Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden

Marseille SailGP Overall: Tom Slingsby wins historic first SailGP Championship for Australia

by SailGP 22 Sep 2019 11:10 PDT 20-22 June 2019

Tom Slingsby today made history, helming the Australia SailGP Team to victory over Nathan Outteridge's Japan SailGP Team in the SailGP Season 1 Championship Final Race. The global league's inaugural season culminated with a 10-minute match race between Australia and Japan, in which Australia secured the trophy and US$1 million prize in dramatic fashion.

The stakes for Sunday's racing were unprecedented - US$1 million is the largest monetary prize in the sport of sailing, and the SailGP Championship trophy is a creation of Thomas Lyte, regarded as the world's leading trophy maker.

"It feels amazing. We deserved it and I'm so happy for our whole team as the amount of work they put in was huge. We said going into today we were going to win as a team or lose as a team," said Slingsby. "I feel for Nathan and his team. They have put in an amazing effort all year and it is just the way it is. One team has to win, and one team has got to lose. I am happy with the way it went but those guys were unbelievable competition all year and it was such a close battle."

Race analysis determined that the final duel came down to a mere 78 centimeters at a crucial moment on the racecourse; if the Australians had been five-hundredths of a second slower, Japan could have forced them to incur a penalty. It was a risky play by Japan in an attempt to force Australia off its course that backfired and allowed Slingsby to move into the lead and ultimately take the win.

Japan led for the majority of the SailGP Season 1 Championship Final Race after being given the upper hand from the start when Slingsby took a penalty for entering the start box early.

"We made one error and that's what happens. You can't win everything and for every winner there is a loser. We knew someone was going to walk away unhappy," said Outteridge. "It's a shame it's us. But that's sport and we will just get ready for next season."

The championship battle has been awash with drama since the season began in Sydney last February. Slingsby established himself as the one to beat from the beginning, winning the Sydney, San Francisco and Cowes events with Outteridge challenging him in each event's final match race.

SailGP has had an exceptional first season, with capacity crowds in all five of the iconic cities that hosted events during Season 1. An estimated 115,000 people flocked to cheer on their favorite teams at competitions across the globe.

"Congratulations to Tom Slingsby and the Australia SailGP Team - what an amazing performance," said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. "All six of our national teams have put on a show for fans around the globe throughout the last eight months as we've offered a redefined version of our sport. I'm incredibly proud of what we've collectively accomplished this season, proving that there is a place for sailing among the world's top professional sports leagues."

Slingsby's aggressive style of racing and ability to push the F50 to top speeds on the course has put him at the top of the leaderboard over and over again, ending in his ultimate win at Marseille SailGP. For Outteridge, second place stings. An impressive win in New York City proved the skipper could give the Australians a serious run for the title. Outteridge and Slingsby are longtime friends, competing together on the Australian Olympic Team before facing off in the SailGP arena.

Phil Robertson's China SailGP Team sailed consistently to clinch third place, breaking its tie with Dylan Fletcher's Great Britain SailGP Team and securing the final spot on the SailGP Championship podium.

"The team has done a fantastic job for the last couple of events and we have managed to pick ourselves up from a pretty low point and get back to fighting for the podium. We sealed it today," said Robertson. "We are very happy. It has been a long journey. We finished third overall and we are looking forward to improving on our performance even more next season."

Billy Besson had an exceptional day at his home event. Besson and the France SailGP Team won race seven to put their first ever race win on the leaderboard to the cheers of a packed Seawall spectator area. With the French victory, all six SailGP teams earned at least one race win in Season 1.

"We are thrilled to put a win on a leaderboard," said Besson. "The French team and I are very proud of how we sailed today in front of our home crowd."

SailGP Season 2 will debut February 28-29, 2020 in Sydney, allowing Slingsby to start the season defending on his home waters.

SailGP Season 1 Overall Leaderboard:

1 // Australia // 229 pts
2 // Japan // 223 pts
3 // China // 171 pts
4 // Great Britain // 169 pts
5 // France // 164 pts
6 // United States // 163 pts

Individual Marseille SailGP Race Results:

Race 7

1 // France // 10 pts
2 // China // 9 pts
3 // United States // 8 pts
4 // Great Britain // 7 pts

SailGP Championship Final Race

1 // Australia
2 // Japan

Related Articles

SailGP gives behind-the-scenes access
'SailGP: Racing on the Edge' shines a light on world's fastest sail racing league In a new content series launched today by SailGP, audiences around the globe will get unprecedented access to the sport's pinnacle league as it gears up toward its second season, launching April 2021 in San Francisco. Posted on 16 Sep
Aarhus selected to host fourth SailGP event
ROCKWOOL to serve as Title Partner for global league's first event in Scandinavia SailGP today announced the selection of the Danish city of Aarhus to host the fourth event in the global championship's second season. ROCKWOOL will serve as Title Partner for SailGP's Scandinavian debut Posted on 13 Sep
Britain's Ocean City selected to host SailGP
Annual pinnacle of sail racing to stop in Plymouth, Devon in 2021 Following the season opener in San Francisco in April and New York SailGP in June, the championship will return to UK shores for the third event in Season 2, featuring the world's fastest sail racing. Posted on 4 Sep
SailGP makes its Hollywood debut
F50s feature in Christopher Nolan's new blockbuster 'Tenet' SailGP makes its Hollywood debut today when two F50s - the world's fastest and most technologically advanced sail race boats - take a starring role in the summer's big blockbuster Tenet, a new sci-fi spy thriller by acclaimed director Christopher Nolan. Posted on 26 Aug
Burling and Tuke set course for a big year in 2021
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke take a significant step in their professional sailing careers Widely considered to be the hottest property in sailing, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke took a significant step in their professional sailing careers, with the announcement of their entry into the SailGP circuit. Posted on 16 Aug
First ever eSailGP Champion crowned
Seven months of hard fought virtual battles came down to just five minutes to decide the Champion British eSailor O'Donovan caused upset when he beat one of the pre-race favorites, Spain SailGP Team member Cardona, to not only win the inaugural championship title but also a ride on an F50 in real-life. Posted on 15 Aug
Final field set for eSailGP Grand Final
GRE-9 wins Cowes eSailGP to claim final place in live final showdown, August 14 The stage is set for the inaugural eSailGP Grand Final. In less than 24 hours, eight fierce competitors - representing five nations - will go head-to-head on the virtual waters of New York to win ultimate eSailing bragging rights Posted on 14 Aug
SailGP announces addition of New Zealand team
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke join the league's second season Olympic gold medalists and defending America's Cup champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will join SailGP starting in the league's second season as part of the newly formed New Zealand SailGP Team. Posted on 6 Aug
Denmark SailGP Team: Episode 2
Focusing on resilience with grinder Martin Kirketerp The second episode of 'Inside the Denmark SailGP Team' focuses on resilience, and no one embodies this quality more than grinder Martin Kirketerp. Posted on 4 Aug
French player qualifies for eSailGP Grand Final
MCES pepito claims penultimate spot following Pop-Up Qualifier Following a closely fought virtual battle, the penultimate place in the eSailGP Grand Final has been claimed. MCES pepito beat Javinho of Spain in a nail-biting match race to secure France's first spot in the inaugural championship final Posted on 4 Aug
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 1ETNZShop-SAILRACING-728X90 HR BottomNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer