Emirates GBR kicks off Mubadala New York SailGP in style with race win

The Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team kicked off the Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix in style on Saturday by dominating the fleet and winning the first race of the day. The British team pulled off an excellent start to race one and led the fleet to the first mark. Hitting speeds of 65km/h, Emirates GBR were able to sail their own race at the front of the pack and secure a big lead. The nine other teams were unable to catch the Brits, who kept their cool with seamless manoeuvres and crossed the finish line around five minutes before second place ROCKWOOL Denmark.

As race two commenced, the wind became lighter which made it difficult for Emirates GBR to make gains after a difficult start. The crew kept fighting to climb up the pack despite the tough conditions. Switzerland secured the win in race two, followed by Canada, New Zealand, Spain and then France – who drifted across the finish line after coming off their foils in the light air. It was a slow motion race for sixth place between Australia and Emirates GBR with Tom Slingsby’s Flying Roos just clinching the position.

Photo: Bob Martin for SailGP.

Race three was abandoned shortly after the start, when wind conditions were deemed too light to ensure a fair race. The day ended with Emirates GBR fourth on the leaderboard, but tied on points with third place New Zealand. When teams are tied on points in SailGP, the team with the higher position in the last race take the place.

Emirates GBR Driver Giles Scott said: “We got off to a good start in race one with a race win, but the second race was super tricky. We couldn’t quite get off the start line and the wind died to nothing, leaving everyone drifting around. It was a tricky one today, it wasn’t easy to see where the pressure was and the current added another dimension. There are definitely lessons from today, we nailed the first gybe in race one and it was a close to perfect race, but that wasn’t the case for race two. I’ve been looking at the video with Coach Robbie and we will do a proper debrief tonight and make some amends for tomorrow. The final is still definitely achievable for us so we will do our best to get two good races tomorrow and be in that three-boat final race.”

Despite the third race being abandoned, SailGP fans were in high spirits as they were treated to a live performance from dance music duo Loud Luxury, who performed their hit song Body from a barge in front of huge crowds on Governors Island.

All 10 teams will return tomorrow to battle it out on the iconic Hudson River for a spot in the Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix Final. Sunday’s race times have been brought forward due to thunderstorms forecast late afternoon.