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North Sails 2021 Innovation - LEADERBOARD

SailGP Update and look at Tasar Worlds 2022

by David Schmidt 27 Sep 08:00 PDT September 27, 2022
France SailGP Team celebrates onboard after winning on Race Day 2 of the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain. 25th September © Ricardo Pinto for SailGP

The last two months have been full-on for the nine teams that are competing in SailGP's third season, with four events taking place over this time period. This translates to an event roughly every other weekend, which is a schedule that - at least for this two month period - is starting to look a bit like F1 auto racing. This, of course, is exactly where SailGP wants to go, and it's an exciting time for sailing as well, especially given the kinds of leaderboard changes that we are seeing race to race and event to event.

Take this past weekend, which saw racing unfurl on the waters off of Cadiz, Spain, and where the France SailGP Team proved to be the fastest talent on foils, despite having not won a single Season 3 event up until this point. Better still, the United States SailGP Team, which won the recent Saint-Tropez event, and which has generally been showing much better performance as SailGP hit the halfway point of its season, finished in second place.

The American-flagged team was followed across the line by Tom Slingsby and the Australian SailGP Team, which is topping Season 3's leaderboard by a four-point margin over Peter Burling and the New Zealand SailGP Team.

"It was pretty tough in the choppy conditions and managing the whole rig was very tricky," said France SailGP Team driver Quentin Delapierre in an official SailGP release. He was referring to the move by race management to limit teams to just four athletes for the Finals, rather than the six-crew configuration that they had raced in all weekend. "I think the team has pushed really hard since the beginning of the season to keep the learning curve increasing, so we are really happy."

While the whole French crew was on point all weekend, Delapierre specifically called out strong work from statagist Manon Audinet, who jumped into the grinder role for the four-person Finals. "She was calling the right shifts and pressure and it was easy for us because we have spent so much time on the Nacra together," he said, referring to the World Cup that they won together in the Nacra 17 in 2019. "She was full power with a lot of conviction... it was an unbelievable role by Manon."

A closer look at the results also shows that the Canada SailGP Team claimed two bullets, in Race 4 and Race 5. While this was impressive, especially given their results on Saturday (7-8-6), the Canadians missed the event Finals by a thin margin.

"We did our homework in the lead up to racing today," said Phil Robertson, who is the driver for the Canadian team. "It was a tough day. There were a lot of different mode changes and we put a lot of focus on that. I'm obviously gutted that we didn't do one point better yesterday. We must remember that we are a new team with people in new positions and new conditions.

"It's awfully hard to go out there and have perfect days. But today we pulled it all together with a couple of bullets. It's nice to end a regatta like that."


Looking big picture, Slingsby and the Australians are atop Season 3's leaderboard, followed by Burling and the Kiwis, with Delapierre's French-flagged team in third place, just a single point ahead of Ben Ainslie and the Great Britain SailGP Team.

The next SailGP event is scheduled to unfurl on the waters off of Dubai from November 12-13.

Meanwhile, a heck of a lot closer to home, the Tasar World Championship 2022 was contested from September 20-25 on the waters off of Seattle's Shilshole Marina. September yielded good conditions, ample sunshine, and breeze, giving all Tasar sailors the chance to enjoy Pacific Northwest sailing at its finest.

Trust me, it won't look so appealing in two months' time.

After 13 races with two discards, Dalton and Lindsay Bergan topped the winner's podium by earning six bullets, two seconds and two thirds. The Bergans were joined by Jonathan McKee and Libby Johnson McKee in second place, and Jay and Lisa Renehan in third place.

Impressively, this was the first World Championship title to have been contested on Seattle waters in over 40 years. We at Sail-World hope to see many more world-championship titles determined locally in the next 40 years, however we are anything but neutral on this particular topic.

Meanwhile, on sailing's larger stage, news broke in Auckland that Emirates Team New Zealand successfully foiled an AC40 for the first time. In Europe, 11th Hour Racing found themselves on the winner's podium of the The Défi Azimut after earning third place in the speed runs, winning the crewed 48 Hour Race, and finishing in 11th place in the Tour de Île de Groix.

And here in the USA, last weekend also saw the IC37 North American Championships determined on the waters off of Newport, Rhode Island, and the J/88 North American title decided on the waters of Lake Michigan. Sail-World sends our congratulations to Peter McClennen and his Gamecock IC37 crew, and John and Jordan Leahey and their Dutch J/88 squad.

Finally, as fall's grip starts to take a bite out of North America's remaining daylight, do yourself a favor and try and get in some extra sailing before the season's end. Odds are almost 100 percent that you'll be darn glad you did once the inevitable happens and you start getting bombarded with Christmas songs on the radio. (I've already got my protest flag ready.)

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt North American Editor

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