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U.S. SailGP Team at Marseille SailGP Season 1 Grand Final - Overall

by Laura Muma 22 Sep 2019 13:58 PDT 20-22 September 2019
U.S. SailGP Team at Marseille SailGP Season 1 Grand Final © Matt Knighton for SailGP

In a season of highs and lows, the United States SailGP Team, the youngest team in the SailGP Championship, finished the inaugural season today at Marseille SailGP and is now focused on taking this year's learnings into 2020.

"Next year, our goal is to win. Not just be a podium team, but to win," said Helmsman Rome Kirby. "A lot of things didn't go our way here in Marseille but I'm not going to make excuses; we have plenty of work to do in the off season and will come out sailing hard in Sydney."

Light-air conditions plagued today's final fleet races; only one of two races planned could be completed within the time limit. In Race 7 the Americans finished third but France SailGP Team, its closest rival on points, took its first win in front of the French crowds and moved one point ahead of the U.S. to finish in fifth overall.

The SailGP season scoreboard does not reflect the tremendous improvement throughout the season and the United States SailGP Team's potential.

"I'm so proud of the team and how far we've come. Our experience relative to the other SailGP teams is substantially less, but it's impressive in our first season to come in and start competing; we led many of the races and were right in the mix," Kirby said. "

"I'm aiming that our younger age becomes a point of strength. A lot of work will take place in the off season to figure out how to put the rest of the pieces together so that we are top of that podium."

As attention shifts towards Season 2, the team plans to hit the ground running immediately upon its return to the States with additional details regarding their development plans to be announced soon.

Top on the list will be maximizing simulator time and taking advantage of any potential training opportunities over the next five months ahead of SailGP's Season 2 Opener in Sydney, Australia on February 28-29.

In addition, Kirby will be working closely with team coaches and data analysts to sift through thousands of Season 1 data points and hours of video to analyze how best to build upon the many positives coming out of this year.

"Our learning curve this year has been steep but I'm so proud of everyone's hard work this season. One of the best parts is that I get to sail and work with this group; it's an awesome team and we have learned a ton."

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