Please select your home edition
Edition
Wessex Resins 2019 - Pro-Set - 728x90

Umpire call defines Great Britain SailGP Team's final position at ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix

by GBR SailGP Team 21 Aug 16:26 BST 20-21 August 2021
Day 2 of the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix © Thomas Lovelock for SailGP

Ben Ainslie's Great Britain SailGP Team finished the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix in third place in very light, marginal foiling conditions on the final day resulting in 'tortoise and hare' conditions, with those able to find any breeze being rewarded handsomely.

After finishing the opening two fleet races of the day in fourth and second respectively, the British team qualified for the final 'winner-takes-all' race in first place on the leaderboard, alongside Nathan Outteridge's Japan SailGP Team and Tom Slingsby's Australia SailGP Team.

Ultimately, it was the Australians who took the final race win, and with it the Grand Prix, in a final podium race that will be remembered for a penalty call against the British team for being judged to have not given the Japanese enough room at the third mark, which forced the British to give up the chase on the Slingsby's crew, and let the Japanese past into second place.

Commenting on the final podium race and the penalty decision, Ben Ainslie said: "That last race was a bit of a shocker. We didn't have a great start; the Aussies sailed well to be fair. We managed to sail past the Japanese and then the umpires came up with one of the worst calls I've ever seen. I normally don't moan too much about umpire calls but that was just shocking.

"That call ruined the race for us and probably for the spectators as well. In the end they are there to do a job, it's not easy for them, and you've just to go with the rub of the green, take it on the chin, and come back fighting for the next one."

Race 4 - JPN WIN, GBR 4TH

In the light conditions all eight boats struggled to foil over the start line. In the reach to the first mark the Spain SailGP Team, returning to action after yesterday's capsize, led the fleet, closely followed by Slingsby's Australia SailGP Team and Ainslie's British crew.

With the light air prominent across the course, each crew was visibly and audibly looking for any wind they could find. On the first downwind leg it was Outteridge's Japan SailGP team who did the best job of finding what little breeze there was and were able to jump into a lead rounding the second gate, as the race committee shortened the course to just four legs.

The Great Britain SailGP Team rounded that second gate in fifth place, before a strong upwind leg saw Ainslie and his crew move through the fleet. As the 15-minute time limit expired on the race, however, just as the Japan SailGP Team crossed the finish line, it was neck and neck between the Spanish and British boats at the final gate.

Ultimately it was the Spanish crew who took third place as the standings were taken from the last rounding, with the British in fourth and the Australians taking second place. Japan were subsequently deduced four points for making contact with the France SailGP Team with Pete Burling's New Zealand team also picking up another two penalty points.

Race 5 - JPN WIN, GBR 2ND

In similarly light conditions it was a dramatic start for Ainslie and his crew as Nicolai Sehested's home Denmark SailGP Team pulled off a manoeuvre at the entry gate that blocked off Pete Burling's New Zealand SailGP Team and the British crew, forcing both boats to turn back on themselves to enter the start gate.

After correctly identifying a noticeable left shift, however, wing trimmer Iain Jensen made the call split from the rest of the fleet on the first leg, and it paid off. The British crew took advantage of the dominant left shift to jump round the first mark in second place, behind Outteridge's Japan SailGP Team.

From then on, the Japanese and British boats sailed a clean race to finish first and second respectively, ensuring that the Great Britain SailGP Team finished the five fleet races at the top of the leaderboard, and qualified for the final winner-takes-all podium race alongside Slingsby's Australian and Outteridge's Japanese teams.

Podium Race - AUS WIN, GBR 3RD

As the breeze picked up slightly to 15KM/H, it was Slingsby's Australia SailGP Team who crossed the start line first, with the British F50 slightly late over the line. On the first reach the Australian and Japanese teams were able to get foiling first, with the British in third place rounding the first mark.

After rounding the second gate, all three boats fell off their foils and the Great Britain SailGP Team made the decision to manoeuvre early to find more breeze. The decision paid off, as they moved into second place ahead of Outteridge's Japanese team, chasing down Slingsby's Australian crew.

The key incident of the race, however, came at the third gate where in a very marginal call, Ainslie and his crew were judged to not have given Outteridge's Japanese team enough room at the mark, and were subsequently given a penalty by the umpire. By the time the British crew were able to let the Japanese past to clear their penalty on the final leg the race was nearly over as Slingsby's Australian team crossed the finish line to win their second Grand Prix in a row, with the Japan SailGP Team in second and the British in third.

A third-place finish in the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix leaves Ben Ainslie and his British crew in second place in the overall SailGP Championship leaderboard, two points behind Slingsby's Australia SailGP Team. SailGP will resume next month in the France Sail Grand Prix in St. Tropez from 11-12 September.

www.sailgp.com

Related Articles

Great Britain SailGP Team Podium Race Pitchpole
In dramatic Spain Sail Grand Prix final day The second and final day of the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cadiz-Andalusia brought a significant change in conditions, as 30-40KM/H gusts blowing from the city on the east met the Atlantic swell from the west Posted on 10 Oct
Small margins and close calls
On the opening day of the Spain Sail Grand Prix Photo finish, penalties and points on the board for Great Britain SailGP Team as racing got under way in Cadiz at the Spain Sail Grand Prix. Posted on 9 Oct
Great Britain SailGP Team target improved result
In Spain Sail Grand Prix this weekend After a frustrating finish in Saint-Tropez saw the Great Britain SailGP Team drop to fourth in the overall Championship leaderboard, the British team, led by Ben Ainslie, is out to make amends this weekend in Cadiz-Andalusia. Posted on 8 Oct
Great Britain SailGP Team take franchise ownership
Ben Ainslie takes a majority stake in the team Ahead of the sixth event in the global racing league's second season in Cádiz - Andalucía, the Great Britain SailGP Team has become the first of the existing eight SailGP teams to evolve to a third party owned franchise with Ben Ainslie. Posted on 6 Oct
Great Britain SailGP Team finish in sixth
Ainslie pleased the team is learning a lot about the new 29m wing Racing for the first time with the brand new 29M wings, designed for the light breeze, the Great Britain SailGP Team had an explosive day on the water at the France Sail Grand Prix in Saint-Tropez. Posted on 12 Sep
World's most successful Olympic sailors unite
Hannah Mills re-joins Great Britain SailGP Team ahead of France event Straight off the back of her recent success in the Women's 470 class in Tokyo, Hannah Mills, now the world's most successful female Olympic sailor (two gold and one silver medal), is joining Ben Ainslie's Great Britain SailGP Team. Posted on 10 Sep
Great Britain SailGP Team battle back hard
Minefield of conditions in Denmark but Ainslie's team now second overall After a two-event absence, Ben Ainslie returned to racing with the Great Britain SailGP Team today in Aarhus, Denmark. The British team capped off the opening day with a race win to move into second place in the standings. Posted on 20 Aug
Great Britain SailGP Team breaks F50 speed record
Sir Ben Ainslie returns in Denmark to hit 98.3 km/h Great Britain SailGP Team CEO and driver Sir Ben Ainslie returned to the wheel of the British F50 today as the team began training ahead of the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix in Aarhus (August 20-21). Posted on 18 Aug
Paul Goodison signs off with home race win
At the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix Paul Goodison, who is temporarily driving the British F50 in Ben Ainslie's absence, delighted home supporters by signing off his two-event stint at the helm of the Great Britain SailGP Team with a race win in the team's home Grand Prix in Plymouth. Posted on 18 Jul
Great Britain SailGP Team set for home waters race
Catch the action this weekend in Plymouth The Great Britain Sail Grand Prix takes place in the stunning natural amphitheatre of the Plymouth Sound this weekend, with the British team looking to put on a strong performance for their home crowd. Posted on 15 Jul