first practice session delivered a glimpse of what to expect when Australia takes on the seven other national teams in San Francisco.

Tom Slingsby said, “It was a great day of training for us. We had beautiful conditions with 15 knots of flat water and were able to tick off a lot of things, which included practising a few moves for this weekend.”

Following their victory at the Australia Sail Grand Prix, Slingsby’s team has already qualified for the 27 March season-deciding Grand Final alongside Jimmy Spithill’s US Team.

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The weekend’s racing will consist of five fleet races to complete the qualification, deciding the third team that will join in the final, winner-take-all race to claim sailing’s top purse, $1 million.

“The level was really high today from all of the teams on the water,” said Tom Slingsby.

“It was tough to gain any advantage over our rivals in speed. I would say the British were really strong and the USA were strong, but we still stayed in the mix. Fans can expect some really close racing this weekend.”

The Australia team includes Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Jason Waterhouse, Olympic silver medalist and two-time Australian female sailor of the year Nina Curtis and America’s Cup winner and ocean racer, wing trimmer Kyle Langford amongst its crew.

Curtis is part of the Women’s Pathway Program (WPP), which saw all eight teams’ female athletes debut in racing at Cádiz.

The WPP athletes will continue to race again here in San Francisco as part of the league’s better sport strategy, to drive inclusion and inspire change across the sport.

Alongside the SailGP Season 2 Championship, for the first time ever, a second podium will also take place on the Sunday to crown the Impact League winner – the league’s second podium for the planet. SailGP’s Impact League is a world-first, integrated initiative to make sustainability essential to the fabric of the sport and accelerate the transition to clean energy.

 

SailGP.com

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