Razor sharp Spain

Spain claim victory on the Great Sound, with a top-class Final performance, beating New Zealand and Australia at the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix.

06 May 2024


Diego Botin’s young Spanish team executed flawless tactical decision-making to trounce season leaders New Zealand and Australia on the iconic waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound.

Having only qualified for the three-team, winner-takes-all Final by the narrowest of margins, Botin and his crew showcased all their talents in the showpiece encounter to claim an impressive victory.

This was just Spain’s second ever SailGP event win – following success in Los Angeles – and saw them tighten their grip on potential qualification for the Championship-deciding Grand Final at the end of the season.

An aggressive start saw Spain swerve behind the Aussies and Kiwis to pinch perfect start line positioning and secure the all-important inside line to Mark 1.

Despite the Kiwis breathing down their necks throughout, the Spanish stayed focused on the racecourse, splitting with Burling’s team at Gate 4 to pick up a 100-metre lead in the blink of an eye.


The race defining moment however came at Gate 5, when the Spanish executed an expert manoeuvre to force New Zealand to turn away. This resulted in huge gains for Diego Botin’s team.

Overall Spain executed the fewest manoeuvres, sailed the shortest distance and recorded the highest speed of all three teams, as well as a perfect 100 percent flight time.

Speaking after racing, driver Diego Botin said it was an ‘emotional day’ for the team, which snuck into the Final on the thinnest of margins after a tie-break score with Canada.

“Coming up with the win is just amazing,” he said. “We just need to keep sailing the same way, put the most points on our board that we can and avoid the penalty points – just keep focused on everything we’re doing.”

Strategist Nicole van der Velden added that the victory was even sweeter due to beating Season 4 leaders New Zealand and Australia. “To be able to fight with them – two of the top teams – and come out on top is an amazing feeling,” she said.

Bermuda marks the second ever event win for the team, which also took the win in Los Angeles earlier this season. Since then, results have been mixed, but the team has remained focused on its ambition of securing a place in San Francisco’s winner-takes-all Grand Final in July.

The refreshed season standings see New Zealand retain its position at the top of the Season 4 leaderboard with 77 points – a clear 10 point lead over Australia in second. Meanwhile Spain’s win sees the team solidify its third place position on the leaderboard with 65 points – a comfortable nine point margin ahead of ROCKWOOL DEN in fourth.

Elsewhere, it was a difficult weekend for Quentin Delapierre’s France, which finished the weekend in 9th place due to inconsistent fleet race results. Risky starting tactics in the fourth fleet race pre-start saw the French foul ROCKWOOL DEN, resulting in a penalty which pushed them to the back of the fleet.

Switzerland meanwhile, now driven by Nathan Outteridge, came out of the blocks firing when racing got underway – picking up the win in the fourth fleet race – its second fleet race win of Season 4 so far.

Next up, the 10-strong F50 fleet heads to Canada for the first time for the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix in Halifaxon 2 and 3 June.



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