Japan takes first ever SailGP event win in New York
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.
New York’s urban landscape provided an extra challenge for the world-class athletes last week as they battled shifting breezes and varied wind speeds on a smaller, more challenging racecourse. Boat handling and manoeuvring 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 48.69 knots (nearly 60 mph). It was the superior adaptability of the Japanese team that won the event on the Hudson.
1. Japan, Nathan Outteridge, 49
2. Australia, Tom Slingsby, 45
3. United States, Rome Kirby, 37
4. China, Phil Robertson, 33
5. France, Billy Besson, 32
6. Great Britain, Dylan Fletcher, 27