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U.S. SailGP Team climbs overall leaderboard; narrowly misses first event win at France Sail GP

by United States SailGP Team 12 Sep 08:53 PDT 11-12 September 2021
U.S. SailGP Team finish 2nd in the France Sail Grand Prix © Bob Martin for SailGP

The United States SailGP Team sits only two points out of first place overall in the SailGP Season 2 championship standings after qualifying for its third podium final today at the France Sail Grand Prix.

The team narrowly missed its first event win of the season, leading the final race for four legs only to have a large wind shift in the light winds favor the Japan SailGP Team who ultimately claimed victory.

"It was a great race and a great regatta for our team," said U.S. SailGP Team Driver Jimmy Spithill. "It was dynamic - there were lots of minefields on the race course and we need to give credit to Japan for sailing a great race. We had our chances to win the race but we're happy with second overall."

The result punctuated the team's upward trend through the overall standings despite a season plagued by significant adversity, the most recent of which was a broken leg suffered by Wing Trimmer Paul Campbell-James - sustained in practice racing at the previous event in Denmark - who staged an incredible 3 week recovery to come back and compete at the French event.

"We continue our climb up the overall leaderboard," continued Spithill. "This is our first event where we did not have an incident on the water involving someone breaking a bone, hitting an object or almost sinking. Things must be turning for the better."

The team's adaptability despite trying circumstances was on display today in Saint Tropez as they navigated a new 29 meter wing for the first time, which debuted across the league's F50 catamarans - the largest wing ever flown in SailGP competition, designed to provide greater lift in lighter winds.

Today's result comes at a crucial time in the SailGP season with only two more events until the Grand Final at the United States Sail Grand Prix | San Francisco, March 26-27, 2022 where the top three teams overall will compete for $1 million dollars.

"We've got some time," said Spithill. "Look, we've got another couple of events before that final race and we've just got to keep ourselves in the running for the money."

The team now looks towards the next event, the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cadiz, October 9-10, to further solidify their standing and defend against the Australian SailGP Team who now sit in third but are tied with the U.S. on points.

For more information on the full Season 2 calendar as well as the US SailGP Team visit SailGP.com.

France Sail Grand Prix | Saint Tropez - Final Standings:

1. Japan SailGP Team
2. United States SailGP Team
3. Spain SailGP Team
4. New Zealand SailGP Team
5. Denmark SailGP Team
6. Great Britain SailGP Team
7. France SailGP Team
8. Australia SailGP Team

SailGP Season 2 - Overall Championship Standings:

1. Japan SailGP Team - 37 pts
2. United States SailGP Team - 35 pts
3. Australia SailGP Team - 35 pts
4. Great Britain SailGP Team - 34 pts
5. Spain SailGP Team - 31 pts
6. New Zealand SailGP Team - 30 pts
7. Denmark SailGP Team - 28 pts
8. France SailGP Team - 27 pts

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