Emirates Great Britain wins ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix

Emirates Great Britain has taken the win in a weather-hit final at the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix – with driver Giles Scott claiming his first SailGP victory since stepping into the driver’s seat in January of this year.
Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team helmed by Giles Scott toward the finish line passing the spectators to win the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix.
Image: Andrew Baker for SailGP

Clocking top speeds in excess of  93km/h, Emirates Great Britain thrived in tumultuous conditions. The Brits finished in the top three of both fleet races, before clinching victory in the winner-takes-all Final ahead of France and Spain, who finished second and third respectively.

The victory is momentous for driver Giles Scott, who has come under fierce criticism for his performances since replacing sailing great Sir Ben Ainslie earlier in the year. The win moves Emirates GBR up to sixth on the overall season standings, now 13 points off third as all teams push towards the lucrative $2 million Grand Final in San Francisco in July.

Scott said: “A win at any league event is huge and certainly for me, personally, to come off the back of a pretty frustrating apprenticeship in SailGP. To come out with a win here is massive and it’s nice to be able to put a marker down and prove that you’re capable of winning.”

The day’s conditions also caused drama off the water – with high winds forcing SailGP to adopt an adjusted format after being unable to safely crane all ten F50s into the water in time for the start of racing. With team’s prioritised in order of day one standings, Switzerland and the U.S. were unable to race on day two, whilst Germany missed out on Fleet Race Four.

The other major talking point from the ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix was the dramatic capsize involving Australia on the final upwind leg of Fleet Race Five. With tumultuous conditions playing no small part, driver Tom Slingsby pointed to a ‘malfunction’ with boat controls as a cause of the incident. All athletes were fine, but the incident builds on recent woes for the Aussie crew, including an eight season-point penalty in Christchurch.

Slingsby said: “No one touched a button and the wing inverted and resulted in a capsize. It’s a technical issue and I feel like a broken record. I don’t like to blame anyone or anything, but it feels like we’ve been pretty unlucky with technical issues.”  

Australia SailGP Team capsize during the second race. Image: Ricardo Pinto for SailGP

The inaugural ROCKWOOL Canada Sail Grand Prix has proven a favorite among fans, with thousands braving the rain to watch the action from the sold-out Race Stadium, alongside packed crowds watching from multiple vantage points around waterfront and surrounding harbor. Despite the home crowd support and a win in Fleet Race Four, the Canada SailGP Team had a disappointing day overall, finishing last in Fleet Race Five to miss out on the Grand Final and end the weekend sixth overall.

Robertson said: “We were having a very good time and how could you not in front of that many people and your home country? We were in pretty good shape going into the last race and we just let it slip away again. It is what it is and what an epic event we’ve just had.”

New Zealand maintains the top spot on the Season 4 Championship leaderboard, despite a fifth place finish at the event overall. It was the first time that the Black Foils have missed out on a Final since Cadiz last year. With Australia bumped from second to third in the overall standings, there are now five teams in close contention for the Grand Final.

Despite being critical of the ‘disappointing’ decision for his team not to race, U.S. SailGP Team CEO and strategist Mike Buckley remained positive about upcoming consecutive home events in New York (22-23 June) and San Francisco (13-14 July).

Buckley said: “Racing in New York City, where I live with my family, I can’t wait to get there. I think it’s going to be a brilliant show of racing with the rest of the world. Our last two events in the United States are going to be awesome for us. We can’t wait.”

A Highlights Show will be shown on 8 June at 12:25 BST on ITV4.

SailGP continues its North American tour with all 10 teams heading to the Big Apple for the penultimate event of the season, the Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix, 22-23 June. Fans will be able to experience the most exciting racing on water in front of the iconic New York City skyline and Statue of Liberty.

1 // Emirates Great Britain 10 points
2 // France 9 points
3 // ROCKWOOL Denmark 8 points
4 // Spain 7 points
5 // New Zealand 6 points
6 // Canada 5 points
7 // Australia 4 points
8 // Germany 3 points (did not compete in Fleet Race Four)
9 // Switzerland 2 points (Switzerland did not compete in Sunday’s racing)
10 // United States 1 points (USA did not compete in Sunday’s racing)
1 // New Zealand 83 points
2 // Spain 72 points
3 // Australia 71 points
4 // France 65 points
5 // ROCKWOOL Denmark 64 points
6 // Emirates GBR 58 points
7 // Canada 58 points
8 // USA 50 points
9 // Germany 35 points
10 // Switzerland 28 points

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