SailGP: Australian team takes victory in British leg

Tom Slingsby’s Australian team won the British leg of SailGP, with fans treated to a fine show in sunny weather in Plymouth

Thousands of fans turned up on Plymouth Hoe, and hundreds of spectator boats lined the F50 racecourse in Plymouth Sound as the sold out Great Britain SailGP took place over the weekend of 17-18 July.

Tom Slingsby’s Australia SailGP Team celebrated its first victory of SailGP Season 2, being crowned event winners of the Great Britain SailGP, as thousands of sun-drenched fans were also treated to a race win for the home team.

The Season 1 Champions were defeated by Great Britain in the final race of the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess earlier this season, but got its revenge on British waters to make an astounding comeback, ultimately winning the event after a thrilling three-boat final between Australia, U.S and France.

Slingsby said: “We’re now three events in, we’ve had lead changes at each one with different people winning each time, and we’re just starting the rollercoaster. We’ve got plenty more turns ahead.

“We’ve come from close to the top of the leaderboard, to down at the bottom, and now we’re back at the top. There’s no form guide, every team has its day, and we’ve just got to hold on for the ride to try and make that Grand Final in San Francisco next March.”

Celebrating with his Australia crew members was an ecstatic Nick Hutton, the team’s grinder, who hails from Devon, UK.

Australia SailGP Team in action. Photo Jon Buckle / SailGP

Hutton said: “It’s always great to win and for me it’s extra special winning in Plymouth. It’s as close as I’m ever going to get to racing at home so I’m super happy. The last race was very hectic for us, we didn’t make it easy for ourselves, but it was great to get it done.”

The French team – driven by Billy Besson and with Brit Leigh McMillan onboard – was always in the hunt over the weekend and never out of the top three. After a nail biting final race – that saw multiple lead changes – they eventually took home the silver. With its second podium finish of the season, France has been consistently racking up the points to maintain a solid position among the top three overall leaders in the global championship.

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