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Highs and Lows for Team Canada in the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix at Plymouth

by Jennifer Hall 31 Jul 2022 11:27 PDT 30-31 July 2022
Canada SailGP Team helmed by Phil Robertson on of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth © David Gray for SailGP

Challenging conditions in the third event of SailGP Season 3 put Phil Robertson and his crew to the test at the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix - Plymouth this weekend. The team was strong out of the gates with a win in Race 1,but went on to have an epic splashdown in Race 2 and finish sixth overall.

As Driver Phil Robertson stated at the opening press conference, Day 1 would be key, yet it also presented a few important learning moments for the team. "As a new team, it's about what you do on Day 1 that makes a difference and every day from thereon is huge. We've set the foundations down really well, got a structure of how to get this team prepared and somewhat executed it. We haven't had difficult conditions yet, when it gets wild and windy these boats are hard to sail."

With three solid starts on Day 1, the Canadians were among the top three at the first mark every race. There were dramatic lead changes in Race 1, but the team took the first win in Plymouth after a close finish to beat out New Zealand and France.

Then in Race 2, a tough manoeuvre on a late gybe saw the team nosedive and resulted in some damage to the F50. It proved hard to bounce back from the incident, took time to drain the boat and translated to a ninth place finish in that race. Back in form for Race 3, the Canadians were out in front battling with Commonwealth cousins Team New Zealand and Team Australia, to finish the race in third and fourth place overall at the end of Day 1.

The shore crew and SailGP tech team worked very hard to have the Canadian F50 back in race ready form for Day 2.

Light and shifty conditions plagued the fleet today and saw the Canadians struggle to get the momentum they needed, finishing ninth and seventh in Races 4 and 5. Commenting on today's racing, Driver Phil Robertson said: "We are extremely disappointed, but in the big scheme of things, sixth in this fleet is still respectable. We know we have a lot of lessons that we can learn and put into practice for the next event in three weeks time. We will come back firing!" Robertson went on to thank the Canadian fans: "We are very proud to be representing Canada in this league and the support we are getting is huge. Keep it up and keep getting more people behind us and we will get better and better!"

Going into the event, the Canada SailGP Team was second on the event leaderboard having had podium finishes in the first two events of the season and now is tied with New Zealand for third.

"Tied for third after three events is a great position to be in. The first race was just amazing to watch with all the lead changes and how the team fought back to take the win. The high-speed racing is so captivating! We know we won't be on the podium at every event, but will continue to fight hard to be there," said Fred Pye, Founder and Owner of the Canada SailGP Team.

Before the official racing commenced today, spectators were delighted by an appearance from the Duchess of Cambridge who was on the wheel of Sir Ben Ainslie's F50 catamaran for a short duel with Team New Zealand. The Kiwis might have lost the duel, but did go on to win the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix event.

The next event for the Canada SailGP Team is the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix which will take place on 19-20 August in Copenhagen.

Canada SailGP Team - Crew List:

Phil Robertson (NZL) Driver
Chris Draper (GBR) Wing Trimmer
Billy Gooderham (ON) Flight Controller
Isabella Bertold (BC) Strategist
Jareese Finch (BC) Grinder
Tom Ramshaw (ON) Grinder
Tim Hornsby (NS) Grinder
Graeme Sutherland (AB) Reserve - Wing Trimmer
Luke Ramsay (BC) Reserve - Flight Controller
Joe Glanfield (GBR) Coach

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