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Fairytale win for the Spanish team in Los Angeles against the Australians

by Olivia Hogan / Australia SailGP Team 24 Jul 2023 06:25 BST 22 - 23 July 2023
Australia SailGP Team and Spain SailGP Team in action on Race Day 2 of the Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix at the Port of Los Angeles, in California, USA © Ricardo Pinto for SailGP

Los Angeles hosted a fairytale ending for the Spain SailGP Team, who secured its first ever victory in SailGP against Australia and Denmark.

Tom Slingsby and his crew were hoping to close off Australia's week of global sporting success by the Matildas and the Australian Cricket Team, overcoming adversity to punch their ticket into the Podium Final.

The team survived a near race-ending disaster when the Flying Roos jib sheet, which is essential to maintain the F50s speed, broke during the fourth qualifying fleet race. Some quick thinking by Grinder Sam Newton, saved the race for the Australians, who tied the sheet onto the jib which allowed the team to limp over the finish line in second place.

Tom Slinsby said: "I guess part of the reason I'm frustrated with the result is because we definitely faced adversity today whether that be our jib sheet breaking or us taking on weed on our foils, but our team were able to fix it quickly and still sail really well."

But the Australians weren't able to bring home the event trophy, with a poor start in the Podium Final allowing the Spanish to take an early lead. It then became a dog fight for second place between the Australians and the Danish. The Flying Roo then took on weed to its foils which handicapped the boat's speed and sealed the Australians fate in third place.

Tom Slingsby was clearly frustrated at the Australian's result saying, "I feel that we sailed the best we have sailed in a long time which is why I'm so angry right now. I feel we deserved that one with how well we sailed. I'm sure I'll calm down but right now it's pretty raw."

"I am still really happy for the Spanish and it's exciting to see another contender up there. I remember our first win in SailGP and that elation you feel", Slingsby added.

The Australian's consistent performance in Los Angeles has moved them up to number one position in the Season 4 leaderboard. The League will now travel to Europe for the France Sail Grand Prix taking place in Saint Tropez on the 9-10 September.

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