France has moved back into third place on the overall Championship leaderboard after dominating fleet racing on the first day of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix.
Saturday’s three fleet races were deemed enough to constitute an event despite the cancellation of the second day of racing due to a major weather incident.
France picked up a hat-trick of race wins and has consequently been declared the official winner of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix, while Jimmy Spithill’s United States and home town favorites Australia round out the event podium.
The refreshed Championship standings see France move into the coveted third place position with 63 points, just one-point from New Zealand in second place.
Australia meanwhile remains in the Championship lead with 76 points. Despite moving down to fourth place, the Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team is just two-points behind France. Denmark also remains within touching distance of the top three with 57 points.
Speaking about the event, driver Quentin Delapierre said Sydney was ‘exactly what we needed’.
“We’re ticking the boxes and we are super happy with the results here.” However, he reflected on the major weather incident that occurred after racing.
“The storm was tricky and it was disappointing not to be able to finish with a Sunday super finale,” he said. “We all want to help and support SailGP and the tech team recover for Christchurch – it will be a big push for sure.”
He described Saturday’s conditions as ‘complicated’ with ‘wind and chop caused by the passage of the ferries’. However he said the team had carefully studied the course ahead of racing to take full advantage of the starting box.
“I felt confident to take the risks at the right time and we managed to resist our opponents,” he said. “We found the right settings and were often under pressure but were able to keep up the pace to finish ahead.”
After racing, a major weather event resulted in significant damage to the wing sails and at least one boat at the technical area, leading to the cancellation of the second day of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney