The Great Britain SailGP Team was crowned first event champion of SailGP Season 2 by winning the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess on a dramatic day on the Great Sound, beating Australia - who won four of five fleet races to enter the Final as strong favourites - by just four seconds.
Ben Ainslie’s team won just a single fleet race across the two-day event, but put in the perfect performance when it mattered in the Final to beat Tom Slingsby’s Aussies abd claim top spot in the Season 2 leaderboard after the opening event.

Great Britain and Australia were joined by France in the Final, with Billy Besson’s team securing its first podium finish in SailGP. The United States propped up the event leaderboard with new helm Jimmy Spithill enduring an unlucky debut, as in race four Japan collided with the US boat and caused damage serious enough to rule the team out the final fleet race of the event.

Denmark and Japan ranked sixth and seventh respectively, with New Zealand improving from its poor opening day performance to end the weekend in fifth place. Spain, who finished third in both of day two’s fleet races, missed out on qualifying for the Final by just a single point and finished the event in fourth.

Great Britain won the most recent SailGP event - in Sydney last February - and has made it two wins from two in the league. Speaking from the British F50 following the victory, skipper Ainslie said: “It was a cracking race. It was awesome.

“It’s what we want to do it for; go against these guys in conditions like this - it was just perfect.

“I’ve got to give huge credit to the team, as we really struggled yesterday, but we worked hard trying to analyse what was going wrong; it was a big team effort. It’s also the big man Neil’s [Hunter, GBR grinder] birthday, so we thought we better sign off on a good note.”

He continued: “We weren’t at our best yesterday; we had issues with the set-up of the boat - to be honest it’s still not perfect - but we just dealt with it. So it was a good one.”

Slingsby helmed his team to four fleet race wins over the two days to sit top of the leaderboard heading into the Final - 13 points ahead of the British - but the Aussies fell victim to the winner-takes-all format of SailGP’s Final race.

“It was a great race,” said Slingsby. “We feel a little hard done by, as we sailed so well all week.

“But those are the rules - you’ve got to win that last race, we knew it when we signed up, and we were close but not quite there.”

Australia’s dominance on day one gave way to a much more dramatic second day, with race four boasting not only a different winner - Great Britain - but also a collision between Japan and the United States and an eventual capsize by the US team. Damage caused by the collision ruled both teams out the final fleet race of the event, which became a six-team shootout to qualify, along with Australia, for the Final.

The Final itself was a similarly dramatic affair, with the Brits and the Aussies exchanging the lead in plus-20 knot conditions before Ainslie made it two event wins in SailGP by crossing the finish line only four seconds ahead of fierce rival Slingsby.



HAMILTON, BERMUDA – April 25, 2021 – The United States SailGP Team were denied entry into the finals today at the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess after capsizing their F50 catamaran while evaluating damage from a preceding collision with the Japan SailGP Team.

Following the incident, all athletes were reported safe by both teams but the resulting aftermath forced Helmsman Jimmy Spithill and the USA team to retire from racing for the day, forfeiting any chance at advancing through to the finals.

“We came into today in fourth place, with a real chance at the top three. That was our goal today,” said U.S. SailGP Team Helmsman Jimmy Spithill.

“Conditions were at the top end, we were on high speed boards and small wings. We were having a great race with the top three [teams] and as we were heading up the first beat, unfortunately Japan took us out of the race which was really disappointing.”

The U.S. SailGP Team had entered into the final day of racing only three points back from third place hoping to climb the leaderboard and advance to the finals – reserved for the top three teams.

Early in the first race, with wind speeds testing the upper thresholds of the F50 catamaran, the Japan SailGP Team – while attempting to cross in front of the USA team who had right-of-way – failed to keep clear causing a collision.

The ensuing aftermath caused significant damage to the U.S. SailGP Team’s F50, including damage to the hull and steering system of the advanced catamaran.

Despite a significant effort from both athletes and support team to nurse the boat to safety to evaluate the onboard systems, the steering system deteriorated further causing the rudder to break, resulting in a loss of control that contributed to the capsize of the team’s F50 forcing the team to retire.

Spithill continued: “What can you say? [Japan SailGP Team Helmsman] Nathan Outeridge and I are good friends, he came up and apologized. That’s how it goes, this is almost like auto racing now. At these fast speeds and decisions, if mistakes happen it can be out of your control. It’s just one of those things, we’re going to have to build on it. There’s no type of redress in this type of racing if you get taken out. That’s life, we’ll learn our lessons, and get ready for the next event.”

The U.S. SailGP Team has begun the process of evaluating the extent of damage to their F50 with team technicians having full expectations that it will be ready for racing in short order.

The team now looks to the next event of SailGP Season 2, the Italy Sail Grand Prix, Taranto, as their next chance to climb the leaderboard, June 5-6, 2021. For more information on the full Season 2 calendar as well as the United States SailGP Team, please visit or follow the team on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.