Please select your home edition
Edition
J Composites 2022 - J99 LEADERBOARD

Shots fired after dramatic incident between AUS & NZ at Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix

by Olivia Hogan / Australia SailGP Team 10 Sep 13:03 PDT 10-11 September 2022
Australia SailGP Team helmed by Tom Slingsby nose dive in the first race on Race Day 1 of the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix in Saint Tropez, France © Bob Martin for SailGP

The French Riviera was awash with drama on the first day of the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix, with Tom Slingsby (Australia) and Peter Burling (New Zealand) sparring over a controversial incident.

Peter Burling's New Zealand Team attacked the Australians with an aggressive manoeuvre in the first race, which saw the Flying Roo crash down in the water when going over 90 km/h in the final leg to lose all their speed and momentum - allowing the Kiwis to overtake them into the winning position.

The Australia's F50 sustained major damage to its fairings, which have a critical role in the performance of the boat during racing. No one expected the Australians to be able to make the following two races, but a miracle pit lane triage executed by the team's shore crew and tech team enabled the Aussies to just make the second race of the day.

Tom Slingsby said: "We were literally just trying to get to that finish line safely in the first race, with these conditions we were side-slipping and had very little control. We would have happily given him the position and come in second, and unfortunately we now have a lot of damage from an unnecessary incident."

"To me him coming up at us like that is just unsafe. In that scenario it's 50/50 as to whether people get seriously injured and I just don't think it's worth it for one point at the start of the event. He always seems to have a pretty warped view on this type of thing so it will be interesting to hear his thoughts", Slingsby added.

New Zealand Driver and CEO Peter Burling was quick to throw barbs back at Slingsby during the media mixzone, offering a conflicting opinion on the incident.

"From our perspective we were overlapping to leeward for a very long time and they were closing the gauge down to us and we were fully within our rights to do what we did. We did exactly the same thing with Canada in the next reach and they got out of the way."

"They were obviously pushing super hard for the win so it would have been easy for them to back off and not have an incident like that. We were definitely pretty surprised with how he (Tom) reacted on the radio comms."

Slingsby quipped back at Burling's comment saying: "I reacted pretty frustrated on the radio comms, because I heard Peter saying that we bore away at him and caused the incident ourselves when it's clear to see when you look at the helicopter footage and the onboard footage, they luffed us so in my opinion the incident could have been avoided. They chose to do that and then said it didn't happen which is why I reacted the way I did on radio."

The shore team will now work through the night with SailGP's tech team to repair the damage so that the boat is fit for the final race day of the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix. The team are currently sitting in third place, and will need to perform consistently tomorrow to secure a place in the final.

SailGP also confirmed that an extra fleet race has been added to the schedule for the second day of racing. There will now be four fleet races in total before the final, where the champion of the event will be crowned.

Related Articles

Australia SailGP Team win in Dubai
Aussies epic comeback to win Dubai Sail Grand Prix Tom Slingsby has once again proven why the Australians are known as the comeback kings of SailGP, executing a stunning comeback to seize victory after entering day two of racing in 8th place! Posted on 13 Nov
Dismal first day for Australia - Dubai SailGP
“We had a shocker!" The Aussies can't beat the heat in Dubai. “We had a shocker!" The Aussies can't beat the heat in Dubai. Tom Slingsby and the Australia Team couldn't hide their disappointment after suffering a dismal first race day of the Dubai Sail Grand Prix on Port Rashid. Posted on 12 Nov
Aussies set for first Middle East SailGP event
"It will be exciting for you guys and scary for us!" Tom Slingsby and the other SailGP drivers are expecting adrenaline fuelled racing and possible carnage after practising on the tight race track ahead of the first ever Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas this weekend. Posted on 11 Nov
Australia extend lead in SailGP Season Three
Despite losing podium final to first-time Champions France, Australia is still top dog. Tom Singsby and his Australia SailGP Team still maintain their position as number one in the SailGP Season 3 leaderboard, despite losing the podium final to first ever SailGP winners, Quentin Delapeierre's French Team. Posted on 25 Sep
Australia SailGP top of podium D1 in Cadiz
Tom Slingsby's Australia Team has survived and thrived in the brutal conditions of Cadiz Tom Slingsby's Australia Team has survived and thrived in the brutal conditions faced during the first day of the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cadiz, finishing at the top of the podium. Posted on 25 Sep
Slingsby hunting for redemption in SailGP Cadiz
SailGP celebrates one year anniversary of Women's Pathway Program as Team AUS hit Cadiz Slingsby hunting for redemption in Cadiz as SailGP celebrates one year anniversary of Women's Pathway Program Posted on 23 Sep
Australia Team miss out on podium in Saint Tropez
As Jimmy Spithill takes home first ever SailGP victory Tom Slingsby and The Australia SailGP Team could not orchestrate a comeback on the final race day of the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix, with Jimmy Spithill's United States Team securing their first ever SailGP victory on the French Riviera. Posted on 11 Sep
Slingsby needs to 'steady the ship' in St Tropez
Focused on steering his Australian SailGP Team back onto the winning path Tom Slingsby is focused on steering his Australian SailGP Team back onto the winning path this weekend in St Tropez, after acknowledging that the team's performance has slipped at recent events. Posted on 10 Sep
Crown Princess Mary races with AUS SailGP Team
A thrilling 'royal race' against His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark joined Tom Slingsby's Australian SailGP Team in a thrilling 'royal race' against His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who raced on board Nicolai Sehested's Denmark SailGP Team. Posted on 21 Aug
ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix day one cancelled
Light wind conditions prevent racing from taking place Mother nature has wreaked havoc on the opening day of racing at the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix, with the light wind conditions preventing racing from taking place. Posted on 19 Aug
C-Tech 2020 Tubes 728x90 BOTTOMSelden 2020 - FOOTERHenri-Lloyd 2022 November - Gore-Tex - SW FOOTER