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SailGP: Brits make early exit from Copenhagen - three teams hit rocks in practice

by SailGP/Sail-World 19 Aug 02:51 PDT
Members of the SailGP Technical team prepare the Great Britain SailGP Team F50 catamaran in the team hangar at the Technical Base ahead of the Rockwool Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Copenhagen, Denmark © David Gray / SailGP

Three teams have hit rocks with their foils/rudders during practice for Rockwool Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Copenhagen.

The British team was completing pre-race training drills when they hit an uncharted rock just outside the racecourse boundary. Damage sustained on the starboard side included snapping the head of the starboard rudder clean off and damage to the foil and board case.

An initial report had it that the Great Britain SailGP Team was in a race against time, after sustaining damage to its F50 race boat during practice racing on Thursday in Copenhagen. Earlier reports stated at the host team from Denmark and the Spanish team had also hit rocks, sustaining damage to rudders and foils. Both teams are expected to competed in both race days - 19th and 20th August.

"The rudder was retrieved and the F50 is now back in the GBR team base where the overall damage is being assessed," the British team said in an initial damage report.

"We are reviewing the damage but looks unlikely we will race tomorrow, which is hugely frustrating, we appreciate all the support from the SailGP Tech Team to retrieve the boat and help us get back on the water as soon as possible."

"With the support of SailGP's Tech Services, the team will be working through the night to effect repairs, with the aim to race in this weekend's Rockwool Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Copenhagen."

No injuries were sustained onboard.

However a later statement issued on the morning of the August 19th confirmed that the damage was more extensive than first thought and that the British team would not be competing in the event.

"We were training just outside the racecourse boundary and unfortunately hit an unmarked rock. We sustained a lot of damage to the starboard rudder, daggerboard and board casing," said Great Britain SailGP Team co-owner and driver Ben Ainslie in a written statement.

"We reviewed the damage ashore and unfortunately it has put us out of this event, which is a difficult call for the team. Incidents like this are tough but that's sport, you're going to have these moments and the teams that keep their heads up are the ones that come back stronger and that's what we are going to do.

"We appreciate all the support from the SailGP Tech Team to retrieve the boat and help repair the damage ready for racing in Saint-Tropez next month."



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