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Australians surprise critics and top leaderboard in first day of racing in Singapore SailGP

by Olivia Hogan / Australia SailGP Team 14 Jan 2023 13:59 PST 14-15 January 2023
Australia SailGP Team helmed by Tom Slingsby foiling despite the light winds during the second race on Race Day 1 of the Singapore Sail Grand Prix © Ian Walton for SailGP.

The characteristic grit and utter determination of Tom Slingsby and his Australian team shone through at the first day of the Singapore Sail Grand Prix, with the Aussies topping the leaderboard after losing key player and Wing Trimmer Kyle Langford.

The first day in Singapore delivered challenging light and patchy wind conditions, which saw all teams sail in the four-up configuration with the largest 29 metre wing, in a reduced two fleet race format.

Many wrote off the Australians, predicting the team’s known weakness for light winds and the loss of Kyle Langford would secure the team’s fate at the bottom of the leaderboard.

However the Aussies rose to the occasion with ‘supersub’ Ed Powys seamlessly stepping into the Wing Trimmer role and aiding the Aussies to find clean lanes and solid starts.

Tom Slingsby said: “I guess you can say the Aussies are hard to predict but you know people write us off all the time and it often doesn't go well for them. We’re stoked and so happy to come away with two second places today after those conditions.”

The Australians secured two second places in the two fleet races of the day, finishing in first place on 18 points ahead of Great Britain and Canada on equal 14 points.

The Australians are in the hunt to make the podium final, however all is left to play for, with just two points separating Great Britain in second and New Zealand in sixth.

Tom Slingsby commented on tomorrow’s racing saying: “Anything can happen out there and we are going to need to focus on making good starts tomorrow.”

Racing resumes today (15.01), where the podium final will take place with the top three scoring teams to crown the champion of the Singapore Sail Grand Prix. Fans can tune in from 5:00PM AEDT to watch the racing live on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports.

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