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GJW Direct 2020

Aussies are the star of the show at Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix opener

by Olivia Hogan / Australia SailGP Team 23 Jul 2023 05:20 BST 22 - 23 July 2023
Kinley Fowler, grinder of Australia SailGP Team, runs across the boat as the Australia SailGP Team lead New Zealand SailGP Team on Race Day 1 of the Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix at the Port of Los Angeles, in California, USA. 22nd July © Simon Bruty for SailGP

The Australians delivered a blockbuster worthy performance at the opening of the Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix, securing their seat at the top of the leaderboard.

From the moment the starting gun fired at the first race, the Australians took control. Slingsy’s masterful manoeuvring around SailGP’s tightest race course enabled him to overtake Ben Ainslie’s Emirates GBR to secure the first win of the day.

Tom Slingsby said: “We had a great day and are stoked with our 1-2-4 finish and I’d say that the first race was as good of a race we have sailed all season. It was a challenge out there with so many boats coming at us from different angles which happens with a race track this tight. Our strategist Tash Byrant did an awesome job being my eyes when I had my head down trying to keep the boat going fast and made sure we didn’t have a collision.”

Slingby’s fiery passion made an appearance during the third fleet race, with the team catching seaweed in the Flying Roo’s foils which caused the boat to lose speed to overtake GBR.

Tom Slingsby said; “There was a lot of frustration in the last race, I was taking deep breaths and telling myself to relax Tom. If we hadn’t caught the weed on the foils I think we could have had a good chance of meeting GBR in mark one.”

Elsewhere, it was a poor day for Chicago event winners New Zealand, who finished in the final race of the day in dead last. This means Peter Burning’s crew currently sits in 7th heading into day two, behind Jimmy Spithill’s U.S. in 6th and Canada in 5th.

The Aussies sit at pole position on 26 points, but solid performances from both Ben Ainslie’s British team and Nicolai Sehested’s ROCKWOOL Denmark see both teams tied just two points behind Australia, meaning it’s all to play for on day two.

Racing resumes at 09:00 AEDT on Monday, July 24, where the top three teams will meet in a Podium Final to determine the Champion of the Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix.

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