Please select your home edition
Edition
J Composites J/45

SailGP: Chief Umpire unpacks dramatic incidents and points loss from Christchurch

by SailGP 8 Apr 04:09 PDT
Damage to the bow of the Rockwo Denmark SailGP Team in the technical area after racing on Race Day 2 of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch,. March 24, 2024 © Ricardo Pinto/SailGP

SailGP’s chief umpire Craig Mitchell has unpacked all the penalty drama from Christchurch, which saw three teams lose season points after receiving devastating penalties.

Emirates GBR and Rockwool DEN were both docked 8 Event Points and 4 Season Points for causing collisions, while Australia lost a devastating 12 event points and 8 season points for causing serious damage to their F50.

The first incident occurred in practice racing, when Emirates GBR collided with Spain in a port-starboard incident. The crash damaged both teams’ F50s. “Emirates GBR didn’t see Spain approaching on starboard and by the time they did, it was too late to avoid,” explained Mitchell, adding that ‘the fault lay 100%’ with the Brits.

The penalty knocked Giles Scott’s team from 6th to 8th place on the Championship leaderboard, taking them a full 10 points from the top three spot that gives you a place in San Francisco’s Grand Final.

Several dramatic incidents unfolded on the start line of the first fleet race. First off, Rockwool DEN appeared to lose track of Canada 30 seconds before the start, resulting in a shocking collision between the two boats.

“Rockwool DEN T-boned Canada and broke off part of the bow of their own boat,” Mitchell said.

The congested start line meant Canada had no way of avoiding the collision with DEN and ricocheted off to hit the United States. Both Canada and the United States were excused of fault, while the Danish lost 8 event points and 4 season points. Despite the massive damage inflicted to the Danish F50, the team continued to race for the rest of the day, finishing the event in 9th place ahead of Australia.

“It was an extremely difficult boat to sail after we destroyed it, full of water and the balance of the whole boat was wrong, but we also knew that one point beating Australia might matter in San Francisco, so that was the decision to just keep racing the best we could,” driver Nicolai Sehested said after racing.

One of the biggest talking points of the weekend also took place in the first fleet race, with Australia driver Tom Slingsby dramatically - and deliberately - steering into a race mark while approaching the course boundary after Mark 1.

Speaking about the incident after racing, driver Tom Slingsby said he opted to hit the mark to avoid a collision with Canada.

The Australians were handed the harshest penalty of the weekend for the collision - losing 12 event points and 8 season points. Speaking after racing, Slingsby said he disagreed the team should take all the blame, arguing the mark shouldn’t have been in that position.

For the full story including the incident specific videos sailgp.com/news/24/umpires-call-christchurch-penalty-action-explained

Related Articles

Guests experience SailGP up close
At immersive New York preview event More than 200 special guests came together last night to celebrate the countdown to New York City's racing event of the summer, the Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix (June 22-23). Posted on 14 May
Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix overall
Diego Botin's Spain gets one step closer to Season 4 Grand Final Diego Botin's Los Gallos got the better of two of the leagues heavyweights - Australia and New Zealand - in a tense three-boat final at the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix to win its second SailGP event of Season 4. Posted on 5 May
SailGP: How the Final played out in Bermuda
Despite their end to end win, in the Final of SailGP Bermuda, Spain was hard pushed by the Kiwis Despite their end to end win, in the Final of SailGP Bermuda, Spain was hard pushed by the New Zealand team, with the dominant team of Seasons 1-4, Australia always ready to pounce. Plus full replay of Day 2. Posted on 5 May
SailGP: Spain wins Final in Bermuda
Smart tactical decisions by Spain held off a mid-race comeback by the Kiwi crew Diego Botin's young Spanish team executed flawless tactical decision-making to head off New Zealand and Australia season, in the three-boat winner takes all Final sailed on Bermuda's Great Sound. Posted on 5 May
Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix Day 1
Aussie's come out firing on opening day After crashing out in the previous event, Tom Slingsby's Australia SailGP Team completely dominated the opening day of the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 4 May
SailGP: Fired up Slingsby wins two in Bermuda
Australia dominates fleet racing on the opening day of Bermuda Australia has bounced back from its devastating Christchurch penalty by dominating fleet racing on the opening day of Bermuda. Posted on 4 May
SailGP: Tense times in Bermuda
A capsize in Practice, along with the effect of season points penalties puts big pressure on teams The NZ Black Foils are determined to keep hold of top spot as Australia looks to bounce back from Christchurch horror show. The pressure comes on all the teams to secure a place in the $2 million Championship Final Race in San Francisco in July Posted on 3 May
SailGP's Racing on the Edge latest episode
Big crashes and all of the drama from the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix The latest episode of SailGP's Racing on the Edge docuseries, in partnership with Rolex, unfolds all of the drama and action from the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in March. Posted on 29 Apr
Tickets now on sale for Apex Group Bermuda SailGP
Race Stadium moves to Morgan's Point to bring fans closer to the action Tickets are now on sale for the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix - the tenth event in SailGP's global calendar - taking place on May 4-5, 2024. For the first time, the world's most exciting racing on water will be hosted at Morgan's Point. Posted on 4 Apr
Painted Lines: An Artist's Story
If you've ever wondered how SailGP get the lines on the racecourse, this one's for you If you've ever wondered exactly how we get the lines on our racecourse, the answer is the one and only Otto Maddison. Armed with only his brush and a proprietary blend of sustainable water paint, no one keeps our teams in line quite like Otto. Posted on 1 Apr
Doyle_SailWorld_728X90px-04 BOTTOMArmstrong 728x90 - Wing FG Board Range - BOTTOMJ Composites J/99