Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

France Sail Grand Prix: Saint-Tropez gears up for showdown in Saint-Tropez

by Natalie Fortier - NZSailGP 8 Sep 2023 18:38 PDT 9-10 September 2023
New Zealand SailGP Team sail around a marker on Race Day 2 of the Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix © Felix Diemer/SailGP

The stage is set for SailGP's return to Europe, with New Zealand's biggest rivals promising "more aggression" and a quest for revenge against the Kiwis.

At this morning's pre-event press conference, Australian driver Tom Slingsby admitted last season's dramatic incident is one he'll "never let go," describing "having to watch the replays and promos on repeat, non-stop of [me] losing my cool."

New Zealand driver Peter Burling joked: "I think we all know Tom holds a grudge for quite a while."

With light air forecast throughout the weekend, Burling said: "It's a bit of a shame we're not shaping up for windier conditions, but that just means the confrontations will be a little bit slower. We always love a good battle with Australia and looking forward to another one this weekend."

Historically, the Kiwis' track record in Saint-Tropez would bode well for the showdown. New Zealand dominated the European leg last season, finishing second in Saint-Tropez after back-to-back wins in Plymouth and Copenhagen. While Slingsby admitted the venue has been a "bogey one" for the three-time SailGP champions.

And New Zealand versus Australia won't be the only rivalry on display. Following Kiwi flight controller's Jason Saunders' shock transfer to France, Swiss driver Sebastian Schneider said: "We'll definitely be trying to keep the French behind us."

New Zealand enters the weekend fifth on the season leaderboard after a disappointing seventh-place finish in Los Angeles - a performance Burling said he was keen to shake off. "It's not been fun wearing that seventh since LA, but we really enjoy racing in Saint-Tropez and can't wait to get back into it."

"You're seeing more teams performing at these events and that's a really exciting place to be. Speaking for us as a team, we're here to play the long game and we're always trying to make changes that help us win at the end of the season - not just at individual events in the beginning."

"Sometimes that means you go backwards temporarily but we're here for the long haul and really pleased with the progress we're making," Burling said.

The France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez begins tomorrow Saturday 9 September at 11.30pm NZST.

Related Articles

SailGP: Outteridge to take over Kiwi helm
SailGP veteran Nathan Outteridge helm New Zealand's F50 ‘Amokura' this weekend SailGP veteran Nathan Outteridge will step behind the wheel of New Zealand's F50 ‘Amokura' this weekend in Sydney, with driver and co-CEO Peter Burling at home for the birth of his first child. Posted on 18 Feb
SailGP: Kiwis snatch win Dubai
New Zealand won SailGP Dubai in an extremely close finish on the Persian Gulf New Zealand has claimed victory on the Persian Gulf, at SailGP Dubai, after the closest three-boat final of the season. New Zealand has jumped from sixth to third in the season standings. Posted on 11 Dec 2023
SailGP: Kiwis hope to be back for Spain
Emirates GBR has picked up its second consecutive event win, after the Final was abandoned Emirates GBR has picked up its second consecutive event win after the Rockwool Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto three-boat final against Australia and the United States was terminated due to light winds on Sunday. Posted on 25 Sep 2023
SailGP: Kiwis second overall but break rig
Shortly after the end of racing, New Zealand's 29-metre wing collapsed Shortly after the end of racing, New Zealand's 29-metre wing collapsed, breaking off into the water and instigating an immediate salvage operation to ensure all debris was removed from the water. Posted on 10 Sep 2023
Double Olympic medalist joins Kiwi SailGP crew
Kiwi crew keen to get back to the top of the leaderboard after disappointment of Los Angeles 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. Posted on 28 Aug 2023
SailGP: Kiwis finish seventh in LA
A “tough weekend” sees New Zealand finish seventh in Los Angeles, dropping to fifth overall A “tough weekend” sees New Zealand finish seventh in Los Angeles, inching down to fifth on the overall season standings. Spain celebrated their first-ever event victory Posted on 24 Jul 2023
NZSailGP Team have a steep hill to climb on Day 2
New Zealand sits seventh on the event leaderboard with only an outside chance of making the Final New Zealand sits seventh on the event leaderboard after a fourth, fifth and tenth-place finish on Day 1 of the Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 23 Jul 2023
NZ second in heart-stopping SailGP Grand Final
Second place in heart stopping SailGP Grand Final rounds out Season 3 for Kiwis The New Zealand SailGP Team came away second in a nail-biting grand final race on the iconic San Francisco Bay, to round out Season 3 of SailGP. Season 4 starts in mid-June. Posted on 9 May 2023
SailGP: Kiwis deny Slingsby is a target
Burling says his team is relishing the opportunity to beat Australia, but was looking at others, too Asked in this morning's pre-event media conference if he had hopes of “spoiling Tom [Slingsby]'s party at home,” New Zealand skipper Peter Burling said his team was relishing the opportunity, but had other crews in their sights too. Posted on 17 Feb 2023
SailGP: Kiwis feel the heat in Dubai
The Kiwis will be feeling the heat this weekend when SailGP makes its Middle Eastern debut The Kiwis will be feeling the heat this weekend when SailGP makes its Middle Eastern debut at the Dubai Sail Grand Prix Posted on 11 Nov 2022
SOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 BottomC-Tech 2020 Tubes 728x90 BOTTOMArmstrong 728x90 - HA Foil Range - BOTTOM