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SailGP: Olympic Gold and Silver medalist joins Kiwi crew for St Tropez

by Natalie Fortier & Sail-World.com/nz 28 Aug 2023 05:52 PDT
New Zealand SailGP Team and Australia SailGP Team pass the finish marker on Race Day 2 of the Mubadala SailGP Season 3 Grand Final in San Francisco, USA. Sunday, May 7, 2023 © Ricardo Pinto/SailGP

In just 11 days, SailGP returns to Europe for the France Sail Grand Prix, unfolding on the stunning waters of the Côte d'Azur Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September.

The Saint-Tropez event will mark seven weeks since the Kiwis’ lacklustre second event of the season, in which the team struggled to find form on the port of Los Angeles. After winning the season opener in Chicago, New Zealand dropped from first to fifth overall, while Spain picked up their first-ever event win.

Reflecting on LA, driver Peter Burling said: “We felt like we had some good moments - some things coming together but not enough to get to the right end of the leaderboard, so plenty to go back and review while we get ready for the next one.”

With ‘the next one’ now imminent, New Zealand will be gearing up to come out firing and fight their way back to the top of the leaderboard. Last year, Saint-Tropez delivered some of the fastest and most furious racing on the calendar, with plenty of thrills, spills and near misses, including a contentious incident between Burling and trans-Tasman rival Tom Slingsby.

An Olympic Gold and Silver medalist, Jo Aleh will race in the role of strategist in Saint-Tropez, fresh off Sailing World Champs in the Hague where Jo, along with Molly Meech, secured New Zealand’s spot in the 49erFX for the Paris2024 . Saint-Tropez will be the first time Jo has competed in a SailGP event since Dubai last season.

Saint-Tropez is the first event in the European leg of the SailGP championship, followed by - events in Taranto, Italy (23-24 Sep) and Andalucia-Cadiz, Spain (14-15 Oct).

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