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Cadiz Carnage A Spectators Cornucopia

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  • Cadiz Carnage A Spectators Cornucopia

    The Great Britain SailGP Team were dealt a huge blow in the Final of the Spain Sail Grand Prix as they capsized just seconds into the winner-takes-all race - while leading!

    Ben Ainslie's team started with real pace in the strong winds in Cadiz, but as they were streaking out ahead of Final rivals Australia and the United States, their F50 keeled over in the rough conditions.

    This ended the Brits' final immediately, and thankfully all six athletes onboard were accounted for shortly after the incident.

    Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL took sixth place overall at the Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cádiz, as big breeze caused carnage on the course – including a pair of capsizes in the fleet.

    In gusts approaching 25 knots, Australia SailGP Team took the overall victory in Andalucía, after hosts Spain SailGP Team had to withdraw from racing following serious damage to the wingsail, sustained during a capsize in the pre-race sailing period.

    Later, Great Britain SailGP Team dramatically capsized in the final race, to open the door for the Aussies to snatch the win.

    The ROCKWOOL team, led by Nicolai Sehested, began the day sitting in third spot overall and held hopes of achieving a first ever SailGP event podium – but a pair of disappointing results in the final two races of the weekend saw them slip out of contention for the top three.

    “It was a windy and wild day. Really gusty. We’ve not really experienced those conditions since Bermuda,” said Sehested.

    “It wasn’t our best day. I’m not making excuses – we have a lot to learn in how to handle this big breeze and we’re still a long way from the top boats in conditions like this. We need more hours in this kind of weather, we didn’t deserve a podium today.”

    The Spain Sail Grand Prix made history with the addition of female athletes onboard every F50 during racing, for the first time ever.

    Danish Olympic bronze medalist Katja Salskov-Iversen, who, alongside Anne-Marie Rindom, joined the team prior to the season opener in Bermuda, raced onboard in Spain.

    The Australian team’s victory sees it return to the top of the overall Season 2 rankings, just in time for a homecoming trip Down Under to Sydney for the next SailGP event in the calendar – the Australia Sail Grand Prix in December.

    ANDALUCÍA - CÁDIZ, SPAIN - October 10, 2021 - The United States SailGP Team took a significant step closer to qualifying for the $1 million SailGP Grand Final today, securing a second-place finish at the Spain Sail Grand Prix after avoiding a dramatic capsize by the Great Britain SailGP Team that nearly took the American Team out of the race.

    Over the two days of close racing in Cadiz, Spain, the team qualified for its fourth podium final race of the season, though it was forced to take dramatic, evasive action to avoid colliding with the British team’s capsize at the start of the final race.

    “Today was definitely on the edge. You’re really in avoidance mode,” CEO and Driver Jimmy Spithill said, referring to the 20+ knot winds and sea state. “As we all came off the start line [in the final race] and saw Ben do a huge nose dive, we bowed out to avoid them, which caused us to crash. It triggered our emergency stop systems, effectively shutting the boat down. While we restarted the systems, Tom [Slingsby, Australia SailGP Team] was already far down the line.”

    Regardless, the team’s consistent result saw the Americans increase their point total in the overall league standings, further cementing their grip on the overall podium. Only the top three teams at the end of the season will have the chance to race for the Grand Final at the United States Sail Grand Prix | San Francisco, March 26-27, 2022.

    Despite the final race troubles, Spithill is pleased with the weekend and second-place overall finish. “It’s another great result. We are now just one point off the leaderboard overall.”

    During the post-race debrief, Spithill jokingly compared the American team to a bridesmaid, stating, “At the end of the day, no one will care who won the earlier regattas, so this is another great result. All we have to do is qualify for the final and then win in San Francisco.”

    CJ Perez, the latest addition to the team at 18 years old and first female on board, was buzzing about today’s conditions. “It was absolutely unbelievable,” the Honolulu-native said. “Sailing these boats is a whole other level. It’s what sailing is about. Your heart rate is at its max, your adrenaline is pumping, you’re nervous and excited for each tack and jibe and it’s some of the best racing in the world in my opinion.”

    The adrenaline rush continues as the team looks toward the Australia Sail Grand Prix | Sydney SailGP December 17-18, 2022.

    For more information on the full Season 2 calendar as well as the U.S. SailGP Team visit or follow the team on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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