Please select your home edition
Edition
C-Tech 2021 America's Cup 728x90 TOP

United States overcomes adversity to take remarkable first win of Season 4 at Spain Sail Grand Prix

by SailGP 15 Oct 2023 11:43 PDT 14-15 October 2023

Jimmy Spithill and the United States claimed an emotional and remarkable first win of SailGP Season 4 at the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cádiz, Andalucía. Having lost flight controller Hans Henken to injury in Taranto, and after scraping into the final after a huge New Zealand error, the United States produced a stunning race to win the fifth event.

Nicolai Sehested's ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team was undoubtedly the favorite for a historic first ever SailGP victory after dominating wins in races four and five - however the Danes got caught in a battle with Tom Slingsby's Australia. That allowed Spithill and the United States, with Taylor Canfield coming in as flight controller after Henken's unfortunate injury, to pounce and never look back.

Spithill said:

"We really want to dedicate this win to Hans. It was such a massive blow for the team in Italy and a tough moment to go through but it inspired us and gave us a real amount of purpose.

"At the same time, I really want to credit Taylor. He jumped in at the deep end with such a great attitude and hunger for knowledge. The start [in the final] was 100 percent my fault but it doesn't faze this team. It doesn't matter where we are, we're just going to fight until the end. From then on we extended and built a great lead."

Galling for ROCKWOOL Denmark was not just that it built a huge early lead in the final but that the United States impressively overcame a penalty before the start. Sehested got the better of Slingsby's Australia for second - not a historic first win but still his best ever SailGP result. Denmark also surged to second in the overall championship in a congested leaderboard that sees the United States, Spain and Emirates GBR all tied for third place.

Sehested said: "I think we deserved a bit more but that is sport. We are happy, we are consistent and we will keep our heads down and keep working hard and a win will come. We have a really good team that's functioning well together. I said when we started we are going to do it our way, we aren't going to be rockstars but a very good squad that works together. That is proving to work for us."

Third for Slingsby's Australia once again demonstrates the team's consistency - and extends its lead at the top of the overall championship. The agonizing wait for an event win in Season 4 continues for the triple SailGP winners.

Slingsby said: "I am getting quite sick of hearing 'oh, it's good for the overall points' at the end of an event. I want to hear 'well done, you guys won'. It's frustrating. I understand it's a good result but that's five finals in a row and we haven't won one. I want to sail better."

In a dramatic series of events at the end of the fifth race, Sir Ben Ainslie's Emirates GBR cost Peter Burling's New Zealand a place in the final three-boat podium race. The Kiwis were trapped by Emirates GBR after the third mark - who were trailing behind them and still on the previous leg - and received a penalty. This put them back behind the U.S. team - who they had just got past - and meant they just lost out on the final to the Americans.

Burling said: "It was pretty easy for Ben [Ainslie] to go up a couple of degrees and take someone's transom. Like every yacht race, when you're on opposite legs you try and do what you can to work with the other boats around you and he obviously wanted to try and take us out of the final, which he did a nice job of. It was a bit unfortunate for us."

Heading into that fifth race hosts Diego Botín and Spain, popular winners of race one in Cádiz on the opening day, were the other team in with a shout of making the final. Spain had a nightmare race though, finishing last, and ended up ranking sixth at the team's home event.

Winner of the previous two events in Saint-Tropez and Taranto, Ainslie's Emirates GBR was unable to emulate its strong run of form with a seventh and sixth on day two, resulting in an eighth place finish overall.

Phil Robertson's Canada improved two places in the final standings from day one to rank fifth after a fifth and a third on day two. Quentin Delapierre and France, one of three different winners on day one, struggled, finishing ninth and seventh.

Season 4 of SailGP now heads to the United Arab Emirates for its next two events, starting with the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas on December 9-10. For details and tickets head to SailGP.com/Dubai.

SPAIN SAIL GRAND PRIX | ANDALUCÍA - CÁDIZ // FINAL STANDINGS

1 // United States 10 points
2 // ROCKWOOL Denmark 9 points
3 // Australia 8 points
4 // New Zealand // 7 points
5 // Canada // 6 points
6 // Spain // 5 points
7 // France // 4 points
8 // Emirates GBR // 3 points
9 // Germany // 2 points
10 // Switzerland // 1 point

SAILGP SEASON 4 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after five events)

1 // Australia // 43 points
2 // ROCKWOOL Denmark // 36 points
3 // United States // 32 points
4 // Spain // 32 points*
5 // Emirates GBR // 32 points
6 // New Zealand // 30 points**
7 // Canada // 24 points***
8 // France // 24 points
9 // Switzerland // 11 points
10 // Germany // 8 points****

*Spain SailGP Team docked two points in Season Championship for four-point penalty at Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía - Cádiz

**New Zealand SailGP Team unable to compete in Taranto due to the structural failure of the team's wingsail at France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez

***Canada SailGP Team Docked four points in Season Championship for eight-point penalty at France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez

****Germany SailGP Team docked two points in Season Championship for four-point penalty at Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix

Related Articles

SaiGP's Racing on the Edge Season 4 Episode 9
Financial pressure goes on some teams. Spanish valued at $35million for investors. US capsize Financial pressure goes on some teams ahead of Season 5. Spanish valued at $35million for investors. US capsize aftermath and video of crew injuries. Hamish Willcox on coaching Spanish SailGP team and his review of the team. Posted on 17 Jun
Geneva to host Switzerland's first Sail Grand Prix
The third confirmed event on the championship's hotly-anticipated Season 5 calendar SailGP - the world's most exciting racing on water - has announced the first-ever Rolex Switzerland Sail Grand Prix to take place on the iconic waters of Lake Geneva. Posted on 11 Jun
Loud Luxury to perform at Mubadala NY Sail GP
The racing will unfold over two action-packed days on New York Harbor SailGP, the world's most exciting racing on water, announced today that internationally-acclaimed dance music duo Loud Luxury will perform at the upcoming Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 10 Jun
ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix overall
Emirates Great Britain wins in Halifax Emirates Great Britain has taken the win in a weather-hit final at the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix - with driver Giles Scott claiming his first SailGP victory since stepping into the driver's seat in January of this year. Posted on 3 Jun
SailGP: Big win for Brits in Halifax
Giles Scott and Hannah Mills expertly negotiated the Final Day as the drama unfolded astern The Final Day of Rockwool SailGP Canada was one of the most dramatic in the event's four year history, as the British team sailed effortlessly to win in the rain at Halifax. Posted on 2 Jun
ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix Day 1
Emirates Great Britain tops leaderboard on opening day Emirates Great Britain driver Giles Scott has responded to his critics with a commanding performance to secure the top position following the opening day of racing at the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 2 Jun
SailGP: Brits lead after Day 1 in Halifax
The British SailGP crew were a surprise leader on Day 1 on a day in which consistency paid The British SailGP crew, skippered by double Olympic Gold medalist were a surprise to top the overnight leaderboard after Day 1 of the Canada SailGP, sailed in Halifax, Canada. Posted on 1 Jun
Outteridge looks at his SailGP options
"I just want to sail with my mate Goobs again", says Outteridge on his first crew pick Nathan Outteridge is one of the most experienced drivers in SailGP, and he's proven to be a real super sub in the league - stepping in to race for a number of teams when their regular drivers have been unavailable. Posted on 1 Jun
SailGP: Coutts critiques teams ahead of Final
US team to start with a new wingsail trimmer, Coutts says starts are Kiwis' Achilles heel SailGP CEO Russell Coutts gives his behind the scenes insight of what to expect, and outlines what was a boat-setup error aboard three times series champion Tom Slingsby's F50 in the previous event in Posted on 1 Jun
SailGP rivalries set to ignite in Halifax
Ten national teams compete in debut Halifax event for the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix For the first time in SailGP history, the ten national teams take flight on the waters of Halifax for the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix this weekend June 1-2. Posted on 31 May
Hyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTER37th AC Store 2024 - 728x90 BOTTOMETNZ-STORE-728X90 two BOTTOM