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Pressure mounts on Australia to deliver a near-perfect performance for Grand Final qualification

by SailGP 22 Jun 19:44 PDT
Australia SailGP Team helmed by Tom Slingsby sail past Ellis Island on Race Day 1 of the Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix in New York, USA © Ricardo Pinto for SailGP

As pressure mounts on the three-time defending Champions, Tom Slingsby's Australia remains laser-focused on sealing a victory at this weekend's Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix, with the San Francisco Grand Final firmly in their sights.

Thousands of fans lined Governors Island to watch the flying F50 fleet battle it out on the water as SailGP made its highly-anticipated return to the Big Apple for the 12th stop of the Season 4 Calendar.

The challenging racecourse and fluctuating weather demanded precision and tactical manoeuvres from all 10 teams, testing their ability to navigate unpredictable wind conditions and nail their starts.

Emirates Great Britain and Switzerland claimed race victories, while Australia finished 3rd and 6th before light winds prematurely ended racing on day one, and Race Three was eventually abandoned.

Despite the weather proving to be a formidable opponent, the Australia crew is channelling their frustration into motivation, ready to prove their skill and determination to secure a win in Sunday's Final. The stakes have never been higher as the Australians fight to maintain their legacy and prove their dominance on the global stage.

Tom Slingsby said: "It was really tough for us. We were a couple of boats wide at mark one of the second race and probably in second or third place, then went through the first jibe but unfortunately, a couple of boats just got out of there quicker, and we were the first boat not to, so we lost a few positions there.

"We went from third to seventh so that's frustrating but it was tough conditions out there. We had some opportunities but we didn't quite execute them today."

Looking ahead, Slingsby emphasised the critical nature of the upcoming races: "We need a couple of good races tomorrow to try to make the final. Every decision and every manoeuvre counts, and we're ready to give it our all."

With late afternoon thunderstorms forecast tomorrow, SailGP has made the decision to bring forward its event schedule to provide the best possible chance of staging all remaining fleet races and the winner-takes-all Final.

Tomorrow's racing will now take place on Monday 24 June at 3:00AM in Australia, live on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports. Tune in to find out if Slingsby's Australia crew can secure their spot at the Grand Final in San Francisco on 13-14 July, and defend their three-peat title.

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