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Great Britain SailGP team at Marseille SailGP day 1: A solid performance to open

by Leslie Ryan 20 Sep 2019 20:41 BST 20-22 June 2019

The Great Britain SailGP team delivered a solid day of racing today posting a third, second and third with some smart, fast and consistent racing across the three fleet races to move back up into third place overall. Three more fleet races tomorrow and two on Sunday will see out this first SailGP season so plenty of action still to come.

"It was brilliant for the team to get three solid results today after missing out on six of the last eight races", commented Dylan Fletcher, Great Britain team Skipper. "It was really important for us to have a solid day and move back into that podium position so we achieved our goal for the day. It was also good for us to really race against the Australians and Japanese teams, and even though they both had better results than us today, it was super close action. Our starting was not up to scratch but the rest of the team's performance was up to standard. Marseille put on some excellent conditions today. We could not have asked for better weather - bring on tomorrow."

Fleet race one - started 14:40

In time for the first race, the wind had built to 12-15+ knots and the sun was still shining in glorious Mediterranean conditions. Race one got under way at 1440 as planned for the three fleet races scheduled for today. The British team had a good start along with Japan, with all six boats hitting the start line at 40+ knots. The home French team led the race to the first turning mark. The British team sailed a solid race and took advantage of the shifty conditions to finish in 3rd position behind the Japanese and Australians. The USA team suffered a broken downline on their port board and had to retire from the race.

Results race one:

1st - Japan
2nd - Australia
3rd - Great Britain
4th - France
5th - China
Retired - USA, damaged

Fleet race two - started 15:08

The wind had built again for race 2 to around 17-20 knots and more waves around the race course so conditions were getting trickier. The British team did not have a great start so had to work hard to get back in the action but they managed that in impressive style through forward planning and appearing to be in the right place for breeze and playing wind shifts. The Chinese team incurred a penalty enabling the British team to pass and score a well deserved second place in race two.

Results race two:

1st - Australia
2nd - Great Britain
3rd - China
4th - Japan
5th - France
Did not start - USA

Fleet race three - started 15:36

And so onto the final fleet race of the day where we saw Australia and Japan neck and neck on the start line. The British team started high and managed to round the first turning mark in fourth place. Dylan (Fletcher) and his team sailed their own race and towards the end of the fifth leg managed to overtake Australia into second place before settling for a strong third place finish behind Japan and Australia in the final race of the day.

Results race three:

1st - Japan
2nd - Australia
3rd - Great Britain
4th - France
5th - China
6th - USA

Joe Glanfield, the British team coach, added his thoughts after racing today, "Our primary goal for the day was to overtake the USA team and move into 3rd place and I'm really pleased that we achieved that. We wanted to show that the skills we have demonstrated during the practice racing, we can turn into points counting results - the guys were clearly thinking ahead, adapting their modes of manoeuvrability, it was nice to see them racing so well and confidently. Day 2 looks like it will be windier so could be a different challenge but we just need to do more of the same - smart planning ahead and solid results delivery."

Tune in for three more fleet races tomorrow, action starts at 1440 hrs local time.

How to follow the action

Sat 21 Sept - three fleet races scheduled to start from 1430 hrs local time. Come down to the Marseille Race Village at j4 Esplanade and watch it live.

For followers and fans back at home in the UK, see below how to follow the action:

Sat 21 Sept, live on BT Sport ESPN at 1330 BST
Sun 22 Sept, live on BT Sport ESPN at 1330 BST
SailGP App: Supplementary video and data; full race replay (on completion of day's racing)
Facebook SailGP: Full race replay (on completion of days racing)
YouTube SailGP: Full race replay (on completion of day's racing)

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