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Could the Kiwis be Tom Slingsby's biggest threat at the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix?

by Olivia Hogan / Australia SailGP Team 18 Aug 18:19 PDT
Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL, Australia SailGP Team, New Zealand SailGP Team and Switzerland SailGP Team during a practice session ahead of the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Copenhagen, Denmark © Ricardo Pinto for SailGP

A new rival has entered the ring, with Tom Slingsby confirming that the New Zealand side could now be the Australia Team's top competition to beat at the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix, taking place this weekend.

Previously seen as the underdogs of the championship, The New Zealand team have come from finishing in fifth place overall in SailGP Season 2, to securing their first event win in Plymouth last month, against Slingsby's Australian side, who came in second place.

Tom Slingsby commented on the Kiwis performance in the press conference saying: "We knew New Zealand were lurking. They seem to finally be putting the puzzle pieces together and have become a big threat to us."

The question has been raised as to how the New Zealand Team has made significant gains from previous events, with New Zealand Driver Peter Burling putting it down to "not doing anything out of the ordinary but making small gains in every area."

Slingsby challenged Burling's comments in the press conference, suggesting that the Kiwis have made more changes than they are publicly sharing.

Tom Slingsby said: "Contrary to what Pete says, it looks like they did change their set-up. They were definitely sailing quite high and the look of the boat was different. We are looking at that and trying to figure out if that's better than the way we're sailing the boat and how we can make improvements."

Slingsby's long standing rival and former Japan driver Nathan Outteridge is also returning to the racecourse for the Denmark event. Outteridge will be returning in the driving seat for the Switzerland team, sharing the role with Sébastien Schneiter.

Racing will commence on the Oresund today (19 August) and Saturday (20 August). Australian fans can tune in live on Fox Sports and on Kayo in Australia to watch the first day of racing, which takes place at 11:30PM AEST. Kayo are offering fans free access to both the live and replay racing, via its Kayo Freebies offer.

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