Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

United States and Japan dominate opening day of Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto

by SailGP 5 Jun 2021 11:08 PDT 5-6 June 2021

Light winds called for a reduction in crew members - a true test of sailing showmanship

Hundreds of on-water spectators and a packed shoreline witnessed the return of Jimmy Spithill's United States SailGP Team and Nathan Outteridge's Japan SailGP Team as they dominated the opening day of the Italy Sail Grand Prix in the vibrant Southern Italy city of Taranto, finishing on even points at the top of the leaderboard.

Due to lighter conditions on the Mar Grande, it was decided ahead of racing that each boat would feature just three crew onboard, while the course was also moved further away from shore to help achieve better winds.

Following a devastating Season 2 opener in Bermuda for both the U.S. and Japan teams, and despite the reduction in the number of crew onboard, both teams came out in full form for the first day of racing in Taranto. Spithill's U.S. team won the first and third race - with Japan securing a single victory in the second race - ending the day with 21 points.

Spithill said: "When you are sailing three-up, you've got all the jobs of five crew members going essentially to two guys, as the driver doesn't do a whole lot else. So full credit to CJ [Paul Campbell-James] and Rome [Kirby] today. We were just trying to stay clean and get away from the pack behind us. The main thing is we finished all three races and that's a good feeling."

Despite Outteridge's team tying up the points, Spithill topped the leaderboard as the better placed team following its tactical performance in the final race of the day.

Outteridge said: "We made a few mistakes in the first race, but the second one was well sailed. It is really hard with three people onboard; there was a lot of multi-tasking onboard today and it was a great job by Chris [Draper] and Tim [Morishima] picking the wind and executing some maneuvers. I'm very happy with how the day has gone."

Phil Robertson's Spain SailGP Team rounded out the top three positions to show fans that it has every intention of making its mark as one of the newest teams in the league.

The day was not so successful for Tom Slingsby's Australia team. The SailGP Season 1 Champions experienced hydraulic issues during the first race, causing a constant decline in performance which saw them come to a complete stop and unable to finish the race. A sixth and a last place to follow saw them end the day bottom of the leaderboard.

Elsewhere on the packed shoreline racecourse, there were mixed performances by the replacement drivers - Arnaud Psarofaghis in charge of the New Zealand boat and Paul Goodison at the wheel of the Great Britain SailGP Team. Psarofaghis, replacing Peter Burling due to his Olympic commitments, secured third, sixth and fifth placed finishes. Meanwhile, Goodison - who won the opening event of Season 2 under permanent driver Ben Ainslie - guided the Brits to sixth, fourth and seventh in the race rankings.

The Kiwis and Brits remain within touching distance of qualifying for Sunday's three boat, winner-takes-all final in Taranto, as both teams sit tied on six points behind third place Spain at the end of play.

Racing gets under way on the concluding day of the Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto at 1.30 p.m. local and is live on Sky Italia and via Rai Sport. Fans around the world can find out how to watch via as well as download the award winning, free SailGP APP for all the race data and view from the onboard cameras. Limited tickets are available via

Italy Sail Grand Prix | Taranto Leaderboard // after 3 races:

1 // United States // 21 pts
2 // Japan // 21 pts
3 // Spain // 17 pts
4 // France // 13 pts
5 // Great Britain // 11 pts
6 // New Zealand // 11 pts
7 // Denmark // 9 pts
8 // Australia // 5 pts

Related Articles

Great Britain Sail Grand Prix highlights video
Masterful racing from Team NZ on the iconic waters of Plymouth Sound The third event of Season 3 ended with New Zealand claiming its first ever win during a weekend of masterful racing on the iconic waters of Plymouth Sound. Posted on 3 Aug
SailGP: Ainslie Incident - what the Umpires saw
SailGP: Ainslie Incident - what the Umpire saw in the controversial Race 5 finish An incident close to the finish of Race 5 of SailGP Great Britain determined whether local hero, Ben Ainslie or his nemesis Tom Slingsby (AUS) would go through to contest the Final, in front of Ainslie's home crowd. Posted on 2 Aug
SailGP: Ainslie reacts - "Send him to the Tower!"
Ainslie suggested, only half-jokingly, that the Duchess of Cambridge should “send him to the Tower" A frustrated Sir Ben Ainslie Ainslie suggested, only half-jokingly, that the watching Duchess of Cambridge should “send him [Chief Umpire Craig Mitchell] to the Tower” after the Brits copped controversial penalty at the end of Race 5. Posted on 1 Aug
Great Britain Sail Grand Prix overall
Regal display from New Zealand SailGP Team sees it triumph in first ever SailGP event final Peter Burling breaks Australia's stranglehold on SailGP Season 3 with masterful display on Plymouth Sound after first battling the Duchess of Cambridge. Posted on 31 Jul
SailGP: Kiwis win tense Final in Plymouth
The Peter Burling and Blair Tuke led NZSailGP team win their first ever SailGP Final, The NZSailGP team won their first ever SailGP Final, dominating two of three tense races on Plymouth Sound. The Kiwis fought hard in difficult wind pressure as the F50's dropped on and off their foils, requiring careful boat positioning. Posted on 31 Jul
Great Britain Sail Grand Prix day 1
New Zealand stuns field in front of packed Plymouth shoreline Peter Burling and his New Zealand SailGP Team produced one of the most impressive days seen on the water in SailGP, taking 28 points from a possible 30 on day one of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth. Posted on 30 Jul
SailGP: Dockwalk at Plymouth with Lisa Darmanin
Lisa Darmanin walks through the pit-zone at SailGP grabbing the key players for an unscripted chat Join host and Olympic Silver medalist Lisa Darmanin, in a new feature for SailGP where she walks through the pit-zone at SailGP grabbing the key players for an unscripted chat to get their impressions of what is coming up at SailGP Great Britain. Posted on 30 Jul
Sir Ben Ainslie looks to kickstart season
With Great Britain Sail Grand Prix win on home waters in Plymouth After two wins from two events and with two championships from two seasons, Tom Slingsby and the Australia SailGP Team remain the firm focus of the other eight drivers ahead of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth this weekend. Posted on 29 Jul
Media Conference SailGP Great Britain
Skippers react to questions over the interjection by coaches to their crews while racing. The media conference was notable for the reaction of the skippers, in the second group, to questions about whether they had used the option of receiving communication from their coaches during racing, and their views on the use of the outside assistance. Posted on 29 Jul
Rate of change still slow in Womens Pro Sailing
Liv Mackay: In the thrilling, supercharged world of foiling, women need to leap on every opportunity In the thrilling, supercharged world of foiling, women need to leap on every opportunity on the water, writes top Kiwi sailor Liv Mackay, to ensure female professional sailing keeps heading in the right direction Posted on 29 Jul
SOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 BottomLloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px2 BOTTOMUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER