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Another epic race day at the New Zealand Sail Grand Prix

by Switzerland SailGP Team 19 Mar 2023 07:33 GMT 18-19 March 2023
The SailGP F50 catamaran fleet in action on Race Day 2 of the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch, New Zealand. Sunday 19th March © Bob Martin for SailGP

Christchurch delivered another stunning day of racing for the SailGP fleet today; strong winds, blue skies and more epic high-speed foiling conditions enjoyed by the teams and sell-out crowd.

The Swiss, led on the water by Geneva's Sébastien Schneiter, placed 8 and 5 in the two fleet races of the day and finish the New Zealand event 7th overall.

It came down to the wire during the day's three-team final race to crowd the New Zealand SailGP Champion. The Canadians made history winning their first ever SailGP event beating home favourites, New Zealand SailGP Team, in a neck-on-neck showdown. Season 3 leaders - the Aussies - led by Tom Slingsby, took third overall.

On the team's performance Schneiter said: "It was lots of fun out there, this racetrack is just amazing. I think it's the best one so far!

"It was pretty full-on racing for us, we were right in the mix but there was a lot of traffic. It was a much better day in terms of boat control and we had some really impressive progress from yesterday. We're really happy with how the team reacted and we had some good moments during racing.

"Quite disappointed with how it played out with Team USA in race one, because they literally took us out of that race, but that's part of the game and we will try to avoid that in the future. We had a good second race though so overall a lot of positives from the racing to take into San Francisco for the final. We are already feeling ready for it and will come out firing there."

Flight controller, Jason Saunders (NZL), said, "It was pretty full on out there, but we've come to expect that for SailGP! It was an awesome day, great racecourse and some really exciting racing. We could hear the crowd getting whipped up into a frenzy!

"Unfortunately, we had zero warm up time again today due to more delays with the racing starting, but Glenn [Ashby] did an amazing job of jumping on and getting on with it again. The boat was feeling really good for us all and we are really happy with the learnings. We have some really positive outcomes to take into our final event of season 3."

The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix marked the 10th event of Season 3. Racing continues in seven weeks with the season's grand finale taking place in San Francisco Bay 6/7 May.

Overall standings:

1. Canada // 10 points
2. New Zealand // 9 points
3. Australia // 8 points
4. Emirates GBR // 7 points
5. France // 6 points
6. USA // 5 points
7. Switzerland // 4 points
8. Denmark // 3 points
9. Spain // 2 points

Switzerland SailGP Team crew line up Christchurch:

Sébastien Schneiter, Driver
Glenn Ashby, Wing Trimmer
Jason Saunders, Flight Control
Jeremy Bachelin, G2
Guy Endean, G1
Nils Theuninck, G1
Laurane Mettraux, Strategist
Nathan Outteridge, Sailing Advisor
Jacopo Plazzi, Coach

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