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Nic Douglass talks to the sailors ahead of racing in San Francisco

by Nic Douglass 3 May 2019 22:45 PDT May 4-5, 2019
France SailGP Team have been working hard on their boat handling in San Francisco © Nic Douglass /

Whitecaps from a cool and brisk breeze and views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz framed six F50 catamarans today as teams got in their final day of practice on the Bay before the main event of the second round of the inaugural SailGP kicks off in San Francisco tomorrow.

The first of three fleet races, and one match race started in 12-15 knots and steadily built over the afternoon to 20+ knots.

I took the opportunity of practice racing to go live before media restrictions kick in tomorrow due to the broadcast rights of the SailGP.

LIVE: Practice races 2 & 3

The Japan SailGP Team were definitely a standout today, winning the three practice races and the final match race against second placed Great Britain SailGP Team, who have gone from strength to strength since the first event of the circuit in Sydney. The match race was a little more tame than I am sure we can expect on Sunday, and at the finale in September at the Marseille event, where the overall winning team will take home $1 Million US.

LIVE: United Kingdom Vs Japan Match Race

LIVE: In the mix zone with all six teams

I took my only opportunity over the weekend to be live from the mixed zone after racing, and chatted to all six teams about today's racing, progress since Sydney, and what we can expect this weekend.

I caught up with Rome Kirby from the United States SailGP Team who have arguably progressed the most since Sydney. Then Marie Riou - legendary sailor girl from the France SailGP Team on what she has on this year with the Nacra 17 and SailGP, Tom Slingsby from the defending champs, the Australia SailGP Team on today's troubles and how much the fleet has improved, Dylan Fletcher from the Great Britain SailGP Team who were runners up in the racing today, Nathan Outteridge skipper of the Japan Sail GP Team, the clear standouts today on how the boat felt, the foils and the near miss in their finish against GBR when they reached 49 knots, and Xue Liu from China SailGP Team who were in fine form following on from their wing tear earlier this week.

I will have a video out tomorrow covering the new flight system of the F50s from on board the United States SailGP Team's F50, with vision thanks to Christophe Favreau. This by all reports, as you can hear in my interviews has been a complete game changer.

More tomorrow from San Fran, where I have dropped in on my way to Bermuda for the Argo Gold Cup!

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