Please select your home edition
Vaikobi 2024 LEADERBOARD

SailGP: Aggressive start pays big dividend for Spain in tense final

by SailGP Media 5 May 20:29 BST
Spain SailGP Team helmed by Diego Botin alongside New Zealand SailGP Team helmed by Peter Burling on Race Day 1 of the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix in Bermuda © Bob Martin for SailGP

Diego Botin’s young Spanish team executed flawless tactical decision-making to trounce season leaders New Zealand and Australia on the iconic waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound.

An aggressive start saw Spain swerve behind the Aussies and Kiwis to pinch perfect start line positioning, with speed, and secure the all-important inside line to Mark 1.

Despite the Kiwis breathing down their necks throughout, the Spanish stayed focused on the racecourse, splitting with Burling’s team at Gate 4 to pick up a 100m lead in the blink of an eye.

The race defining moment however came at Gate 5, when the Spanish executed an expert maneuver to force New Zealand to turn away. This resulted in huge gains for Diego Botin’s team.

Overall Spain executed the fewest maneuvers, sailed the shortest distance and recorded the highest speed of all three teams, as well as a perfect 100% flight time.

Speaking after racing, driver Diego Botin said it was an ‘emotional day’ for the team, which snuck into the Final on the thinnest of margins after a tie-break score with Canada.

“Coming up with the win is just amazing,” he said. “We just need to keep sailing the same way, put the most points on our board that we can and avoid the penalty points - just keep focused on everything we’re doing.”

Strategist Nicole van der Velden added that the victory was even sweeter due to beating Season 4 leaders New Zealand and Australia.

“To be able to fight with them - two of the top teams - and come out on top is an amazing feeling,” she said.

Bermuda marks the second ever event win for the team, which also took the win in Los Angeles earlier this season. Since then, results have been mixed, but the team has remained focused on its ambition of securing a place in San Francisco’s winner-takes-all Grand Final in July.

The refreshed season standings see New Zealand retain its position at the top of the Season 4 leaderboard with 77 points - a clear 10 point lead over Australia in second. Meanwhile Spain’s win sees the team solidify its third place position on the leaderboard with 65 points - a comfortable nine point margin ahead of Rockwool Denmark in fourth.

Elsewhere, it was a difficult weekend for Quentin Delapierre’s France, which finished the weekend in 9th place due to inconsistent fleet race results. Risky starting tactics in the fourth fleet race pre-start saw the French foul Rockwool Demark, resulting in a penalty which pushed them to the back of the fleet.

Switzerland meanwhile, now driven by Nathan Outteridge, came out of the blocks firing when racing got underway - picking up the win in the fourth fleet race - its second fleet race win of Season 4 so far.

Next up, the 10-strong F50 fleet heads to Canada for the first time for the for the Rockwool Canada Sail Grand Prix in Halifax on June 2/3

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