Please select your home edition
North Sails Performance 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Great Britain SailGP Team finish fourth in home event after controversial penalty in final cross

by GBR SailGP Team 31 Jul 2022 13:21 PDT 30-31 July 2022
The Duchess of Cambridge takes the wheel as she competes alongside Sir Ben Ainslie for the Great Britain SailGP Team in a special one-off Commonwealth race against New Zealand SailGP Team on Race Day 2 of the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix | Plymouth © Jon Buckle for SailGP

The thousands of home British fans lining the Plymouth Hoe and on boats out on the Plymouth Sound were treated to a spectacle today as a gradient wind contributed to thrilling SailGP racing.

The home British team, led by Ben Ainslie, finished the Grand Prix in fourth place. After a disappointing opening day, the British team rebounded in style today winning the opening race in exhilarating fashion.

Needing a strong result in the second and final fleet race of the day Ainslie and his crew struggled off the start as the wind dramatically dropped. The team recovered quickly and once against showed their tenacity to work their way up the fleet as the home fans cheered them on. On the final leg the British just had to keep Tom Slingsby's Australia SailGP Team behind them to qualify for the final podium race. On the last cross, however, with the British slightly ahead but the Australians, who had right of way, the SailGP umpire called a starboard incident penalty on the British team. That crucial, controversial, penalty meant the British finished the Grand Prix in fourth and did not qualify for the final podium race.

The Grand Prix was ultimately won by Pete Burling's New Zealand SailGP Team who performed consistently well throughout the weekend. Reacting to the day's racing and the controversial penalty, Great Britain SailGP Team CEO Ben Ainslie said:

"We sailed well today and we got through the fleet but I'm obviously really frustrated and that last cross was very tight. We just came out of a gybe and as we came together, we obviously turned our boat down as we were building speed. In the umpires mind they then have a 'ghost boat' which is three boat lengths ahead of the actual boat, and I'm sure it was closer then, but when you saw the boats come together for the actual cross there was quite a bit of distance between us.

"I obviously don't agree with the decision but it's not the first time I've disagreed with Craig Mitchell and it won't be the last. It's high stakes and there's a lot on the line and the umpires are naturally defensive of their position but it needs to be clear that we infringed and in my view it was at worst 50/50. We'd have loved to put on a better show and get in that final race for our home fans so ultimately we're a bit disappointed but that said we're happy with how we were sailing and it's been great sailing back on home waters in front of our brilliant fans."

Before official racing began, the Great Britain SailGP Team were joined onboard by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge and won a friendly Commonwealth race against UN Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh, who raced with Pete Burling's and Blair Tuke's New Zealand SailGP Team. The Duchess of Cambridge joined the team onboard having spent the morning joining a group of young people taking part in sustainable education activities with the team's Race For the Future Partner, Protect Our Future. During the session the young people learnt about seagrass, one of nature's most important tools in countering damaging changes to our climate. Speaking about the royal visit, Ainslie added:

"It was amazing to have the Duchess sail with us today. She's such a special person and I think she was blown away by just how fast the boats are, and the G-forces when we turn. She had a great time and of course it's really special for all of us in the League and the 1851 Trust that she took her time to be with us here in Plymouth."

The Great Britain SailGP Team, who remain in second place in the overall SailGP Championship table, will return to action in the Rockwool Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Copenhagen on 19-20 August.

Related Articles

Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team wins
After intense final in the France Sail Grand Prix at Saint Tropez The Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team has won the France Sail Grand Prix in an intense final race against Australia and Spain. Posted on 10 Sep
Emirates GBR in 2nd after day 1 in San Francisco
Finishing the day with two second place finishes and a race win Emirates GBR SailGP Team sits in second place overall behind Australia after day one of racing at the final event of Season 3 in San Francisco. Ainslie and crew executed a near-flawless performance. Posted on 7 May
Emirates GBR race ready in New Zealand
For the penultimate event of SailGP Season 3 As Sir Ben Ainslie and his Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team head to the penultimate event of the Season 3 Championship it's all to play for as the pressure ramps up to secure a spot in the San Francisco Season 3 Grand Final in May. Posted on 17 Mar
Emirates sponsor Great Britain SailGP Team
Three-year partnership deal announced today Emirates, the world's largest international airline, and the Great Britain SailGP Team, one of the world's most successful sailing teams, today have announced a three-year sponsorship deal. Posted on 16 Feb
Great Britain SailGP team finish 5th in Singapore
But remain in contention for Season 3 Championship 'Not our best event' was the way Great Britain SailGP Team CEO and Driver Sir Ben Ainslie described their 5th place finish at the Singapore Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 15 Jan
Hannah Mills returns to Great British SailGP Team
For the inaugural Singapore Sail Grand Prix As Sir Ben Ainslie and his Great Britain SailGP Team head across to Singapore, the team is excited to welcome back the current World Sailor of the Year Hannah Mills, to the team line up for the first time this season. Posted on 13 Jan
Great Britain SailGP Team have a scorcher
On day one of the Dubai Sail Grand Prix Tricky light winds and one of the tightest race courses the team have sailed in the championship so far made for a day of needing to keep calm and eyes looking out of the boat for wind. Posted on 12 Nov 2022
Touch down in Dubai for Team GBR
Hannah Diamond returns for Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas Sir Ben Ainslie and his Great Britain SailGP Team returned to the water today as the team began training ahead of the Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O (November 12/13). The team are looking to make a comeback this weekend. Posted on 10 Nov 2022
SailGP: Gremlins strike Brits in Cadiz
Great Britain SailGP Team finished a creditable fifth place overall in SailGP Cadiz + full replay The Great Britain SailGP Team finished fifth place overall, despite recurring technical issues at the Spain Sail Grand Prix, in challenging racing conditions. Rudder damage and a bad start to Race 5 killed the Brits chances for making the podium final. Posted on 26 Sep 2022
GBR look to maintain their podium form
As SailGP celebrates the 1st Anniversary of the Women's Pathway Programme Ben Ainslie and his Great Britain SailGP Team return to the water today as the British team began training ahead of the Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía - Cádiz presented by NEAR (September 24/25). Posted on 23 Sep 2022
Lloyd Stevenson - T2Artefact 728x90px BOTTOMHenri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW FOOTERHellamarine-Apelo-A3-@2x_1456x180px BOTTOM