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Slingsby still confident despite a challenging last practice day ahead of Taranto Sail Grand Prix

by Olivia Hogan 4 Jun 2021 15:10 PDT 5-6 June 2021
Australian SailGP Team in the final practice session ahead of Italy SailGP, Event 2, Season 2 in Taranto, Italy © Thomas Lovelock for SailGP

Tom Slingsby is still confident that his Australian team are prepared to face off against all eight national teams at the Taranto Sail Grand Prix, despite a challenging final day of practice.

All eight national crews took part in practice racing on the shoreline race course, but it was the Australians that faced the most setbacks, with several technical issues plaguing the team's F50.

Slingsby commented on the day stating, "It was a really frustrating day for the team. Unfortunately we had a few boat failures, hydraulic issues and electronic issues, which really impacted our ability to perform in the practice racing."

Wing Trimmer Kyle Langford added, "It's always easy when you are sailing the F50 in training solo, but when you add the pressure of other boats and also a few technical issues it makes it a lot harder to sail. We need to be better at blocking out those distractions and refocusing when it counts."

Despite the technical issues, Slingsby is still confident that the Australia Team will be hard to beat, saying "we're still confident and I think that if we have a boat that works then we are always going to be at the top of the fleet and tough competition to beat."

After losing to Ainslie's British squad in the thrilling final race in Bermuda, Slingsby and the Aussies will be hunting for revenge, with the team focused on leading tomorrow's fleet races to secure their seat in the final race.The Aussies currently sit second in the Season 2 Championship, and a victory in Italy would put the team in a commanding position after two events of the campaign.

"If we sail as well as we did in Bermuda, we'll have a good shot at this. We've just got to get into that podium race and we've got to perform better in that race than we did in Bermuda", added Slingsby.

Joining the Australian crew on the water over the weekend are the successful candidates of SailGP's boundary-breaking and gender equal Inspire Racing program. Fans can expect an on-water showcase of young males and females racing for the future - nine sailors on WASZPs, and 18 sailors on RS Fevas - who will share the racecourse with the supercharged F50 foiling catamarans.

Australian fans will be able to watch all of the action of the racing today on the SailGP app and live on official broadcasters Foxtel and Kayo Sports. Kayo Sports are also offering fans free access to both the live and replay racing.

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