Please select your home edition
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Leaderboard

Clean sweep for Ainslie and the British SailGP Team in Sydney on day 1

by SailGP 28 Feb 01:48 PST 28-29 February 2020
Great Britain SailGP Team helmed by Ben Ainslie on day 1 of Sydney SailGP © David Gray for SailGP

Seven teams and one clear winner as Ben Ainslie and the Great Britain SailGP Team presented by INEOS kick start SailGP Season 2 with a bang. New to the championship this season, the five-time Olympian certainly showed he meant business today, ending day one of Sydney SailGP on 30 points from a possible 30.

Following racing, Ainslie said: "You can't really ask for better conditions than that, 15-20 knots, southerly on Sydney Harbour. It was a real challenge for all the teams because the wind was so shifty which meant a lot of difficult manoeuvres needed to be executed. But I think our team did a great job, the guys on the boat were fantastic and we're delighted with three wins."

Consisting of three high speed fleet races, day one of racing wasn't short of drama and near misses. An early collision in race one meant the new Spanish team, skippered at the moment by stand in helm Phil Robertson, missed out on a podium finish and France had to drop out of race two and three of the day due to boat damage leaving just six F50s on the course.

With a totally one-design fleet, the results come down to the tactical decisions being made on board and today the Brits proved they can make the right call under pressure. With a big wind shift in race two, Ainslie picked the left-hand side of the course while Rome Kirby of USA went right. It was an intense match race between the two nations up to the top mark with Ainslie just sneaking in front and ultimately leading the fleet to the finish line.

Commenting on the difficulties the teams face when racing, Ainslie said: "The most challenging thing is the racecourse. It's a very tight course which forces you to do a lot of manoeuvres and with such high intensity that's really impactful. You've got to have a great team because if someone loses their position or makes a mistake then the whole thing falls apart quite quickly and all of a sudden you can be at the back of the fleet. You've just got to try and stay focused and execute those manoeuvres well."

Communication on these high-speed foiling catamarans is crucial on a day like today with gusty and variable wind conditions but with experienced SailGP athletes Iain Jensen on the wing and Luke Parkinson on flight controls, Ainslie proved he indeed has a strong team behind him and this could make all the difference when it comes to getting into the match race final tomorrow.

Season 1 winner, Tom Slingsby of the Australia SailGP Team commented on the Brits performance: "I'm not worried about the British, but they did well today. They're clearly sailing faster and better than the rest of the fleet - they have great teamwork. We just need to try and win enough points to get in that match race tomorrow."

It's been a good day in the office for the British team, but the hard work doesn't stop there. With lighter winds forecast tomorrow, the team will prepare for day two by studying some of their lighter air footage from earlier training days on Sydney Harbour, but will that be enough to get them into the match race tomorrow? "If we do that that's a whole different game again. It's been quite a while since we did a match race, so we'll go away and study hard", said Ainslie.

Full race replays from day one of racing at Sydney SailGP are available on Sky Sports at 1100 and 1730 GMT on Friday 28th February. Full race replays will also be available on the SailGP APP 48 hours after racing.

You can catch day two of racing from 1100 GMT on Sky Sports on Saturday 29th February. More information is available at

Standing after day 1:

1. GBR - 30
2. JPN - 23
3. AUS - 23
4. USA - 19
5. ESP - 15
6. DEN - 13

Related Articles

SailGP suspends 2020 season through to end of June
As a result, New York SailGP will not take place on June 12-13 Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, SailGP has suspended its 2020 season through the end of June. Posted on 3 Apr
SailGP: The Battle for Sydney Harbour
You may know the outcome - but you haven't seen this side of the story You may know the outcome - but you haven't seen this side of the story. Watch what happens when British Olympic hero Ben Ainslie and Aussie champion Tom Slingsby go head to head at Sydney SailGP. Posted on 22 Mar
SailGP cancels San Francisco event
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Francisco SailGP event scheduled for May 2-3 has been canceled. Posted on 13 Mar
New wings for SailGP Season 2
Take a sneak peak in this video One of the most highly anticipated developments of SailGP Season 2 will be the introduction of new modular wingsails, which will increase not only the range of conditions the F50s are able to race in, but also overall performance. Posted on 11 Mar
Cowes SailGP - Exclusive 20% discount
Ben Ainslie and his British team will be looking to win on home shores Cheer on Ben Ainslie and the Great Britain SailGP Team presented by INEOS when the world's fastest sail racing returns to Cowes, Isle of Wight Posted on 2 Mar
SailGP – Sydney Regatta Results
Bow Caddy spoke with many of the SailGP skippers to get their views on the regatta. Bow Caddy spoke with Ben Ainslie, Tom Slingsby, Nathan Outteridge, Phil Robertson, Rome Kirby and Nicolai Sheeted as well as Leo Takahashi to get their views on the regatta Posted on 1 Mar
U.S. SailGP Team turns its focus to San Francisco
Hungry after Sydney shakeup Despite a difficult final day at Sydney SailGP, the United States SailGP Team Helmsman Rome Kirby is ready to regroup and focus the team's efforts toward the first of two U.S. SailGP events, San Francisco SailGP, in two month's time. Posted on 29 Feb
Great Britain win Sydney SailGP title
Ainslie edges out Australia in match race Ben Ainslie and the British team wasted no time establishing themselves as the ones to beat this season as they put on impressive performances throughout Sydney SailGP to claim their first event title. Posted on 29 Feb
Sydney SailGP - Day 2 Video Replay
The opening event of Season 2 comes down to a final match race Watch all the action from Sydney as the the first event of the 2020 SailGP Season comes to its conclusion with a match between the Season 1 defending champions and the newcomers from Great Britain. Posted on 29 Feb
Sail GP – Day 1 of racing in Sydney
The Bow Caddy Media team caught up with three of the Skippers to get their thoughts. After a challenging day on the water, the Bow Caddy Media team caught up with three of the Skippers to get their thoughts. Posted on 28 Feb
Henri-Lloyd 2020 FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 BottomMelges 14 2019 Footer