AUSTRALIA BATTLE BACK FROM MEDIOCRE FIRST DAY TO SCOOP TRIUMPHANT WIN IN CHICAGO
Two-time defending and reigning SailGP champions Australia have once again proved their prowess in the three boat winner-takes-all race, after scraping into the final and emerging triumphant winners in Chicago.
Tom Slingsby’s team picked up a 99% fly time in light wind conditions to blow competitors Great Britain and Canada away in an identical final line-up to the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix last month.
It marked a remarkable come back for the Aussies, who battled back from a mediocre first day of racing and a last place finish in the fourth fleet race to knock Peter Burling’s New Zealand out of contention by one point.
Australia began their faultless performance by executing a perfect race start and forcing Great Britain and Canada to follow from the get-go, leaving them free to finish their masterclass of racing in front of Chicago’s skyline stadium.
Speaking about the team’s victory, Driver Tom Slingsby described the second day of racing as ‘a day of two halves’.
“We came dead last in the fourth race and thought our chances of reaching the final, let alone winning it, were over. I thought mathematically it was almost impossible to make the final race. Somehow we turned it around and fortune went our way.”
Elsewhere, Jimmy Spithill’s USA team, home favourites on Lake Michigan, secured a third place finish in the final fleet race of the weekend, but it proved too little, too late, leaving the team in last place on the event leaderboard.