Japan SailGP Beats Australia to Sit Atop the Leaderboard by One Point
In front of large crowds lining the waterfront in downtown Manhattan, the Japan SailGP Team – helmed by double Olympic medalist Nathan Outteridge – beat off strong competition from Tom Slingsby’s Australia SailGP Team to win its first event in the inaugural SailGP season.
An intense final match race took place between the two notorious rivals on the Hudson River racecourse, which saw drama before the start as the high-powered F50s, capable of intense speeds, made contact. A penalty to Australia saw Japan eventually get the better of the season’s leaders and take the victory in New York.
“Here we knew it would be a challenge and what I am really proud about is that our whole team focused every single step of the way,” said Outteridge. “I am relieved because we really needed a win, we deserved to win, and I am proud of everyone’s effort. The Aussies are, without a doubt, the team to beat, and I think now we are starting to even out the playing field and can’t wait until Cowes.”
New York’s urban landscape provided an extra challenge for the world-class athletes this week as they battled shifting breezes and varied wind speeds on a smaller, more challenging racecourse. Boat handling and maneuvering on the foils was significantly more of a factor than ever before as the boats flew around the Hudson at the fastest speeds yet seen on SailGP, with the Australia team hitting a top speed of 48 . . .
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