Please select your home edition
Edition
Ocean Safety 2023 - New Identity - LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
Calypso Wired ULP Wind Sensor
Calypso Wired ULP Wind Sensor

Australia sustains major damage in dramatic collision on Lyttelton Harbour

by Australia SailGP Team 24 Mar 07:19 GMT 23-24 March 2024
Australia SailGP Team collide into the finish line marker in front of the grandstand resulting in damage to their F50 catamaran forcing them to retire from the event on Race Day 2 ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch, March 24, 2024 © Ricardo Pinto/SailGP

Tom Slingsby and his Australian crew have been hit with a devastating blow after a dramatic collision with a course mark during the first fleet race of the Championship Sunday forced the team to retire from racing altogether.

The collision occurred as Australia and Canada were approaching the first mark of the race at speed. Australia driver Tom Slingsby made a split second decision to manoeuvre away to avoid a potentially catastrophic collision with the Canada Team's F50 and crew, instead hitting the course mark, causing extensive damage to the Flying Roo.

Tom Slingsby said: "It all happened so quickly but at that moment I knew that we were going to hit Canada, so I had a choice to make and I wanted to keep people safe so I turned the boat as hard as I could into the course mark. I knew the mark was there but it was either that or go straight through Canada."

Slingsby was visibly shaken by the incident, saying to the media: "Honestly I am just happy that no one was hurt and we are all in shock. I don't think it has all sunk in and it's been pretty emotional for me. It is a really scary moment when you feel like you could kill someone."

The collision has caused irreparable damage to the front beam of the F50 with further damage sited to the port hull and board case. The full extent of the damage to the Australia F50 is still being reviewed by the SailGP Technical Team.

Following an initial investigation from the SailGP umpires, the Australia Team were determined to be at fault for the collision and have been docked 12 event points and 8 season points. The decision is currently being reviewed by SailGP umpires and the Australia Team.

Australia's biggest rivals, the recently-rebranded Black Foils - New Zealand SailGP Team - claimed victory on their home waters, followed by France who finished the podium final on Championship Sunday in second place and Canada in third.

The Australia Team will work alongside SailGP's Technical Team to assess the full extent of the damage to the F50 and commence urgent repairs, with the goal of having the Flying Roo back racing in Bermuda for the Apex Group Bermuda Grand Prix on 4-5 May 2024.

Related Articles

Slingsby returns to Team Australia
As SailGP visits Abu Dhabi for the first time Australia SailGP Team driver and CEO, Tom Slingsby is back behind the wheel of the Flying Roo following a temporary leave of absence, as his crew dominates day one of practice in Abu Dhabi. Posted on 12 Jan
Australia claims podium in nail biter Dubai final
With Jimmy Spithill announcing his retirement from SailGP Jimmy Spithill has steered Australia to a podium finish in Dubai, in a nail biting final that saw multiple lead changes and a near pile up in the last mark. Posted on 10 Dec 2023
Jimmy Spithill steers the Roo to pole position
The Australia SailGP Team emerged as the front-runners after Day One in Dubai The Australia SailGP Team emerged as the front-runners on the opening day of the Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas. immy Spithill led the Australian crew to an outstanding performance, securing the top spot on the leaderboard. Posted on 9 Dec 2023
Australia on hunt for first Season 4 win in Cadiz
Slingby's crew sit in pole position after first day of Spain Sail Grand Prix After an exhilarating first day of racing at the Spain Sail Grand Prix, Tom Slingsby and the Australia SailGP Team are in hot pursuit of their first win in Season 4, finishing the first day of racing in pole position. Posted on 14 Oct 2023
Australia still on SailGP Season 4 pole position
Despite missing out on the win in Taranto A frustrating day saw Tom Slingsby's Australia team miss out on the win on Championship Sunday of the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix | Taranto despite securing its fourth final of Season 4 - with Emirates GBR taking home its second consecutive win. Posted on 24 Sep 2023
Australia dominates opening day in Taranto
Two first place finishes at the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix Tom Slingsby's Australia team got off to a world class start in day 1 of the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix | Taranto in one of the windiest SailGP race days to date in Season 4 with an impressive 1-1-5 finish. Posted on 23 Sep 2023
Aussies break Saint Tropez SailGP curse
Securing podium finish at the France Sail Grand Prix Tom Slingsby and his Australian crew have finally broken their 'Saint Tropez curse', securing second place at the France Sail Grand Prix in Saint Tropez. Posted on 10 Sep 2023
Kiwis wing collapses in first day of St Tropez
Aussies show glimmer of hope to break the curse of St Tropez The Australians managed to finish the first day of racing at the France Sail Grand Prix in the middle of the pack, but it was the Kiwis who shocked fans worldwide with a dramatic incident taking place post racing. Posted on 9 Sep 2023
It's all on for AUS and NZL at France SailGP
Tom Slingsby (AUS) throws jabs at Peter Burling (NZL) in St Tropez Australia's Tom Slingsby throws jabs at New Zealand Driver Peter Burling ahead of France Sail Grand Prix Showdown Posted on 8 Sep 2023
Fairytale win for the Spanish team in Los Angeles
“I'm sure I'll calm down but right now it's pretty raw” Los Angeles hosted a fairytale ending for the Spain SailGP Team, who secured its first ever victory in SailGP against Australia and Denmark. Posted on 24 Jul 2023