Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Aussie's come out firing on opening day of Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix

by SailGP 5 May 00:09 BST 4-5 May 2024

After incurring an eight season point penalty in Christchurch - Tom Slingsby is hungry to reclaim the top of the leaderboard

Severe damage to the wingsail puts US Team out after crew error in yesterday's official practice racing

After crashing out in the previous event, Tom Slingsby's Australia SailGP Team completely dominated the opening day of the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix. In perfect foiling conditions on Bermuda's Great Sound, the Aussies secured two race wins and a third to firmly secure the top spot on the event leaderboard ahead of Canada and ROCKWOOL Denmark.

Drama started before the fleet took to the Great Sound with the official news that Taylor Canfield's US SailGP Team would not be on the startline for racing this weekend after the teams' dramatic capsize in yesterday's official practice racing. Data provided by the United States F50 defined the cause of the capsize as 'user error' - wing trimmer Victor Diaz de Leon meant to flatten the wing but instead accidentally pressed a button which inverted it when he was positioned on the starboard side of the boat.

Reflecting on missing out on racing Mike Buckley, US team CEO, said: "We knew right away what went wrong but we compete as a team and whatever the outcome is - whether it's what we want - we win and lose as a team and we learn from it. It's easy to point fingers at one mistake but very rarely in sports or business is it one thing that costs you that big thing. It's usually a culmination of many things - so we're trying to take some positives. We're licking our wounds a little bit and we'll be heading out and trying to get better for the next one."

The newly appointed Race Stadium at Morgan's Point provided fans with an up-close view of the spectacle the nine national teams put on due to Bermuda's gusty winds - giving teams the opportunity to make bigger and bolder maneuvers. Slingsby and the Aussies were ready for vengeance from the very start of the day - managing to pull off perfect starts for all three races.

Slingsby said: "It felt like we were the Australia from previous seasons where we managed great starts and were hard to catch and we're stoked. Everyone has their game plans but these are the best athletes in the world - only one person can get that spot and there's 10 teams. We sailed really well, it was picture perfect conditions and we were just happy all day."

Another team to light up the startline was Diego Botin and the Spain SailGP Team, who rocketed into the third race of the day at an incredible speed of 73 km/h - providing the team with a huge advantage. After a head to head battle with Nicolai Sehested and the ROCKWOOL Denmark SailGP Team - Los Gallos strategically secured a win to finish the first day of racing on a high note.

Botin said: "I think it's the first start we have done to surge in front of everyone and remain in front of everyone and it feels really good. We read the fleet really well - they were fighting for the bottom end and we found the space and ripped it."

Phil Robertson's Canada SailGP Team brought the heat as well - battling it out with the Aussies for the majority of racing. The Canadians were chasing down the Aussies for race one but managed to fall off the foils and drop behind Peter Burling's 'Black Foils' until the very final coursemarker - slingshotting their way into second place and showing the teams they arrived in Bermuda ready to compete.

Robertson said: "If you're not pushing hard, you're not going to be winning, and we want to be winning. It's all very close on the leaderboard, so we've got to go out tomorrow, get a good race one under our belt and then see what we need to do in race two."

An unfamiliar sight was Burling and the New Zealand SailGP Team in the middle of the fleet - the Black Foils hold the highest number of event wins in Season 4 and sit on top of the leaderboard after a successful win at the last event on home waters in Christchurch.

Burling said: "We were trying a few things but obviously they didn't quite go to plan. On the start with those high speed boards if you don't get a good run at the end you go from being right in a good spot to being right at the back very quickly.

"We are here to try and win the event and will give it our all tomorrow. We were in touch with the front end of the leaderboard today, we got some solid results on the board and need to go out there tomorrow and finish the job."

The teams pulled off some aggressive moves to make up for the large amount of season penalty points docked onto the overall scores of Australia, Emirates Great Britain and ROCKWOOL Denmark in Christchurch.

Sehested approached the first two races with a conservative mindset but decided to ramp up the competition for the final race when he ran Slingsby off the course - who was only meters away - in order to be sure the Danes secured second place to finish the day.

Sehested said: "We started a bit slow but we were also a bit gun shy - to make sure we didn't incur any penalty points and then we slowly added a few layers and pushed a bit harder and I think that was the right strategy for today.

"At the last coursemarker we knew the Aussies weren't going to beat us so we just wanted to make sure we didn't give them any room to gain on us so we wanted to kill them early and kill them hard - there was a big gap so we could be quite harsh on them."

Following the racing, the day finished with an Aprés Sail Party featuring soca sensation KES THE BAND. The final day of the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix gets under way at 2 p.m. local time tomorrow, May 5. For details on how to watch around the globe visit For fans in Bermuda, limited tickets are still available to witness the closing day - head to for more information.


Day Two Racing: Sunday, May 5, 2.00 p.m - 3.30 p.m. ADT


1 // Australia 28 points
2 // Canada 23 points
3 // ROCKWOOL Denmark 22 points
4 // New Zealand 22 points
5 // Spain 19 points
6 // Emirates Great Britain 15 points
7 // Germany 13 points
8 // France 12 points
9 // Switzerland 8 points
10 // United States 0 points

Related Articles

It's a Spanish Cinderella Story in San Francisco
Los Gallos claim SailGP Season 4 Grand Final title Four major titles in a super Sunday of sport for the Spanish, as Spain secure $2Million in prize money by taking the SailGP Grand Final in San Francisco. Posted on 15 Jul
SailGP Day 2: Spain take the $2million prize
Full replay of SailGP Grand Final in San Francisco, as three teams contest the Grand Final Spain SailGP have won the SailGP Grand Final in San Francisco, winning a thrilling the Grand Final and denying the defending Champions, Australia, the chance of a four-peat. Posted on 14 Jul
Escape from Alcatraz
France's flying starts in SailGP Grand Final take them down to the wire for a podium place It's all to race for in the battle for third, with France edging Spain by just one point after day one in San Francisco. Posted on 14 Jul
SailGP: Five races determine two Final places
San Francisco turns on fresh winds for to get the adrenaline pumping in Practice Session Five fleet races will determine who will earn a spot alongside Peter Burling's Black Foils in Sunday's winner-takes-all Grand Final race. Friday's practice session tested the 11 crews with fresh winds and the typical seaway of the Golden Gate. Posted on 13 Jul
SailGP crowns Season 4 Impact League Champiopns
Emirates GBR claim top-spot in the third year of sports first-ever Impact League The team's commitment to climate action, empowering young people and driving gender equity in sailing sees Emirates GBR place top-spot in the third year of sports first-ever Impact League. Posted on 12 Jul
SailGP launches fan-first AR and VR app experience
New remote graphical viewing and augmented reality SailGP has launched new Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) features in the SailGP app - providing fans with an enhanced viewing experience of the league's Season 4 Grand Final, taking place this weekend in San Francisco. Posted on 12 Jul
SailGP announces 2024/2025 Season calendar
A year-long spectacle of high-octane racing Racing full-circle around the globe, SailGP's fifth season will feature a host of new teams and locations, as well as the return of fan-favorite venues. It all gets under way November 2024. Posted on 9 Jul
SaiGP's Racing on the Edge Season 4 Episode 10
Revealing a race against time, as 4 teams fight for spot on 2024/25 Season This weekend's SailGP Season 4 Grand Final is set to be the final event for one national team - could even title hopefuls New Zealand's place in the league be at risk? Posted on 8 Jul
The countdown to SailGP Season 4 Grand Final
The final event in San Francisco will see all 10 national teams go to battle There's now just one week to go before the champion of season 4 is crowned on the iconic waters of San Francisco Bay. Posted on 5 Jul
SailGP announces Fan-vote End-of-Season Awards
On the most significant moments and stars who shaped Season 4 New awards will allow fans to weigh in on the most significant moments and stars who shaped Season 4. Posted on 27 Jun