Photography by SailGP
21 August 2022
Mother nature has wreaked havoc on the opening day of racing at the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix, with the light wind conditions preventing racing from taking place.
Tom Slingsby’s biggest rival, Ben Ainslie’s Great Britain SailGP Team, were also absent on the race track, after a shock withdrawal from the event. All eight F50s were launched and teams waited in still conditions, but to no avail.
The loss of the first day of racing puts even more pressure on the second day, with teams needing to be consistent in their performance. Tom Slingsby, Australia SailGP Team Driver said: “Of course it’s a bit disappointing not being able to race today but we are sailors and we need the wind, like a surfer needs the surf to perform.
“But the forecast looks good for tomorrow and we have been sailing well so I am confident. We Have to put it all on the table, everything will count.”
The British Team’s withdrawal from the Denmark event was due to the team sustaining severe damage during the final day of practice on Thursday.
The team were completing training drills when they hit an uncharted rock just outside the racecourse boundary.
Damage sustained included snapping the head of the starboard rudder clean off and damage to the starboard daggerboard and board casing.
Great Britain SailGP Team co-owner and driver Ben Ainslie said: “We were training just outside the racecourse boundary and unfortunately hit an unmarked rock. We sustained a lot of damage to the starboard rudder, daggerboard and board casing.
“We reviewed the damage ashore and unfortunately it has put us out of this event, which is a difficult call for the team. Incidents like this are tough but that’s sport, you’re going to have these moments and the teams that keep their heads up are the ones that come back stronger and that’s what we are going to do.”
The British team were coming in second place in the overall SailGP Season 3 leaderboard on 24 points, with only five points between them and the Australia Team, who are coming in first place on 29 points.
Commenting on the impact this has on the team, Tom Slingsby said: “Technically it depends how we go tomorrow and how we perform in this event overall. If we end up winning this event we could gain eight points on the Britts to their last place so it has the potential to make massive gains for us in the season.”
Racing will resume Sunday, as scheduled, where the champion of the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix will be crowned. Australian fans can tune in live on Fox Sports and on Kayo in Australia to watch the final day of racing, which takes place at 11:30PM AEST. Kayo are offering fans free access to both the live and replay racing, via its Kayo Freebies offer. ABOUT SAILGP // SailGP is the world’s most exciting racing on water.
The global championship features national teams battling in short, intense races at iconic stadium-style venues across the globe. The high-tech, high-speed action features sailing’s best athletes racing in identical hydrofoiling F50 catamarans, flying at speeds approaching 100 km/h. SailGP also races for a better future, championing a world powered by nature.