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Australia triumph on home waters in historic win at inaugural Sydney SailGP

by Olivia Hogan 16 Feb 03:02 PST 15-16 February 2019

Australia's SailGP team, led by skipper Tom Slingsby, have triumphed at the inaugural Sydney SailGP, defeating favourites Japan in the final match race on Sydney Harbour.

The Aussies stormed home to victory in front of a huge home crowd - estimated at over 20,000 - going unbeaten in the final two fleet races, before crossing the finish line 37 seconds ahead of the Japanese, and their Australian skipper Nathan Outteridge, in the head-to-head match race.

Sydney SailGP highlightsPosted by SailGP on Saturday, 16 February 2019

The win sees the Australians sitting on 48 points, over Japan's 45, three points clear at the top of the championship scoreboard leading into the San Francisco SailGP in May. Great Britain finished third with 36 points. China set the top speed of 37.4 knots in 14.5 knots of wind.

Points will be collated across each SailGP event, including San Francisco, New York City, Cowes (U.K.) and Marseille (France), where the champion will be crowned and win the $1m championship prize.

"I couldn't be happier with how today went," said Slingsby. "It felt like Nathan was always there and just one mistake away, and if we made that mistake he would have pounced."

"I hold my team and myself to a very high standard so it's unbelievable. Jason Waterhouse on tactics, Kyle Langford making sure we had speed, and our grinders Ky Hurst and Sam Newton were always there when we needed them. I was stoked with the way our team sailed and it showed in the results."

"It's amazing seeing the turn out of Aussies for this race - we couldn't have asked for a better start to this new championship."

Japan skipper Nathan Outteridge said he was proud of his team's sailing, having only spent a short time sailing together so far.

"We missed a few little things here and there, but if you think about our team, and the fact we've only done five days as a sailing team together, the fact that we were racing, let alone made the match race, is incredible," said Outteridge.

"I think we can only improve. We are still learning the best combinations on the boat. We're definitely going to improve for San Francisco and the conditions will be very different."

"I was very impressed by how the Australian team sailed. The teams get better at each event and if you look at the people on these boats, they are very good sailors, so we're only going to get better."

Sydney SailGP Overall Results:

1st: Australia SailGP Team 48pts
2nd: Japan SailGP Team 45pts
3rd: Great Britain SailGP Team 36pts
4th: China SailGP Team 33pts
5th: France SailGP Team 33pts
6th: United States SailGP Team 31pts

Find out more at sailgp.com/races/sydney

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