Please select your home edition
SW newsletters (top)

SailGP Italy: Kiwis in with a chance of the podium after really tricky day sailing three up

by James Rigby/NZSailGP 5 Jun 15:07 PDT 6 June 2021
USA SailGP Team and New Zealand SailGP Team competing in the first race on Race Day 1 at Italy SailGP, Event 2, Season 2 in Taranto, Italy. 05 June © Ian Roman / SailGP

The New Zealand team finished third, eighth and fifth in the three fleet races to end the first day of racing in SailGP Italy in fifth position overall with 11 points.

The United States and Japan are in pole position to qualify for the final with both teams on 21 points. Jimmy Spithill’s US Team won two of the three fleet races, while Nathan Outteridge’s Japan claimed a single victory.

Another day of light wind conditions in southern Italy meant each F50 featured three crew rather than the usual five to allow for a lower take-off speed.

New Zealand SailGP Team flight controller Andy Maloney said: “It was another really tricky day sailing three up. I think it went well and we made some big improvements from yesterday which was our first day sailing three up.

“We managed to do some really good things and obviously there’s a lot of room to improve, especially on the manoeuvres with three onboard and all of us taking on new jobs that we’d done for the first time yesterday. We’re trying to iron those out and if we can do that I think we’ll be competitive.”

The New Zealand SailGP Team got off to the perfect start in race one as it led around the first mark, before the USA squeezed between New Zealand and Japan at the final reach to clinch the win.

Maloney said: “We had a really great start in that first race and managed to string together most of our manoeuvres around the laps, especially the gybes, so we managed to stay near the front of the fleet. It’s a bit of a shame we didn’t quite get the Japanese on that final reach but it was still a great start to the event for us.”

The New Zealand SailGP Team was unable to back up its impressive performance in the second race as the team was a touch early at the start and paid the price as it incurred a penalty and was unable to bounce back.

“In the second race we were maybe half a second over and then we were at the back of the fleet and we made a few mistakes from there as well,” Maloney said.

“The start is so important, especially in this light air. Once you get to the back you have to do something pretty special or pick out a shift to get past everyone and we didn’t quite manage to do that in the second race.”

In the third race where the New Zealand SailGP Team finished fifth, Maloney said: “We had a decent start but we were in the pack for the whole race so I thought we fought pretty well to hang onto a mid-pack finish. We did a few things a lot better in the third race than we did in the second race so that’s pretty pleasing and we’ll try and keep learning from there and improve for tomorrow.”

While Maloney rued a few mistakes that proved costly today, he believes the team is well placed to challenge for a spot in the winner-takes-all final podium race tomorrow.

“It wasn’t as good as it could have been today but we’ve improved massively since yesterday and we haven’t thrown it away. We’re still in the fight to get into the final race tomorrow which is as good as we could have hoped for at this stage of the Italy Sail Grand Prix.

“The gains have been massive and we learned so much today that we’ll debrief and come out even better tomorrow. Hopefully there’s a little more breeze and we can sail with a full crew tomorrow and get the big boys on board so they can help us out but if not we’ll be ready for it as well.”

You can watch all the action from the second day of the Italy Sail Grand Prix live on Sky Sport from 11.30pm NZT tonight. For full viewing details visit

SW: For NZ to make the podium and final sixth race in SailGP Italy, they need to beat the British team, on average points scored in the final two races. The Kiwis need to beat SpainSailGP by three places in Races 4 and 5. In the final race 6, the three finalists start on zero points and the places in Race 6 determine the podium places in SailGP Italy.

Italy Sail Grand Prix Leaderboard

1 // USA // 21 pts

2 // Japan // 21 pts

3 // Spain // 17 pts

4 // France // 13 pts

5 // New Zealand // 11 pts

6 // Great Britain //11 pts

7 // Denmark // 9 pts

8 // Australia // 5 pts

Related Articles

First eight cities in expanded SailGP Season 3
10 teams to line-up for third season, starting May 2022 in Bermuda 10 teams to line-up for third season, starting May 2022 in Bermuda. League grows presence with new events in Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai and New Zealand, including a four year partnership that sees Christchurch and Auckland as alternate hosts. Posted today at 3:01 pm
SailGP to race in New Zealand from 2023
New Zealand features in first eight cities unveiled in an expanded SailGP Season 3 SailGP and New Zealand Major Events have secured a four-year deal to bring adrenaline-filled racing to New Zealand shores. Posted today at 1:07 pm
SailGP: Kiwis to host four seasons from 2023
New Zealand has secured a four year deal for SailGP from 2023 New Zealand has secured a four year deal to bring the new high-tech global sailing competition SailGP to our shores. Posted today at 1:01 pm
Kyle Langford takes SailGP Trophy to hometown
To celebrate the return of the Australia Sail Grand Prix I Sydney presented by KPMG Ahead of the upcoming Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG, defending SailGP champion Kyle Langford and helmsman for the Japan SailGP Team Nathan Outteridge surprised the Lake Macquarie community by visiting with the SailGP Championship trophy. Posted on 27 Nov
SailGP's Adopt-a-Club program launches in Sydney
The global league's eight national teams partner with local clubs to support youth sailing programs SailGP Inspire's Adopt-a-Club community outreach program makes its debut in Sydney at the Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG, taking place December 17-18. Posted on 25 Nov
SailGP Inspire launches virtual learning program
Teaching the science of sailing and fitness to New South Wales students SailGP Inspire launched a virtual learning experience for New South Wales youth ahead of the Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG, that combines the science of sailing and fitness with the leagues' purpose-led Race For The Future initiative. Posted on 12 Nov
KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix Presenting Partner
SailGP today announced a new partnership with KPMG Australia SailGP today announced a new partnership with KPMG Australia, which sees the leading professional service firm become Presenting Partner of the Australia Sail Grand Prix I Sydney. Posted on 3 Nov
Canada completes line-up for SailGP Season 3
Owned by innovative businessman and investment entrepreneur and lifelong sailor, Fred Pye SailGP has announced that the line-up for Season 3 - starting May 2022 - will be further enhanced with the addition of Canada joining the global league for Season 3. Posted on 20 Oct
Champion crowned winner of eSailGP Championship
Great Britain's VIT Farley claims victory in winner-takes-all eSailGP Grand Final eSailGP Season 2's virtual high-speed action culminated on Friday with eight super-pumped qualifying players vying for the coveted title of 2021 eSailGP Champion. Posted on 19 Oct
Relive the best bits from Spain Sail Grand Prix!
A fantastic weekend in Cadiz for Australia It was a fantastic weekend in Cadiz for Australia, who won the Spain Sail Grand Prix and returned to the top of the SailGP Season Championship with only two events remaining! Posted on 16 Oct
MBW newsletters (top)