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United States SailGP Team targets leaders at San Francisco SailGP

by Laura Muma 4 May 20:00 PDT May 4-5, 2019
United States SailGP Team at San Francisco SailGP © Mark Lloyd for SailGP

San Francisco Bay set the perfect stage for the United States SailGP Team's first day in SailGP's American debut, and after three intense races, the youngest team in the global championship sits in fourth place, looking to strike at the podium tomorrow.

With a top finish of third place today in race two and just missing that same result in races 1 and 3, the American team felt confident in their ability to challenge the leaders, assured that the past two weeks of practice have paid massive dividends.

Others are taking notice as well. "These young Americans are all fantastic sailors," said Charlie McKee, two-time Olympic medalist and SailGP commentator. "And the fact it's only the second event of the season and they are already knocking on the door of the leaders; it says a lot."

"It was incredible out there today," said Skipper Rome Kirby. "When you have boats flying around at 45 knots and ripping into maneuvers, it's pretty cool. It's super tight racing and we are right in the mix. It's been a solid day for us and we're looking forward to getting back out here tomorrow."

Flying through 16 - 20 knots and increasingly choppy water, the six F50 foiling catamarans certainly captured the sold-out crowd's excitement as they more than lived up to their "supercharged" reputation.

There was no doubt who the crowd was cheering judging by the number of American flags flying proudly in the grandstands and all along the shoreline.

"It was amazing to see all the USA support while we were out racing," said Grinder Hans Henken. "I think that helped give us an extra edge that we needed out there today and we love it."

Sunday's racing begins at 12:30 p.m. PDT.

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